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Emerging Trends in Healthcare Grants

Today, many suffer from lack of access to mental and physical healthcare as well as inadequate health and wellness education. The result is that about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. struggle with mental illness (Newsweek, 2014) and over 45 percent of the U.S. population has at least one chronic health condition (Center for Disease Control, 2013). To assist in improving health care in the U.S., especially among underserved and low-income populations, federal government agencies and private foundations offer a substantial number of healthcare grant opportunities.


Here are some resources that I have found helpful to make it easier to do my job as a healthcare system grant writer and to stay up to date on the latest healthcare grant opportunities. Consider these tips specifically on identifying sources of healthcare grant funding; recognizing trends and emerging interests of healthcare funders, and positioning yourself to be “in the know” for upcoming healthcare funding opportunities.
Tips for Healthcare Funding Sources
  • Philanthropic Foundations and Corporate Foundations:
    • The funding organizations of Grantmakers In Health (GIH) have assets totaling $128.6B (billion)
    • More than $5B in health funding was provided in the most recent year for which data was available by foundations through more than 20,000 grants (Foundation Center).
  • In the 2018 federal government budget, healthcare funding highlights include:
    • $78B for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the largest federal grantmaker, a $10B increase. Major agencies providing grants include:
      • $37B for National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $3B increase.
      • $8.3B for Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), a $1.1B increase.
      • $5B for Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a $1.3B increase.
      • $7B for Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), a $550M increase.
Tips for Interests and Trends of Healthcare Funders
  • Grantmakers In Health (GIH) annual conference discussed that major private foundations are interested to fund the following topics:
    • Access to care-immigrants, rural areas; Aging-caregivers; Behavioral health-mental health/physical health integration, substance use; Equity- health disparities, racial equity, violence; Healthy eating and active living- accessing healthy food; Health reform-Medicaid work requirements; Integrative health-mind-body connection; Maternal/Child Health-maternal morbidity/mortality; Oral Health-dental benefits; Policy-US Census; Population health-gun violence prevention; Quality of care-increasing value, decreasing costs
  • Although government funding can be sought for a variety of different healthcare topics, major recent increases have been provided to tackle the opioid epidemic:
    • NIH-supporting opioids research; CDC-expanding the use of prescription drug at monitoring programs; SAMHSA-improving prescription drug monitoring programs, make treatment programs more accessible, train healthcare professionals in best practices of addiction treatment; research the most effective approaches to prevent dependency; HRSA-education and training programs for mental and behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals
To stay up-to-date on the developments in healthcare grants, grant-seekers would benefit by subscribing to email updates from these agency websites, industry associations, and professional networks.
Funding Agencies
Industry Associations & Professional Networks
What healthcare related grant projects would you like to get funded?
When not working on grant projects to prevent illnesses that impact people's health for the Cook County Health and Hospital System, Noah Franklin likes spending time outdoors with his family and watching his kids play soccer.