The Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation (LOHF) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Nurse Education Scholarship. The purpose of the Nurse Education Scholarship Program is to strengthen the capacity of healthcare professionals in Lancaster County by supporting nursing students.

This year, LOHF is investing $63,000 in the education local nursing students; this includes $22,250 to 14 new scholarship recipients, and the remaining balance to previous recipients who are continuing in a second or third year of their degree program. Since 2003, LOHF has awarded more than $835,000 in scholarships towards the education of nurses who can be found caring for our family members, friends and neighbors.

LOHF nurse education scholarships support nurses in Licensed Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as advanced degrees and certificate programs such as Certified School Nurse or Family Nurse Practitioner.

“We are thrilled to be able to assist healthcare providers with critical access to financial and educational resources including grants, scholarships, information and trainings. Our Nurse Education Scholarship supports students at leading medical facilities, universities and colleges in Lancaster County and the surrounding region,” explains Anna Brendle Kennedy, LOHF Executive Director.

Recipients of the 2018 Nurse Education Scholarships are:

RN Scholars:

Joshua Lourdon, of Elizabethtown, attending Harrisburg Area Community College – Lancaster Campus

Kate Rohrer, of Strasburg, attending Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

Kelsey Stark, of Willow Street, attending Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

Tara Stauffer, of Ronks, attending Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

RN to BSN Scholars:

Kami Dugan, of Lancaster, attending Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

Jeannine Kreider, of Quarryville, attending Eastern Mennonite University

Kaitlyn Richartz, of Lancaster, attending Millersville University

BSN Scholars:

Julie Bianco, of Holtwood, attending Penn State University – Harrisburg

Madison Leakway, of Lititz, attending Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

Ashley Mellinger, of Strasburg, attending Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

MSN Scholars:

Natalie Goss, of Lititz, attending Millersville University

Janine Muir, of Kinzers , attending Millersville University

Rhonda Slinghoff, of Lancaster, attending Drexel University

Danielle Sweigart, of Lancaster, attending Millersville University


A 2018 Nurse Education Scholarship Reception is planned for September 5, 2018, 5:30 p.m. at Rock Ford Plantation, Lancaster PA. All are welcome. RSVP at or call (717) 397-8722.

Learn More About Scholarships

To learn more about LOHF Nurse Education Scholarships and how to apply, visit our scholarship program page.

At LOHF (Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation) our mission is to improve children’s behavioral health in Lancaster County and equip healthcare providers toward this end. We cannot remain silent any longer on the current national policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking families at the southern U.S. border.

We are physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, mental health providers, school administrators, parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens. As professionals in fields promoting the healthy mental and emotional development of children, we know that separating children from parents causes serious harm when they are fleeing the trauma of violence, in search of safety. Imprisoning children in detention facilities apart from their parents causes extreme stress and anxiety. It can cause or compound post-traumatic stress disorder for both children and parents.

As professionals, we know that a child’s attachment to a parent in a highly stressful situation can mitigate the damaging effects on the young child’s developing brain. Separating children from their parents during these stressful times prolongs exposure to toxic stress, potentially causing serious, lifelong health complications.

That is why we stand with the many organizations opposed to detaining children and separating them from parents, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. We urge those involved to remember that these children and families are already uniquely vulnerable, and at high risk for lasting trauma that can damage their behavioral and physical health in the long term. They deserve our protection.


John Walker, Board Chair

Anna Brendle Kennedy, Executive Director





By Maddison Toney, Intern


Last month at NAMI’s Ohio conference, actor Wil Wheaton (of Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, and Wonder Years fame), shared his experience with mental illness. His struggle with depression and anxiety began in childhood. This was complicated by parents and other adults not understanding his need for help. Like Wheaton, 1 in 5 U.S. children suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder. Yet only 21 percent of these children receive the necessary care. However, the good news is that there is help available. Knowing the warning signs is the first step. And it starts with parents and other caregivers.

How can I tell?

Warning signs that a child may need behavioral health care may appear as early as 3 years old. If your child or teen displays any of the following behaviors, they may need help from you, and possibly a physician or behavioral healthcare provider:

  • Feeling sad or acting withdrawn for more than 2 weeks
  • Self-injury, such as: hitting, cutting, hair pulling, or even discussing, planning, or attempting suicide.
  • Sudden, overwhelming fear
  • Significant mood swings that effect relationships
  • Severe, uncontrolled behavior with potential of harm to self or others (such as frequent fighting, or expressing desire for harm)
  • Drug or alcohol use

What should I say?

You may feel uncertain about out to talk with your child or teen about these concerns. It’s important to do so in a way that assures them they are cared for and safe. Some ways to do this are to: choose a time and location where your child feels safe; speak in a calm, appropriate tone; be straightforward about your concerns; listen openly.  Some helpful questions to ask are:

  • “Sometimes you need to talk to an adult about your feelings. I’m here to listen. How can I help you feel better?”
  • “Can you tell me more about what is happening? How are you feeling?”
  • “Would you ever tell me if you have thoughts about harming yourself or others?”

What if I am not the child’s parent or guardian?

You may be concerned about a child or teen in your classroom, on your sports team, theatre group, Sunday school, or other activity. If you observe the warning signs of behavioral health concerns, you can help. If you suspect abuse or neglect, report your observations to PA Childline. If you do not suspect abuse or neglect, reach out to the parents or caregiver. Share your observations and ask if they are noticing anything unusual at home. You can offer support by encouraging them to see their primary care or behavioral healthcare provider. There are also other local resources that you can encourage friends and family to join like the Community Support Program, educational programs or support groups to involve themselves in the community. The overall goal is to support the child and family by fostering a safe and positive environment for the children you lead.

Learn more about warning signs, screenings, and support for children’s behavioral health needs.

We recently hosted an info session for organizations interested in applying for LOHF Children’s Behavioral Health Grants. View the full presentation and handout here.  The following are Q&A and discussion highlights from the session.  The next application deadline is September 1, 2018. There will be another round of grants available in spring 2019.

What does LOHF mean by seamless transition of services for young adults?

Seamless transition of services for young adults” means youth between the ages of 16-25, for whom at age 18 or 21, mental health services stops, changes, or becomes increasingly complex. We identified this need in our 2015 Lancaster County needs assessment when we heard from providers and parents that adolescence poses some of the greatest challenges in mental health when young adults are transitioning from a child system to an adult system.

Can an applicant apply for funding in both grant cycles?

Yes, we have several organizations who have applied in both our spring and fall funding cycles. We have funded organizations, for different programs, in both funding cycles. We have also funded the same organization for two different programs in the same funding cycle.

Do you only fund new programs or will you fund existing programs as well?

LOHF will fund new and existing programs as long as the program is well-aligned to the outcomes we’ve identified as needs in Lancaster County children’s behavioral health. We want to support existing program expansion or the introduction of evidence-based programs from other places to Lancaster County.

What does it mean for a program or service to be evidence-based?

An evidence-based program or service is based on a reviewed model with data (such as pre/post-test evidence) that can be cited. Examples of such programs that LOHF has funded are Nurse Family Partnership, Incredible Years, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, and Reach Out and Read. Evidence-base is not a requirement of funding, but it is a review question in our criteria. A helpful resource for evidence-based programs is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Must the program for which an applicant applies be a direct service?

No, in fact, we have seen an increase in requests to fund training, workforce development, and other types of education programs for parents and providers.

Insights our current and past grant partners discussed with potential grant applicants included:

  • The wisdom of being financially supported by multiple sources
  • LOHF’s expectations of good data on models
  • LOHF’s flexibility in how funds may be allocated within the program or service

Learn more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Grants.



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 and 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.

Bob Haigh Memorial Fund at LOHF

Friends of Bob are honoring his legacy by establishing the Bob Haigh Memorial Fund at LOHF. If you wish, to join in making a gift in his honor, you may do so here. (Please make your designation in the “note” block as you make your gift.)


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, or calling (717) 397-8722. Visit 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 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.



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