From Our Chair

W. Charles (Chas) Geiger III

W. Charles (Chas) Geiger III

A Year of Transformation

It is with great enthusiasm that Three Arches Foundation embarks on 2019 following a productive first year. In early 2018, we announced our official transition from a hospital-focused development organization to a community-focused grant making foundation, continuing a long-standing legacy of philanthropic impact within Lakewood and surrounding communities.  This was the start of what would become a period of ongoing activity towards operationalizing all facets of the organization in support of our new direction. By year-end, this “behind the scenes” rebuilding of our infrastructure allowed the board of directors to achieve many important milestones in a short period of time.  I am pleased to share, on behalf of all of us at the Foundation, more about these efforts that have set the groundwork for long-term viability, sustainability and success:

Board of Directors – Three Arches Foundation carries out its mission by supporting a unique community collaborative of charitable organizations that provide programs, services and initiatives that advance the health and well-being of citizens in the area formerly served by Lakewood Hospital. As dictated by our governing structure, the initial board consisted of individuals from Appointing Charitable Organizations – referred to as our partner organizations – as well as trustees from the former Lakewood Hospital Foundation.  Representing a mix of new and familiar faces and relationships, the board worked collaboratively to establish an organizational culture and provide greater clarity and consensus around TAF’s vision, values and geography. And thinking through its capacity to make grants that are thoughtful and impactful, the board spent time to further refine the funding strategy and priority area of focus. In addition to their general oversight role, each board member serves on at least one committee.

Governance Committee – with a new structure came a myriad of governance requirements to tackle. This committee worked to ensure that the board of directors functions appropriately and efficiently.  This included executing the new code of regulations; extensive policy work such as conflict of interest, code of ethics and confidentiality; and director engagement and succession.

Audit Committee – after completing a full audit, this committee jumped right into budget development to adjust the former finance structure to align with that of a grant making organization. The committee was also responsible for completing and filing Form 990.

Investment Committee – one of the more challenging endeavors was the reconsideration of our investment philosophy. With resources from fund-raising activity no longer generated, the Foundation’s funding now relies solely on investment income thereby requiring a significant shift in our approach. This committee worked on adjusting the Investment Policy Statement and spending policy to accommodate for the new operating structure.

Community Advancement Committee – tasked with defining and establishing a grantee-centric approach to our funding process, this committee worked to identify best practices that support understanding and empathy for grantees and non-profit leaders. They addressed the various components of a comprehensive grant process and subsequently created the framework and applicant guidelines. By year-end, the committee had successfully implemented a test pilot in preparation for the first grant cycle in mid-2019. More details on the pilot program are shared below under Investing in the Community.

Our New Home – after exploring many options across the community, we found the ideal space for our new office in the heart of Lakewood at St. Charles Court. We completed the move on May 1st and are pleased with the working environment.    

There will always be work-in-progress as the Foundation continues to evolve and we are confident these initial actions provide a solid infrastructure to move forward productively with the core mission of grant making. Essentially, we have the easy part. The Foundation exists for the sole purpose of providing grant funding towards worthy programs and services that support our mission. The actual day-to-day work is done by the nonprofit organizations that will use the investment to directly impact the lives of our citizens.  Their efforts are what ultimately drive the implementation, administration and maintenance of these programs and services. As shared, an integral part of our grant strategy was to think about our capacity to make grants that are thoughtful and impactful. Here is our approach as we move forward:

Understanding the Area of Focus

Our research, learnings and shared dialogue continues to reaffirm access to care, including behavioral and physical health, is a critical community need.  During these initial years, the Foundation will concentrate its funding on initiatives that are aligned with this area of focus.  We are committed to helping the organizations that make it easier for people to navigate, understand, and use information and services to improve behavioral and physical health. Grants will be limited to those nonprofits that provide programs and services within Lakewood and surrounding communities.

 Ongoing Listening & Learning

Three Arches Foundation is fortunate to have many experienced professionals among its board of directors that offer firsthand knowledge and understanding of the needs and gaps affecting community health and well-being. This insight, combined with feedback from potential grantees, is beneficial as we listen and learn how funding investments can aid an organization’s effort towards implementing and maintaining the programs and services that have a direct benefit on the community. Attaining a broad understanding of how funding impacts day-to-day operations better positions the Foundation to help worthy organizations through thoughtful grant decisions.

 Investing in the Community

As part of our grant making strategy, the Foundation implemented an online grant management software program to help streamline the process for our applicants. Last fall we successfully tested all aspects of the process through a limited scale pilot program with our partner organizations. We’re pleased to offer highlights on how each grant recipient is using their investment for the benefit of citizens in Lakewood and surrounding communities:

The Centers for Families and Children Expanded Access through Coordinated Care

Residents of Lakewood will benefit from the enhanced and expanded integration of social services with the provision of healthcare through a grant that will fund the coordination and work of a newly formed multidisciplinary team of caregivers.  This includes primary care providers, pharmacists, therapists and social workers who will collaborate to help low-income and vulnerable individuals and families have access to critical resources, information and services.  

Cleveland Clinic – Lakewood High School Youth Mental Health Patient Navigator

Lakewood High School students and families seeking access to mental health services or assistance following treatment will now benefit from a grant that funds a dedicated, onsite patient navigator. The navigator will work with students to ensure easy access to care that includes bridging communication among all partners and clarifying a “roadmap” towards healing. With mental illness one of the greatest barriers to academic success, this approach of integrative mental healthcare is critical for a student’s academic health.  As the first line of contact for Lakewood High School students seeking mental health services, this new position will work to ensure meaningful collaboration between all parties and will be accessible to all district students.

Neighborhood Family Practice – Expanding Access to Care through a Community-based Pharmacy

With the early-January opening of an in-house and retail pharmacy at Dave’s Mercado, located next to Neighborhood Family Practice’s main community health center, patients and community members will now benefit from significantly expanded access to affordable prescription medications, medication education and adherence counseling. This grant helped fund the infrastructure costs of creating the pharmacy, investing in an innovative and sustainable care delivery model.

North Coast Health – Continuation and Expansion of Services

The low-income and medically underserved residents of Lakewood and surrounding communities benefited through a grant that preserved North Coast Health’s high-quality and affordable healthcare services in the latter part of 2018. As North Coast Health prepared to join Neighborhood Family Practice at the beginning of this year, funding was also used towards staff development, implementation of new electronic medical record and scheduling systems, and the hiring of a patient benefit specialist.

Recovery Resources – Municipal Court Forensic Liaison

Those individuals who have been arrested and determined by the Lakewood Municipal Court to qualify for diversion to treatment instead of incarceration will benefit from this investment in a municipal court forensic liaison.  This licensed clinician will be embedded in the court system to provide onsite assessments and consultation to expedite care coordination and linkage to a wide array of services including housing, health care, employment readiness, etc. The investment will also fund post-referral and education services. This liaison and associated education programming will allow for greater collaboration with police and prosecutors reducing arrests and strengthening community relations.

As we look ahead, we are inspired by the remarkable endeavors of local nonprofit organizations that reflect the Foundation’s values and interests, and are committed to building meaningful relationships and influence progress through our philanthropic pursuits. It is with this momentum that we eagerly begin year two with optimism for efforts concentrated towards improving access to behavioral and physical health care in Lakewood and surrounding communities. Finally, as we get closer to opening our first funding cycle in mid-2019, qualified and interested parties are encouraged to visit this site for the latest updates on the grant process. 

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support. We look forward to new opportunities to work together, support creative solutions and make new connections throughout 2019 and beyond.