HealthConnect One receives $3.5 million gift from MacKenzie Scott

CHICAGO, IL - HealthConnect One is the recipient of a transformational gift of $3.5 million from MacKenzie Scott, an esteemed philanthropist and activist. This generous philanthropic contribution - the largest ever in HealthConnect One's 37-year history - will ensure the sustainability of HealthConnect One's mission to forge ahead toward equity and joy for families, collaborate on programs with funders, and advocate for change alongside community partners.

President and CEO, Twylla Dillion shared, "Mackenzie Scott's extraordinary contribution has bestowed HealthConnect One with the means to sustain its vital support for Black, Brown, and Indigenous community-based birth workers, as well as the communities they serve, fortifying their endeavors with newfound stability. This gift stands as a vivid embodiment of how benefactors can actively nurture the transformative efforts of nonprofits through the provision of unrestricted funding. As aptly articulated by Andrea Levere, a distinguished Yale finance scholar and former nonprofit leader, "Non-profits are enterprises, just like for-profits, they need the same kind of long-term capital flexible capital; they need it even more, because they are solving problems that the market cannot solve. Not just for a year and not just for restricted purposes." We are grateful to Ms. Scott for recognizing that the work of HealthConnect One and other nonprofits are worth investment."

HealthConnect One was established to promote the health and well-being of low-income women, their children, and families. As the nation awakens to the maternal and child health crisis, investment in community-driven, peer-to-peer support is crucial to create ecosystems of support and improved health. HealthConnect One's community-based model responds to the disinvestment within Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities by providing culturally reflective support and access to information and referrals at little to no cost and teaching healthcare professionals how to use the "peer-counselor" model in working with low-income communities. "We are grateful for the investment in Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities and funds supporting a peer support model in underserved communities to address birth and first food equity."

MacKenzie Scott's generous gift provides HealthConnect One with the financial stability required to spread this model across the country, build sustainability for community-based programs, and enhance bi-directional learning for birth workers while bridging the gap between stakeholders in their ecosystem. "This generous gift enables HealthConnect One to leverage on recent success with reduced c-section rates, increased breastfeeding at 6 weeks, and reduced pre-term birth, providing vital support to more communities and families across the country as we continue to work toward equity and joy for all." shared Zainab Sulaiman, VP of Impact and Advocacy. "Our equity-focused approach and mission to achieve racial justice through birth equity are in service of ensuring that every family thrives in a healthy community for generations to come, a vision more attainable due to this this un-restricted investment."

HealthConnect One expresses its deep gratitude to MacKenzie Scott for her visionary philanthropy and her recognition of the invaluable work they undertake. This transformative gift is a testament to her belief in their mission and her dedication to improving the well-being of all.

About HealthConnect One

HealthConnect One is a nationally recognized nonprofit training and technical assistance agency that uses innovative, community-centered approaches to support direct-service providers in promoting the health of mothers, infants, and birthing families. Operating with the awareness that birth equity is fundamental to racial equity, HealthConnect One collaborates with community-based organizations and advocates, to train community health workers, connect community-based initiatives, and mobilize diverse stakeholders to build policies and programs that improve birth equity. Learn more about our work here:

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