Community Innovation

Building Bridges to Better Care Through Innovation

Philadelphia is the birthplace of some of our country’s most groundbreaking ideas and home to innovators who are shaping the future of health care here and beyond.

Our Community Innovation grants help fuel this creative spirit by encouraging nonprofits to find innovative solutions to challenges that affect the health of our communities. Funding from this grant program supports pilot projects that approach a community need in a new way.

Empowering veterans to take charge of their mental well-being

Technology is an important tool for removing barriers to vital health care services. The need for access to mental and behavioral health services is greater than ever, particularly for members of our military. Despite higher-than-average rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and suicide, stigma often prevents veterans from seeking mental health care.

Community Innovation grant recipient Hoplite Resilience Center works with veterans to promote resilience in the face of adversity. Hoplite’s new VetTriage mobile app responds to the needs of a younger, more diverse generation of veterans making the transition from active duty to civilian life.

This educational resource support app — free to veterans locally and nationwide — empowers them to increase self-awareness and take charge of their mental well-being, anytime and anywhere. With the app, they can proactively track their moods and daily stressors, complete personalized well-being activities, and interact with other veterans in a safe, supported digital space.

An innovative approach to improve heart health

Millions of Americans live in food deserts, relying on small convenience or corner stores that offer limited access to fresh, nutritious food like fruits and vegetables.

Recognizing the important role these stores play in the daily life of neighborhoods, the Food Trust launched its Heart Smarts program in 2010. The program brings coordinated behavioral health screenings into the corner store environment, empowering residents to improve their health. Health screenings can help reduce the risk many Philadelphia residents face for developing health conditions related to poor diet, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

With the Foundation’s support, the Food Trust is expanding its USDA-approved program to new stores in the neighborhoods of Northeast and Southwest Philadelphia.

In addition to in-store nutrition education and coupons to purchase healthy products, Heart Smart offers coordinated health screenings, counseling, and referrals to resources for health and social services, such as smoking cessation and exercise programs.

By embracing innovation, it’s possible to build bridges to better care in our communities to help people live full, productive, and healthy lives.


awarded for Community Innovation grants in 2019


nonprofit pilot projects supported

The Food Trust Heart Smarts Program brings coordinated behavioral health screenings into the corner store environment, empowering residents to improve their health.