Foundation distributes more than $15 million

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Daily Local News

With its most recent grant awards to ChesPenn Health Services and the beneficiaries of the 2016 Strawberry Festival, Brandywine Health Foundation leaders announced that the Coatesville-based foundation has distributed more than $15.6 million in grants and scholarships in 15 years.

We share this accomplishment with thousands of individual donors and businesses, public and private funders, as well as our volunteers, our grantees, and community partners and municipal leaders who have supported our efforts these past 15 years,” said Frances Sheehan, president and CEO.  “Together, we have had a significant impact on health and well being of our residents in the greater Coatesville area.

Brandywine Health Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of people who live and work in the greater Coatesville area by fostering community partnerships, by providing capacity building support, and by making grants to promote health equity, healthy youth and a healthy community.

Our grantmaking is supported by the endowment fund we received from the sale of Brandywine Hospital in 2001, but it’s the significant additional financial support we have received over the past 15 years that has allowed us to go above and beyond grantmaking,” Sheehan said.  “Without our generous community, we could not have built the Brandywine Center, distributed over $300,000 in scholarships, and launched the Coatesville Youth Initiative, Youth Mental Health First Aid Program, our Coatesville Youth Philanthropy Program and the Greening Coatesville Parks and Playgrounds Initiative.”  The Coatesville community has accomplished so much together, but there is so much more to do!”

The Brandywine Health Foundation (BHF) has been working toward helping to solve health problems for the Coatesville community since 2001.  BHF funds non-profits, launches new programs where there are service gaps, and builds partnerships and new leaders for the future.  All grants and programming funded by the foundation must fit with one or more of its strategic priorities:  Health Equity, Healthy Youth and Healthy Community.  These most recent grant distributions met all of the above.

The three year, $870,000 grant approved for ChesPenn Health Services, the only federally qualified health center in Chester County, gives the health agency the opportunity to continue to offer high quality, affordable comprehensive family health care (primary, dental, prenatal and integrated behavioral health care), and also to expand its services.

The Brandywine Health Foundation noted that it and ChesPenn Health Services have partnered to improve the health of the most underserved residents of Coatesville since the early 2000s, when the foundation brought ChesPenn to Coatesville in 2005.

The foundation was the leader in inviting ChesPenn to come to Coatesville, helping to generate support from other major funders for start-up costs, paving the way for opening the center’s first temporary location, and leading the initiative to open the multi-use Brandywine Center,” said ChesPenn Health Services Executive Director Mike Lucas.  “The generous funding from the foundation over the years has been essential in helping ChesPenn continue to provide health care for the Coatesville community.  We simply could not have done this without the foundation’s strong support, and for that we are truly grateful.”

Additionally, the foundation presented grants totaling $141,000 to four local organizations that provide volunteer support critical to the success of the Strawberry Festival each year:  the Coatesville Area Public Library, Coatesville Rotary Club, Coatesville Youth Initiative and the Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company.  With volunteer and financial support from across Chester County and beyond, the 2016 Brandywine Health Foundation Strawberry Festival, presented by First Niagara and PECO, was a huge success experiencing a 40% increase in net revenue this year.


We’re so thrilled that we were able to significantly increase the net revenue and as a result the grant awards,” said Karol Collins, Strawberry Festival chairwoman.  “We had an increase in sponsorship this year and were able to keep the expenses low, which really helped our bottom line.  We were so pleased to present these four organizations with their grants as their work is vital to our community.”