An Announcement from the Irvine Health Foundation
The Irvine Health Foundation (IHF) was founded in 1985 as the result of the vision of a group of committed Irvine citizens who fought for a hospital and improved health for the greater Irvine community. Over the ensuing 36 years, IHF expanded its goal and has been diligent in its efforts to improve the health and health status of the residents of Orange County, California.
IHF’s mission statement is unambiguous: “The Irvine Health Foundation is committed to improving the health and well-being of the diverse population of Orange County, California.” Our work has been marked by innovation, collaboration, engaging with nontraditional partners, and a willingness to be the first to embrace new solutions.
Recognizing that health is not simply the absence of disease but is instead a state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being, IHF has supported a variety of efforts designed to achieve our goal through grants and leadership efforts provided to organizations who serve our community and share our goal of improved health for all residents of Orange County.
Our financial stewardship and investment management have been exemplary. IHF was established with a $15 million endowment and has never engaged in fundraising or capital raises. Since that time, this investment management has enabled us to have spent over $70 million to help make Orange County a healthier community.
A hallmark of our efforts over the years is leverage. When one hears the term “leverage,” one often first thinks of leveraging financial capital. We have accomplished a great deal of that financial leverage over our tenure; however, we have also successfully leveraged ideas and human capital. Due to IHF’s funds being matched by other funders or because IHF grants were used to “seed” great ideas and projects, the financial return to the community on these expenditures is in the tens of billions of dollars, while the “social return” has been extraordinary.
We have been privileged to have partnered with many others: foundations, government, business, and various large and small institutions in order to achieve our goals. We take pride in having seen our work lead to improved health for Orange County’s residents over these past 36 years.
We now embark on our final endeavors.
IHF will soon announce some major grant awards. These grants were proactively developed by IHF in partnership with the grant recipients and are designed to improve the health of Orange County residents for many decades to come. While the specific details of these grant awards will be announced later, it should be noted that these financial investments are congruent with our history and previous accomplishments. We are certain that these grants will positively impact Orange County residents and their health status over many generations.
Because the above-mentioned final grants will utilize the remainder of our endowment funds, December 31, 2021 will mark the beginning of a prudent process to finalize the work of the Foundation.
It has been a privilege to serve the Orange County community during these decades of immense change. We are also pleased to note that when IHF was founded, there were few health foundations and grantmakers serving Orange County, whereas there are now many of significant size who have joined in our efforts. These organizations and others in the future will carry on and continue to improve the health of all who live in greater Orange County.
While it is time for IHF to finalize its activities, we are confident that our final grants and the continuing good work of other funders will ensure continuous health improvement for the residents of Orange County.
We conclude with gratitude and best wishes to our community.