Our organization started in 1997, when the ChoiceCare Foundation sold its Health Maintenance Organization to Humana for $221 million. The proceeds were invested and The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati was created, serving a 20-county region in Southwestern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. The foundation was charged with changing the way health care was delivered—especially for under-resourced communities.
Early grant making efforts focused around four areas: community primary care, school-aged children’s health care, substance use disorders and severe mental illness. From the beginning, the foundation did more than just provide funding—grantees received support for advocacy, business planning, communications, data use and more. Research, education and evaluation were also integrated in the grant-making process, with the foundation quickly becoming a resource for non-profits.
The foundation determined that policy changes were often needed to improve health. This led to advocacy work in support of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in Ohio.
In 2013, the foundation responded to a change in community needs with a shift in its focus, moving to health promotion. It also re-branded itself as Interact for Health.
As it celebrated 20 years of grant-making in 2017, Interact for Health’s leadership and Board of Directors once again looked at community needs, and decided to invest in areas where the impact could be greatest: reducing tobacco use, addressing the opioid epidemic and school-based health centers. Surrounding these priorities is a focus on addressing health disparities and advocacy.