$20M gifted to Episcopal Health Foundation from national philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

HOUSTON – The Episcopal Health Foundation announced that it has received a $20 million investment from national philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

The large gift will help further the foundation’s work to improve health in Texas and across the nation. The gift will be used to extend EHF’s ongoing grantmaking, research, and community engagement programs, according to the release.

“This generous donation is validation that our work to go beyond the doctor’s office to address the underlying, non-medical factors that impact health is critical in Texas,” said EHF’s founding president and CEO Elena Marks. “We’ve worked to find successful solutions to help ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy. This gift is a vote of confidence in the need for this work.”

From its creation in 2013, Episcopal Health Foundation has changed the conversation on how Texas approaches health, according to the release. While medical care makes up about 20% of what determines a person’s overall health, the remainder is determined by non-medical factors like income, diet, exercise, health behaviors, family support, housing conditions, environmental factors, and more. Yet, well over 90% of the overall health spending in the U.S. goes to medical care. At the same time, our health outcomes fall behind most every other wealthy country in the world.

“We’ve continually looked for tools outside medical care that actually deliver health to show that they can make a big impact,” Marks said. “But until the health system changes what it pays for and shifts dollars upstream, we’ll continue to get the same health outcomes, especially for those most in need.”

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