By Anna Kennedy, Executive Director

Bob Haigh

Our dear friend Bob Haigh passed away at his home on May 12, after being hospitalized for 10 days. His sister was by his side.

Bob was a dear friend and mentor. He served as LOHF’s first President/CEO. Bob was an incredible force for philanthropic good in Pennsylvania. He had such a wonderful sense of humor and optimism, even in the most challenging situations. I always enjoyed working with him. I spent the day with Bob just a few months ago at a Psychiatric Leadership Council meeting in Harrisburg. I’ll always remember his unwavering dedication to finding opportunities, his steadfast optimism, and his laughter.

A Life of Public Service

We will remember Bob for his extensive knowledge of public health and human service programs in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining LOHF, Bob was Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare, Feather Houstoun. His work there focused on foundation partnerships. He improved relations with county government.

His Philanthropic Legacy

Bob spent decades successfully working with major private and community foundations in Pennsylvania, and across the country. He secured more than $70 million in foundation grants for health and human service programs. Bob also was a consultant to Council on Foundations and Grantmakers in Health. Bob brought this exceptional organizational and consensus building skills to LOHF, which remains strong in our organizational culture today.

Bob brought his expertise and influence to many Boards of Directors, including: Harrisburg AIDS Alliance, United Way of Lancaster County, United Way of Pennsylvania, Parents Anonymous, and Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. He was Vice Chair on the State Advisory Council for CHIP and Adult/Basic Insurance for the PA Department of Insurance.  Bob was appointed to Governor Ed Rendell’s Commission on Children and Families. He also served as a member of the Public Policy Committee of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the National Advisory Board on Joint Project with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Grantmakers in Health.

Obituary and Celebration of Life

Bob’s obituary is available at http://obits.pennlive.com/obituaries/pennlive/obituary.aspx?n=robert-p-haigh&pid=189052378 and https://www.buhrig.com/notices/Robert-Haigh. A celebration of his life will be planned for a future date.

The staff, board, and volunteers at LOHF offer our sincere condolences to Bob’s sister, nephew, and the many friends and colleagues who knew him. We lost a very bright light.

 

At LOHF, we’re connecting our grant partners to understand where they see the need for trauma-informed care in our community, and how we can collectively fill the gap for children. Our first step was to host a grant partner cohort earlier this month.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Trauma-Informed Care

Mental healthcare providers are beginning to embrace the research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). They are changing their assessment approach from “What is wrong with you?” to asking, “What happened to you?” At the same time, there is still a need to equip direct service providers and first responders to understanding trauma.

Creating a Trauma-Informed Community

The cohort resulted in a free-flowing exchange of ideas, resources, and challenges.  Organizations who participated in the discussion are finding resourceful ways to bring trauma-informed care to their work. This includes: delivering comprehensive therapy to children and their families; holding trauma trainings for the public; school initiatives, and faith-based initiatives. It was agreed that there is still much work to do for Lancaster County to become a trauma-informed community.

What’s working in Lancaster County?

  • Some of our grant partner organizations incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) into trauma care for children and teens.
  • There is a need for more local providers to become certified to treat with CBT.
  • Samaritan SafeChurch equips local religious congregations to prevent child abuse.
  • TeenHope is screening adolescents for depression and connecting them to treatment.
  • Community Action Partnership and the RMO are hosting Trauma 101 trainings for the community and service providers.
  • Seeking Safety
  • Another grant partner offers Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for ages 12 and older.
  • Through a joint collaboration, Lancaster County community members successfully launched Lancaster County (PA) ACEs & Resilience Connection. ACEs Connection is a social network to raise awareness of ACEs and the need for trauma-informed care.  It connects education, healthcare, and other community sectors to information and resources about trauma-informed care.

Next Steps

The cohort identified lack of training and education as the biggest gap to becoming a trauma-informed community. With appropriate basic training, direct service providers, first responders, corrections officers, educators, and others could have the greatest impact toward healing our children and families from ACEs trauma. The cohort has begun to explore solutions. Suggestions included eliminating barriers to mental healthcare, integrating primary healthcare and behavioral healthcare, and community revitalization.

To learn more, or join the movement to make Lancaster County a trauma-informed community, visit the Lancaster County (PA) ACEs & Resilience Connection group online community.

 

By Anna Kennedy, LOHF Executive Director

Recently, I attended Equity Summit 2018 with PolicyLink and other national health foundations to learn how to view children’s behavioral health through an equity lens. Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink defines equity as “promoting just and fair inclusion throughout society and creating the conditions in which everyone can participate, prosper, and reach his or her full potential” (SSIR, Winter 2017).

Equity and Children’s Behavioral Health

Equity relates to LOHF’s work to improve children’s behavioral health. Equity means we make it easy for all families to get the mental health care they need and deserve, whether it’s at school, a doctor’s office, or a behavioral health provider. Equity also means we stand in solidarity with our community partners to promote and encourage their work offering solutions. This helps so that we can all live healthier, more productive lives with our families.

For us at LOHF, this means that we engage in collective impact work, and we support our grant partners and community leaders to offer ideas and solutions. When we engage in this kind of solidarity, we unite our community for the cause of children’s behavioral health. Equity is participation and cooperation for justice and fairness in our communities.

Inspired for Change

I met so many inspiring folks whose stories of overcoming adversity left me feeling inspired and motivated for change. In the opening plenary, Angela Glover Blackwell challenged us to use our radical imaginations as we seek to offer equitable solutions. This audacity drives us to envision a better world. It sparks our creativity and hope, and it fuels our resolve. Foundations from across the country sent delegations of grant partners, community organizations, state and federal agencies, and community organizers to discuss how to create a more just society, and a more equitable economy.

Translating and Testing Ourselves

How do foundations embrace equity in the design and implementation of policies, programs, and investment strategies? I loved what Leticia Peguero from the Andrus Family Fund at Surdna Foundation shared. She said that her test of whether she’s communicating effectively is whether she can easily translate her work into Spanish so that her grandmother in Puerto Rico can understand. This should be the test for each of us. Are we making sense in our communities, or are we speaking in jargon and meaningless acronyms?

Foundations discussed scaling equitable strategies in housing, economic opportunity, criminal justice, and health equity work. Foundation leaders shared how they are prioritizing equity in their work. Some discussed spending down endowments, others shared how they’ve moved to program-related and mission-based investing.

My Personal Challenge

I challenged myself too. After returning to Lancaster, my 74-year-old father asked me what I learned in Chicago. He asked, “Why were you there?” I told him about health equity and racial justice, and then I explained that we have a coalition in Lancaster designed to combat poverty. One thing it’s doing is training community leaders to fix up old homes. It teaches construction skills and then sells these renovated homes to families so that children can grow up in safety. When families own their homes, neighborhoods are safer, stronger and more resilient. This made sense to my father. He said, “So it’s all about health and wealth?” Yes, that’s pretty much it.

Want to Learn More?

If you’d like to dive deeper, check out the videos of the PolicyLink opening and closing plenaries. I found these conversations to be some of the most inspiring and uplifting.

 

Info session scheduled for nonprofit community benefit organizations to learn more.

When Joanna* was jailed at Lancaster County Prison, she was already expecting to give birth to a baby boy in 6 weeks. Compass Mark’s Family Services Advocate met with her soon after her incarceration. Joanna hoped her supportive boyfriend could be equipped to parent her baby while she served her sentence. The Advocate and support services group worked with Joanna to ensure that the man was prepared to give her infant son the care and safety every child deserves. The process revealed worrisome charges from his past, leaving Joanna stunned and desperate for her baby’s welfare.

Turning to this support team in tears, Joanna pleaded with the Advocate and support services team to help her baby. They connected her to Bethany Christian Services Safe Families Program. Safe Families provided Joanna’s infant son with an alternative to foster care, placing him temporarily in a vetted, loving home. The Advocate even brought Joanna’s baby to visit her in prison, establishing the parent-child bond necessary for him to thrive.

LOHF currently supports Community Action Partnership’s RMO program with Compass Mark through a grant for its program, “Minimizing Trauma for Children of Justice-Involved Parents through a Trauma-Informed Justice System.” This program trains first responders in understanding and reducing childhood trauma while supporting families in crisis. LOHF this month also awarded a grant to Bethany Children’s Services to support Safe Families for Children.

LOHF provides a safety net of support for families by strengthening successful programs that support children’s behavioral health in Lancaster County. We do this in part through our Children’s Behavioral Health Grants.

Grants Information Session

LOHF will host an interactive info session about our grants and application process on Wednesday, June 6, at 2:00 p.m., at Emerald Foundation, 2120 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601. This will include an opportunity to hear from current and past grantees, Executive Director Anna Kennedy, and question and answer time. RSVP is requested but not required, by e-mailing Jeannette Scott at jscott@lohfoundation.org, or calling (717) 397-8722. Visit lohf.org/grants to learn more.

Tax-exempt community benefit organizations serving Lancaster County may apply. Funded activities should focus one or more of the following: care coordination, parent/caregiver education, and access (increase capacity of providers to treat children). Thanks to LOHF’s endowment and generous donors, $100,000 is available annually. Grants are awarded in two application cycles, spring and fall.

“At LOHF, our mission is to strengthen behavioral health services for children and families so that all children and teens have access to healthcare—for mental health, substance use disorder, or behavioral health needs—as soon as possible,” Executive Director Anna Kennedy said. “The grants we provide help children and teens, their families, providers, and teachers. We invite all community benefit organizations  to join us in learning about how we can improve children’s behavioral health for all families in Lancaster.”

*Name changed to protect privacy.

LOHF approved funding to three Lancaster County community benefit organizations for children’s behavioral health programs.

  • Philhaven: $5,000 for “Attachment-Based Family Therapy” to repair and rebuild relationships in families. The program has a unique emphasis on adolescent development, and this model is designed to target family and individual processes associated with adolescent depression and suicide.
  • Bethany Children’s Services: $20,675 for “Safe Families for Children” to impact 25 children by performing complete needs assessments and facilitating connections with parents and host families to strengthen the family. This program keeps families from engaging with child protective services when temporary care is needed. Host families are mandated reporters, so if child protection is necessary, they will be notified.
  • Lancaster Family YMCA: $16,218 for “Pre-K and Power Scholars Parent/Family Education” to support parents through strengths-based workshops, such as: Attentive Parenting, Family Nurturing, and Guide to Good Choices.  The program will also connect parents to support groups for families with similar experiences.

More funding to come

An additional $58,000 in grant funds will be available for the fall application cycle of the 2018 Children’s Behavioral Health Community Grant program. Our grants focus on improving children’s behavioral health in Lancaster County. Online applications will be open May 16, and due Sept. 1, 2018. To learn more, please visit www.lohf.org/grants. We encourage those interested to contact the staff at LOHF to discuss any questions before applying.

About LOHF Grants

LOHF targets support towards evidence-based programs that advance mental wellness of children and youth in Lancaster County. Our grants invest in work that impacts:

  • Care Coordination: Improve the delivery of children’s behavioral healthcare services.
  • Parent/Caregiver Education: Enhance the capacity of parents, families, and caregivers through trainings and support.
  • Access to Providers: Improve capacity of providers to support and treat children.

We support programs that are evidence-based, and proven to work with best practice. We seek to take these programs to scale. We encourage applicants to replicate existing models and to collaborate with partners to improving services for children to achieve mental well-being.

Our Community Grant Program is a specific funding area that represents 26% of our annual program budget ($100,000 total funds available annually) with the goal of providing more funds each year through fundraising efforts. Tax exempt community benefit organizations serving Lancaster County are eligible to apply.

What does a parent’s divorce have to do with heart disease?  If a parent was an alcoholic, is their child at greater risk of depression in adulthood?  Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as these are events or situations that a child experiences as extremely stressful.

Some stressful experiences are so traumatic that they may alter a child’s developing brain and immune system. This increases the risk of lifelong health and a behavioral health diagnosis in adulthood.

The Mind-Body Connection

In the 1990s, primary care provider Dr. Robert Anda at Kaiser Permanente, and epidemiologist Dr. Vincent Felliti at the CDC, published a landmark study of ACEs and disease. According to their study, the more adverse experiences a child has, the greater their likelihood of developing stroke, heart disease, depression, and cancer in adulthood.

Drs. Anda and Felliti asked more than 17,000 adult patients of Kaiser Permanente about their health histories and experienced before age 18.

The questions they asked covered 10 categories of ACEs:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional neglect
  • Physical neglect
  • Witnessing mother being treated violently
  • Losing a parent to separation or divorce
  • Living with someone who abused drugs/alcohol
  • Living with someone who was mentally ill
  • Having a household member in prison

What the study discovered

The surveys were scored, tallying the number of ACEs categories a participant had experienced. Two-thirds of the study participants had at least one adverse childhood experience. Researchers then examined these ACE scores as they relate to a variety of serious health conditions. They learned that:

  • With an ACE score of 4 or more, an adult’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer doubles
  • With an ACE score of 5 or more, there’s an eight-time greater chance of alcoholism
  • With an ACE score of 6 or more, an adult will die on average 20 years earlier

Good News: What’s Predictable is Preventable

ACEs don’t have to become destiny. Resilience research shows that a healthy, nurturing bond with a parent or caregiver can reverse and repair the damage of ACEs, effectively rewiring a child’s brain.

The ACEs assessment is a tool for understanding population health. When we understand risks, we are empowered to make changes for ourselves and, most importantly, for our children.

ACEs tend to get passed down from generation to generation. But the cycle is preventable. ACEs are common across all income levels, races, and demographics. To interrupt the cycle of adversity, schools and healthcare providers are beginning to universally screen students and patients for ACEs.

We can intervene to help children grow up to live a healthy, productive life. To learn more, visit ACEs Connection, Lancaster Community.

by Anna Kennedy, LOHF Executive Director

 

I joined 10 colleagues from Lancaster organizations last week to learn how to apply racial justice in our work. For me, this was helpful to explore how racism can discourage children and families’ mental health, and how racial justice can improve it.

 

YWCA Lancaster and the Lancaster Theological Seminary hosted the racial justice training. The 3-day workshop was a follow-up to one I attended last summer. We asked ourselves hard questions. We developed specific strategies to help our organizations become multicultural communities. Trainers jona olsson and Sandra Ewell from Cultural Bridges to Justice guided us. They challenged me to consider ways LOHF can become a more nurturing, welcoming, and supportive organization to people of color in Lancaster County.

This year, LOHF is working with Tony Hernandez from Reflective Wisdom to help us understand pathways to inclusion in our personal and professional lives. My hope is that we can approach LOHF’s mission with this lens of inclusion and racial justice. So, how does the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion relate to children’s mental health?

Social Determinants of Health

First, the social determinants of health model illustrates how various health-influencing factors are embedded within broader aspects of society. For example, my individual health is also determined by my access to a healthy work environment, healthy food, good housing, and education.

Allostatic Load

In addition, a connection between discrimination and children’s mental health is the concept of allostatic load. Allostatis describes the adaptive process that our bodies go through to reduce stress, especially after repeated or toxic stress, or an acute level of stress (from events such as the sudden death of a loved one or a destructive hurricane). The allostatic load causes repeated wear and tear on the body, and can be caused by all types of discrimination, including racism. I think of it as a cup under a faucet where the faucet is dripping. The drops of water are the stress, the cup is our body; eventually, the cup will overflow.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Finally, racial justice is connected to children’s mental health through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Ten categories of ACEs can be determined through a 10-question survey. These include physical abuse and neglect, parental incarceration, parental mental illness and/or substance use disorder, and divorce. Childhood experiences are foundational and have a tremendous impact on lifelong physical and behavioral health. Some ACEs have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, and even early death. Although the ACEs questions don’t specifically ask about race or ethnicity, studies since have shown how racial disparities and childhood adversity are linked.

The social determinants of health, allostatic load, and ACEs provide insight to how racial justice and becoming a multicultural organization helps families achieve mental well-being. We can remove barriers to healthcare access and reduce stress by creating a more welcoming and supportive community.

Join Us in Building Racial Justice in Lancaster County

To experience the Racial Justice Institute for yourself or your organization, consider attending the next trainings in Lancaster, held at Lancaster Theological Seminary:

  • June 11-13: Racial Justice Institute – Part 1: Foundational Workshop
  • July 18-20: Racial Justice Institute – Part 2: Applied Skills Workshop
  • December 5-7: Racial Justice Institute – Part 1: Foundational Workshop
  • Early 2019 (TBD): Racial Justice Institute – Part 2: Applied Skills Workshop
  • Summer 2019 (TBD): Train the Trainer Workshop

To learn more, contact Lisa Cameron at the YWCA Lancaster or visit: https://ywcalancaster.org/programs/social-justice/

Now Accepting Nurse Scholarship Applications
Each year nursing scholarships are awarded to deserving students beginning their nursing education as well as students who are advancing their nursing careers. The LOHF nursing scholarship program supports nurses pursuing their LPN, RN, BSN, MSN, and advanced degrees. Our awards are based on financial need, passion for the nursing profession, and a proven ability to work hard. Applications must be completed online by May 15.
For more details and a link to our application, visit our scholarships page.

LOHF is governed by an all-volunteer board and committees. We could not accomplish the mission of improving children’s behavioral health without their diverse perspective, expertise, and passion.

Transitions

We extend a heartfelt thank you to LOHF board members who completed their terms in December. LOHF is stronger thanks to the leadership of our outgoing board chair, Shawn Barron (Director of Marketing & Communications at RETTEW Associates, Inc.) We are equally appreciative of the insightful contributions and long-time dedication to LOHF of Dr. Alice Baumgart (Professor Emeritus, Queens University in Kingston Ontario). We would not be where we are without the professional expertise and personal commitment of Chris Ginder (Investment manager at Sageworth), and Dr. Scott Silverstein (Pulmonologist at WellSpan Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine).

This month, several board members have transitioned to new roles as officers.  These are: John Walker, Chair; Adam Biuckians, MD, Vice Chair; Charles Rieck, JD, Secretary. We look forward to their leadership as we move forward in our vision for every Lancaster County child to have access to quality behavioral healthcare.

Welcome new board members!

In addition, the following new board members bring their talents to the table this month: Carli Youndt (school nurse at Warwick and adjunct professor at Eastern Mennonite University); Bob Miller (Director of Global Financial Services at Armstrong Flooring Inc.); Dr. Anita Darpino (partner physician at Schaefferstown Family Practice); Connell O’Brien (Policy Director for Integrated Health Care at RCPA).

Learn more about our current board and staff at www.lohf.org/about. We are so thankful for the dedication and passion of all of our board and committee volunteers!

“ABSOLUTELY RIVETING. PROFOUNDLY IMPORTANT.”
– New York Times journalist and author David Bornstein

The Junior League of LancasterLancaster Education Foundation, and LOHF invite you to a Film Screening of “Paper Tigers”.

Tuesday, January 30
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

At Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine Suburban Pavillion
2100 Harrisburg Pike
Third Floor Conference Room

All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

Space is limited. Please reply to akennedy@lohfoundation.org to RSVP or ask questions.

We hope you can join us for this impactful film!

VIEW FILM TRAILER

 

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