Supporting Healthy, Equitable Communities: Health-Focused Foundations and Impact Investing

Alexandra LaForge May 14, 2021

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted the pervasive health disparities in the US and shown us that creating fair and just opportunities extend beyond the sphere of healthcare itself. From affordable housing to early learning through quality childcare to equitable access to healthy food, foundations are increasingly using impact investing as a tool to build more equitable communities that support the health of individuals and families within them.

Health conversion and other health-focused foundations are leading the way in this work, building portfolios that bridge their philanthropic commitment to community health with the non-profits, for-profits, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that provide critical health, housing, education, and financial services to historically underserved populations. This session will explore the history and ethos driving health foundations, and foundation leaders will share the lessons they’ve learned from pilot loan programs, leveraging their balance sheets through guarantees, and new ways of investing for better health.



Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Impact Investing


Racial equity, health, community development, affordable housing, healthy food, early childhood development

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The goal of this session is to draw attention to an often overlooked but increasingly active impact investor: the health-conversion foundation. We hope to use the approaches of and diverse set of investment examples from TCHF and EHF -- loans, guarantees, affordable housing construction and development projects, childcare facility development and programming, secondary market funds for CDFIs, etc. -- to show the breadth of ways investors can help create healthy, equitable communities. Our desired outcome is that attendees understand that health equity is critical to advancing racial equity in our country and have ideas about how to invest in the health of their own communities.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Asset Managers

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Entrepreneurs


  • NameBen Bynum
  • TitlePortfolio Director, Program Related Investments
  • OrganizationThe Colorado Health Foundation
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameElena Marks
  • TitlePresident & CEO
  • OrganizationEpiscopal Health Foundation
  • StatusInvited
  • NameAlexandra LaForge
  • TitleDirector, Impact Investing
  • OrganizationArabella Advisors
  • StatusConfirmed
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