Our 2023 Annual Community Report is now available, and it highlights the foundation’s transformative work in the overall health and wellness of Cambria & Somerset Counties.

Achieving this mission is no small feat, but with your help, we’ve been able to maximize our impact and continue making a significant difference in our community. In the past year, the 1889 Foundation invested $4 million in Cambria and Somerset Counties and leveraged an additional $3.7 million in funding from other sources. This funding supported a wide range of programs and initiatives, including:

Medical Education & Training

We’ve established the Margaret B. (Mayes) Flora Nursing Scholarship Fund with a generous bequest of $200,000. This scholarship fund provides financial support to seniors at the Conemaugh School of Nursing who are also graduates of the Greater Johnstown High School. We’re committed to ensuring that our region has the healthcare professionals it needs, supports continuing education, and educates the community about health-related topics—which is why we have also provided $173,000 in scholarships to train nurses, paramedics, and nurse practitioners, along with radiological, surgical, and medical lab technicians.

Mental & Behavioral Health

The Cambria County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) assists children and families when child abuse is suspected or when children have witnessed violence. The CAC minimizes the trauma experienced by children through its caring approach, and we’re proud to provide funding to both the CAC and Victim Services Inc., which provides crucial counseling and family support.

We also support Veterans Community Initiatives (VCI), which delivers a wide range of free programs and services to enhance the lives and well-being of area veterans and their families, and collaborated with the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance on the Creative Health Impact Grant Awards to fund arts programs ranging from mindfulness training for children to art workshops for people with dementia.

Social Determinants of Health

We recognize that up to 80% of an individual’s overall health is determined by where they live. That’s why we found it so important to support programs like ACRP’s Beds for Kids project, which provides children in need with their own beds and the opportunity for some to learn valuable woodworking skills while making those beds. Additionally, $200,000 has been granted to the Women’s Help Center in offering emergency shelter and transitional housing for those experiencing homelessness, especially women and children. This year, the Women’s Help Center provided 284 people with 6,016 nights of shelter.

With so many Americans dying of cardiac arrest every year, we funded two initiatives designed to improve survival rates: PulsePoint and AEDs for sports fields. PulsePoint is a free app that provides information on the location of cardiac events and the nearest AED. This app is integrated with Cambria County’s emergency alert system and is made available to emergency dispatchers, emergency responders, and anyone trained in CPR. Additionally, we partnered with the Portage Area Ambulance Association to put AEDs in 27 youth athletic fields across Cambria County.

Childhood Development

Children are the future of our community, and we’ve been committed to improving their social, academic, and medical well-being. From funding tutoring programs to playground improvements and nutritious food distribution through the Cambria County Backpack Project, we’re dedicated to helping children thrive. More than 89,000 meals were distributed this year!

Our $100,000 grant to the Flood City Youth Fitness Academy (FCYFA) has allowed for renovations to the kitchen, rec room, and computer lab—enabling the FCYFA to expand the types of programming offered and increase the number of children they serve. Today, the FCYFA serves more than 200 youth daily, transporting them from school to their facility, providing hot meals and snacks, as well as recreational and academic activities.

Physical Health & Wellness

We’ve been supporting initiatives that provide safe opportunities for exercise, disease screenings, prevention programs, and access to healthcare, ensuring that the physical well-being of our community remains a top priority. The Center for Population Health (CPH) and Community Care HUB (HUB) are two initiatives of the 1889 Foundation that are working to improve health outcomes in the community.

The CPH is a collaborative resource center focused on population health and disease prevention, while the HUB is a network of care coordination agencies that hire and train community health workers (CHWs) to connect at-risk individuals to services that can address their social determinants of health. In 2022, the HUB served 378 participants and made 3,160 contacts to participants. It opened 2,188 pathways to services and had 931 visits from CHWs. Additionally, 60 babies were born at a healthy weight to mothers who participated in the HUB program.

The Community Health Needs Assessment, a collaborative project involving the 1889 Foundation, the Center for Population Health, Conemaugh Health System, and the United Way of the Laurel Highlands, helps us determine our community’s most pressing health needs and how to address them effectively. View the full CHNA report.

As our impact continues to grow and strengthen our community, we’re grateful for your unwavering support. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks for making all of this possible. Your dedication and commitment to the well-being of Cambria and Somerset Counties is invaluable!