VNA Offers Critical Early Funding to Reduce Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Chicago

After months of meeting with issue experts and convening peer funders to bring attention to Chicago’s unacceptable poor maternal health outcomes, VNA Foundation has awarded core funding to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality and support the health of women in Chicago.

The grant, an $85,000 award to AllianceChicago to provide key launch funding for the Chicago Collaborative for Maternal Health, represents VNA Foundation’s strong commitment to women and families and its interest in encouraging other Chicago funders to share in this commitment.

“We were proud to provide advocacy within Chicago’s health funding community, and thrilled to award funding to this innovative community program that will bring together providers, women and their families, and policymakers to help prevent the heartbreaking loss of a mother after childbirth,” said VNA Foundation’s Executive Director Rob DiLeonardi. “VNA hopes that our grant will help bring additional resources to the table and, together with our partners like AllianceChicago, significantly improve the health and well-being of women in the Chicago area.”

For more information on the Chicago Collaborative for Maternal Health contact Katy Walsh, AllianceChicago Director of Grants Management & Development at 312.274.0068 (o), 312.608.2450 (c) or

Chicago Innovation Award Winners

Streetlight Chicago
Chicago Innovation Award Winner in: 2019
Winner Category: Collaboration
Industries: Technology, Non-Profit

StreetLight Chicago (SLC), created by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless & Young Invincibles, acts as the “311” for housing-insecure youth and providers in Chicago. It is a trusted resource, seamlessly connecting users to the services young people need for their immediate and long-term health, safety, and housing needs. Prior to SLC’s creation, youth and service providers relied on static lists of resources which quickly became out of date as services changed. Providers also lacked a mechanism for communicating to youth when services changed, relying on clients hearing about service changes through word-of-mouth and social media posts. Too often, this resulted in young people finding out services had changed only after they showed up at a site hoping to receive help. We found from conversations with housing insecure youth that most had access to smartphones (though were unlikely to have data) and needed up-to-date information on the services that are available to young people who needed immediate support. SLC enables the nearly 16,000 unaccompanied young people facing housing insecurity in Chicago to quickly connect to providers who can put young people on a path to stability.

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Heartfelt thanks to Heartland Health Centers

Heartland Health Centers recognized VNA Foundation during its annual “From the Heart Gala.” In particular, HHC noted our dedication to community nursing, as well as our early support of its Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program.

From left are Gwenn Rausch, CEO of Heartland Health Centers; honorees Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Kathy Delaney, Director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program at Rush College of Nursing, and Nancy Scinto, VNA Foundation Board Chair; and far right is Heartland Health Center’s Governing Board Chair, Philip Dothard.

The 2019 Anne M. Davis Mobile Health Award

The Night Ministry received the 2019 Anne M. Davis Mobile Health Award and a $10,000 gift from the VNA Foundation for its outstanding work bringing free health care, supportive services and survival resources directly to Chicago’s homeless population through its innovative Street Medicine Program. The Anne M. Davis Mobile Health Award, named in honor of a longstanding VNA volunteer and board member, recognizes a Foundation grantee that uses mobile health services in a particularly innovative, effective and impactful way.

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From left: David Wywialowski, TNM Director of Outreach & Health Ministry, Nancy Scinto, VNA Board Chair, and Paul W. Hamann, TNM President & CEO



From left: Paul W. Hamann, TNM President & CEO, Anne M. Davis, VNA Honorary Board Member, Stephan Koruba, Street Medicine Senior Nurse Practitioner, and TNM Director of Outreach & Health Ministry



From left: Paul W. Hamann, TNM President & CEO, Sophia Managuit, Street Medicine Outreach Professional, Stephan Koruba, Street Medicine Senior Nurse Practitioner, Syliva Hibbard, Street Medicine Case Manager, and David Wywialowski, TNM Director of Outreach & Health Ministry

Join the Public Health Funder Network at APHA 2019

The APHA Public Health Funder Network (PHFN), founded in 2013, is a community of grantmakers, donors, and APHA members who recognize philanthropy plays an important role in improving population health outcomes and the overall health of communities. Our goal is to promote a cross-sector approach to solving complex public health challenges – using philanthropy as a catalyst to drive change through innovative strategies and partnerships with local communities and stakeholders.

See what the PHFN has planned for the APHA Annual Meeting + Expo

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VNA honored at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Justice Circle Reception

Robert N. DiLeonardi, VNA Foundation Executive Director (L) and Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, at the CCH 2019 Justice Circle Reception

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) sponsors its annual Justice Circle Reception each year to highlight the work of CCH’s Law Project, and to honor key partners in its work. This year, CCH honored VNA Foundation for, “outstanding commitment to young people experiencing homelessness and … ongoing contribution to StreetLight Chicago.

When accepting the award for VNA, Rob DiLeonardi, Executive Director, stated that, “Grantmaking is only effective when it’s done in concert with a strong and knowledgeable partner, and that’s especially true for major undertakings. Streetlight Chicago, our smartphone app for teens and young adults impacted by housing insecurity, is one of our most successful Special Initiatives, thanks in large part to CCH’s invaluable input and leadership that helped inform the project through every step of its development and launch.”

Creating a Welcoming Environment

Offers guidelines and best practices to help health providers create a welcoming environment for everyone – particularly immigrant families facing a volatile political climate — in every healthcare institution in Illinois.

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VNA honored by AIDS Foundation of Chicago

VNA Foundation Board Chair Arlene Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN (c), accepts the 2019 Impact Award from AFC President/CEO, John Peller, and Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Clair Daney.

Earlier this month VNA received the 2019 Impact Award from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. When accepting the award for VNA, Dr. Arlene Miller, Board Chair, stated that,

“We view grantmaking as partnership, a collaboration between two parties who may bring different resources to the table but who share a common goal.  All partnerships work best when they are characterized by trust, openness and progress, and by all these measures AFC shines.”
Thank you AIDS Foundation of Chicago for this recognition, and for your leadership and service to people in need.