What We're Learning

Our Impact

The Greater Rochester Health Foundation is committed to the use of evaluation for the primary purpose of learning among the Foundation’s staff and board members, grantees, partners, communities, and fields. We strive for evaluation and learning practices that generate actionable insights, support continuous improvement, and uphold principles of equity.

Learning means that we are reflecting on our individual and organizational practices, systematically asking questions and analyzing information, and taking action to grown and improve. Learning helps us to achieve our goals by enabling us to:

Our Equity Journey

At the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, we have been on an intentional race-equity journey since 2016—supporting and participating in St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center’s collective impact work on structural racism that evolved into the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) and now Interrupt Racism at the Urban League.


Through community convenings and staff discussions, we’ve sought to engage in deep learning and honest dialogue on institutional racism, implicit bias, microaggressions, and White privilege. Along with better understanding the consequences of structural racism for the health of our region, we are reckoning with how we have, at times, perpetuated it within our organization and our field – and we are taking corrective action to right these wrongs.

Through our participation in REJI, we have formed a “Change Team” that has been leading our internal equity work over the past few years, as well as an affinity group in which White staff are reflecting on the impact of White supremacy culture on our organizational norms, policies and practices, and acting on the responsibility to dismantle it.


When the Black Agenda Group (BAG) launched the “Racism as a Public Health Crisis” declaration in May of 2020, it codified —in a series of profound statements— all the work we have been doing internally and provided another opportunity to express our values. As the BAG has emphasized, we recognize that this crisis demands more than statements and transactions—it demands sustained, transformative action.


Over the past few years we’ve focused on diversifying our team to ensure a strong mix of experience —both lived and professional— as well as representation from the many communities we serve. We have been reviewing and changing policies and practices to become a more equitable and inclusive organization. Additionally, we are building Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) competencies into performance evaluation and professional growth plans, such as one staff member’s pursuit of a Diversity Professional Certification. 

At the Health Foundation, we are committed to centering racial and health equity across all our operations — and we invite community to help hold us accountable to this work. In addition to our internal efforts, this includes:
In furthering anti-racist efforts within our own organization and our partners’, we strengthen our region as a whole.​​​

Listening to Our Grantees

Partnership is a core value of the Health Foundation—we believe our partnerships are our most valuable resource for advancing our mission of building a healthier region where all people can thrive. We are committed to listening and learning from our partners as we strive to be more than a funder, but an amplifier, a multiplier, and a connector.  

In the Spring of 2020, we engaged the Center for Effective Philanthropy to conduct the Grantee Perception Report (GPR) to obtain comprehensive feedback on our performance and our grantees’ experience working with us. We thank all who generously shared their time and feedback on the survey. Please click here for a summary of the results and related commitments and changes we’re making. 

We plan to conduct the GPR every few years to formally track our performance over time. Of course, we welcome and appreciate your feedback on how we’re doing and how we can do better at any time, and we’ll continue to keep you informed as to our work and our progress in these areas.  

Community Health Grant Survey Response

December 13, 2019 Update: With 2019 being the sixth year of the Community Health Grant Program at the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, we decided to do a comprehensive review of this grant opportunity. As part of this review, we developed a confidential survey for our grantees and applicants, which closed in September 2019.
Community Health Grant Survey Key Findings 2019

As our partners, your position to provide candid feedback about the program will help us fuel our continued efforts for improvement. Thank you to everyone who participated; we appreciate the honest and thoughtful responses. Click on the square to the right to view our response to the survey results. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (585) 258-1703 or via email at hstark@thegrhf.org.

(The GRHF) are long-time financial supporters of the Ibero-American Development Corporation’s Project Hope and Healthy Parks which have helped revitalize the El Camino neighborhood and empowered the residents to keep working on the rebirth of the area. The Greater Rochester Health Foundation also funds many of the scholarships for our Ibero scholars’ programs which helps make college a reality for deserving Latino students.
Angelica Perez-Delgado, President & CEO, Ibero-American Action League, Inc.
The Health Foundation knows that real change cannot be dictated top-down but needs to grow out of the concerns and priorities of families. They not only support our commitment to community voice, they walk the walk, making sure that families are part of their decision-making process, helping to set priorities and develop strategies.
Wade Norwood
The Greater Rochester Health Foundation sits at the intersection of health care policy, advocacy, and community support. In 2016, the Health Foundation’s Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health in the Finger Lakes presented a report that identified gaps in behavioral health care for our region’s children. In 2017, I was asked to co-chair the Implementation Task Force to address the critical findings in that report. Collectively, we are helping organizations become more trauma-informed and I appreciate the leadership of those involved in this critical endeavor. 
Dr. Shaun Nelms
The support provided by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation has been instrumental in educating members of Rochester Black Nurses Association to better support the community, committing to their motto of "Bridging the Gap."
Dr. Yvette Conyers, DNP, MS, RN, FNP-C, CTN-B
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Reports & Presentations

Health Care Delivery

Going Electronic in Health Care

Improving quality and reducing the cost of health care were the motivations for a community effort to convert to an electronic system for recordkeeping and health information exchange.

The Process Prescription

The Process Prescription How the Business Community is helping local health care providers to improve efficiency, 2011


Neighborhood Health Status Improvement

SOAR: Strengthening Our Area Residents 2017

The residents of the Town of Galen, the Town of Savannah and the Village of Clyde are working to implement a grassroots, community-driven plan to create new opportunities for health improvement.


Leveraging a community’s talents and resources to embrace healthy living: residents recognize and act to improve community health, 2018

Project HOPE

Helping people lead with their strengths: the new way forward for a healthier neighborhood, 2011

Our Town Rocks

Bringing country neighbors together for good: A rural area built on its strengths and inspires healthy action, 2011


Children’s Social and Emotional Health

Early Care Scan Report

Early childhood development is critical for later positive developmental, social, physical
health, and mental health outcomes (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007).

Raising Resilience Summit

On January 9, 2018, the Implementation Task Force hosted the Raising Resilience Summit at St. John Fisher College. The Summit brought together leaders from multiple professional disciplines to advance a comprehensive approach to promoting the social and emotional health of children and their families, and to plan and build cross-sector prevention actions. Materials from the Raising Resilience Summit are available on the Finger Lakes ACEs Connection website. The Finger Lakes ACEs Connection promotes a collaborative approach to raise awareness of adverse childhood experiences and drive sustainable systems change to impact community resiliency. We invite you to become members of this free online resource and post, share, learn and connect.

Taking Action: Building Resilience

In late 2017, the Implementation Task Force started its efforts to help organizations become more trauma informed. Task Force members shared the “Taking Action: Building Resilience” presentation to encourage groups and organizations to become more trauma responsive through organizational self-assessments, training in trauma informed care and cultural humility, training in youth mental health first aid, and participation in school-based initiatives such as the Trauma, Illness and Grief Consortium.

Crisis in Care

In 2016, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation’s Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health in the Finger Lakes presented a report that identified gaps in behavioral health care for our region’s children. More than 150 community and health care leaders joined together to discuss the challenges facing our region’s children and how we can work together to make a difference. Read the compelling report: Crisis in Care.


More About our Youth Focus

The Greater Rochester Initiative for Children’s Social and Emotional Health Implementation Task Force

Convened by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, the Implementation Task Force is a group with representatives from a cross-sector of the community. The mission of the Implementation Task Force is to challenge the status quo and inspire action that will significantly improve the social and emotional health of children throughout the Greater Rochester Area. The Implementation Task Force has prioritized their initial focus on trauma response and prevention.

For more information, contact Anita Black at ablack@thegrhf.org
Healthy and Equitable Futures

Early childhood experiences affect health, achievement, and well-being throughout life. Launched in 2017, Healthy Futures is a ten-year strategy to improve the health and well-being of children ages 0-8 in the Greater Rochester area. At the heart of the Healthy Futures strategy is whole child health—supporting children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional health by fostering healthy relationships, ensuring safe environments, cultivating skills and competencies, and building healthy habits.

Results Studies

As our grantees wrap up the work on their programs, we work with independent and objective outside evaluators to assess and determine each initiative’s impact. The Evaluation Reports are honest looks back at each program, documenting process results and outcomes and sharing lessons learned.

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