Building Healthier Communities with Support from the Convergence Partnership

Jan 17, 2013

The Con Alma Health Foundation and its funding partners are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a 2012-2015 Convergence Innovation Fund grant. “The Convergence Innovation Fund supports place-based efforts focused on engaging community leadership to improve the built environment and expand healthy food access in low-income communities and communities of color.” For details, please see the national announcement below, and stay tuned to our site as this initiative develops locally.


Convergence Partnership Awards $1.85 Million in Grants

The Convergence Partnership supports 13 local foundations to advance innovative work in building healthier communities across the U.S.

The Convergence Partnership, a collaboration of funders, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012-2015 Innovation Fund grants. Thirteen foundations were awarded a total of $1.85 million for their innovative solutions to building healthy, equitable communities.

The awards support new or expanded local and regional projects and initiatives that help ensure all people can live, work, and play in healthy communities. The grants provide as much as $200,000 over three years to each foundation with a required $2 match for every $1 they were awarded.

“Local foundations know their regions best,” said Judith Bell, president of PolicyLink and the Convergence Partnership’s program director. “By investing in their leadership to effectively support policies and environments that advance health and equity in their most vulnerable populations, the Convergence Partnership can create sustainable, long-term impacts in communities across America.”

The first round of the Innovation Fund, which took place from 2010 to 2012, successfully supported local foundations to take risks in their grantmaking, focus on equity, expand their relationship to the communities served, explore policy and environmental change work, enter into new partnerships, and make changes in the way they do their work to better engage with community leaders, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, and to advance equity. It is expected that similar exciting impacts will take place in the locales where the 2012-2015 awardees work.

Awardees included:

A.H. Zeppa Family Foundation (Duluth, MN)
Blue Grass Community Foundation (Lexington, KY)
Brooklyn Community Foundation (New York, NY)
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (Dubuque, IA)
Con Alma Health Foundation (Santa Fe, NM)
The Denver Foundation (Denver, CO)
Endeavor Foundation (Springdale, AR)
Foundation for Louisiana (Baton Rouge, LA)
Headwaters Foundation for Justice (Minneapolis, MN)
Incarnate Word Foundation (St. Louis, MO)
The San Francisco Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
The Seattle Foundation (Seattle, WA)
Sierra Health Foundation (Sacramento, CA)

To find out more about the individual winners, please visit

The Convergence Innovation Fund supports place-based efforts focused on engaging community leadership to improve the built environment and expand healthy food access in low-income communities and communities of color. The initiative also works to make connections across multiple fields, including public health, transportation, urban planning, food justice, and others. The Convergence Partnership launched the Innovation Fund in May 2009 as a way to:

  • Promote equity, which includes a focus on benefiting low-income communities, communities of color or other vulnerable populations, and create leadership and engagement opportunities for vulnerable populations throughout the policymaking process;
  • Focus on policy and environmental change strategies instead of programmatic or educational initiatives to promote equity and health; and
  • Create non-traditional partnerships and collaborations to effectively create policy and environmental changes and leverage expertise, connections, and funding.

About the Partnership

The Convergence Partnership is a collaboration of funders who have come together with the shared goal of changing policies and environments to better achieve the vision of healthy people living in healthy places. Its members are Ascension Health, The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Kresge Foundation, Nemours, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the WK Kellogg Foundation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as technical advisors. PolicyLink, a national research and action institute devoted to advancing economic and social equity, is the program director for the partnership. Prevention Institute, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving community health and equity through effective primary prevention, works with PolicyLink to provide policy research and analysis and strategic support to the partnership. Each Convergence foundation partner contributes to a fund that is housed at the Tides Foundation. Therefore, grants are made through the Convergence Partnership Fund at Tides Foundation. For more information about the Convergence Partnership and the partners, please visit


Con Alma Health Foundation - The Heart and Soul of Health in New Mexico

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