Health & Well-Being
Many individuals in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties are unable to live a healthy life due to conditions in their communities, lack of integration across sectors, and differences in the availability of quality supports and services.
Everyone in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, particularly the most vulnerable, has the opportunity to live a healthy life.
Three areas of primary focus
- Chronic Conditions
- Mental and Behavioral Health
- Maternal and Child Health
Healthy people are not merely free of disease or sickness, but also thrive physically, socially and emotionally. The Richard King Mellon Foundation will support efforts that strive to improve outcomes for individuals and communities in each of the three priority areas described below: Chronic Conditions, Mental & Behavioral Health, and Maternal & Child Health. We aim to consider projects that deploy one or more of five approaches in service of improving outcomes in these priority areas. These approaches include improving access, strengthening skills & capacities of providers, expanding prevention efforts, supporting education & empowerment, and supporting systems change.
Priority: Chronic Conditions – Chronic conditions are physical conditions that last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention and/or limit activities of daily living. Chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are the leading causes of death in the United States and a leading driver of health-care costs.
Priority: Mental and Behavioral Health – Mental and behavioral health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being, as well as actions that impact health, such as substance use, drinking, and smoking. Mental and behavioral health helps determine how individuals handle stress, relate to others, and make choices, and lays the foundation for our ability to thrive.
Priority: Maternal and Child Health – Maternal and child health issues result from the accumulation of risk factors before, during, and after pregnancy. The health and well-being of mothers, infants, and children determine the health of the next generation, and can help predict future public health challenges for families, communities, and the health care system.
- Healthy Eating
- Safe and Stable Homes
- Clean Environments
- Public Place and Open Spaces
Healthy communities have conditions that allow for individuals to achieve health and well-being, and have supports in place to address the root causes of inequities. People living in healthy communities are more likely to have better health outcomes and live a healthier, happier life. The Richard King Mellon Foundation will support efforts that strive to improve outcomes for individuals and communities in each of the four priority areas described below: Healthy Eating, Public Places & Open Spaces, Safe & Stable Homes, and Clean Environments. We aim to consider projects that deploy one or more of five approaches in service of improving outcomes in these priority areas. These approaches include improving access, strengthening skills & capacities of those who provide and manage services, preventing the deterioration of outcomes, supporting education & empowerment, and supporting systems change.
Priority: Healthy Eating – Healthy communities enable all individuals to access healthy food, especially those in geographic or economic circumstances that make access to healthy food options challenging.
Priority: Public Places and Open Spaces – Public places and open spaces, such as parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, and open spaces for community gatherings, allow for individuals to engage in important health promotion activities such as physical activity.
Priority: Safe and Stable Homes – Homes that are affordable and free of violence provide stability, prevent homelessness, and reduce stress, which positively impact mental and physical health.
Priority: Clean Environments – Homes and neighborhoods that are free of air pollution, environmental toxins, and allergens prevent developmental issues and health conditions.
- Basic Research
- Applied Research and Evaluation
- Research Translation and Dissemination
- Identification and Response to Emerging Issues
Technology, knowledge and science are fundamental in modern society and investment in the advancement of science helps identify new ways of understanding and impacting health and well-being at both the individual and community level.
Priority: Basic Research – Basic research fills in the knowledge we do not yet have around the causes of poor health and the relationship between the environment and health and well-being.
Priority: Applied Research and Evaluation – Applied research and evaluation seek to answer questions in the real world by proposing, testing, assessing, and then improving cutting edge or novel treatments, practices, or other solutions in our community.
Priority: Research Translation and Dissemination – Dissemination and adoption of data-informed practices, programs, and policies ensure that the solutions to health problems in our community are not only grounded in research, but also position us to have the greatest degree of impact on the ability of individuals to lead a healthy life.
Priority: Identification and Response to Emerging Issues – Unforeseen global events, new technologies, scientific discoveries and changes in our economy continually shape our lives and communities. Challenges such as these can profoundly impact numerous aspects of health and well-being. Efforts to identify and respond to emerging issues facilitates collaboration and rapid response.
Request for Proposals
The Foundation periodically issues Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to solicit proposals on specific subject areas of its Strategic Plan, areas that the Foundation believes are worthy of greater focus.
Our historic Health & Well-being RFPs can be viewed here:
While these RFPs no longer are open, applications for funding on the subject matter highlighted in those historic RFPs can be submitted at any time through our General Application.
Apply for a Grant
Requests for Proposals:
The Foundation periodically issues Requests for Proposals in specific areas of its Strategic Plan. Learn more
The Foundation approved 39 Health & Well-Being grants in 2021, totaling more than $13.7 million.
FAQ: Health & Well-being
It is unlikely that you can meet with a program officer before submitting. In general, program officers are not available for a discussion until after a proposal has been submitted. You can also email [email protected] with questions.
The first step is to check your organization’s tax status and verify that you are eligible to receive philanthropic funding. After that, you can submit an application through our online portal. We will only consider applications submitted through this portal.
You will immediately receive an email confirming that your application was successfully submitted. There are not specific timelines associated with the review of a funding application.
The Foundation normally has Board meetings in the Spring, Summer and Winter.
Questions about a declined application may be submitted via email to [email protected]. The Foundation aspires to reply to all inquiries but, given the volume of applications the Foundation receives, we cannot commit to answering every such inquiry.
The Foundation is generally not providing multi-year grants at this time. The majority of our grants are twelve to eighteen months.
Yes, the Foundation provides general operating support for organizations that are not postsecondary institutions or research institutions.
In the application, you will encounter a question about the type of support that you are seeking. You can select from the following options: Capital Support; General Operating Support; Land Acquisition; Project Support.
Yes, you can include indirect expenses in your proposed budget if your organization is not a postsecondary or research institution.
We define indirect expenses as those expenses categorized as “Management and General;” “Administrative and Management;” or “Fundraising” according to the IRS and FASB functional expense allocation guidelines.
For organizations that are eligible to receive support for indirect expenses, we do not have a recommended ratio.
The Foundation will not fund ideas that include regranting to individuals. The Foundation may fund applications that include regranting from a lead agency to other agencies who are identified in the submission as participants in a collaboration. In this case, the regranted funds are solely to support the collaborative activities described in the submission. We will consider ideas in which organizations provide technical assistance in areas where they have expertise or are working with pre-identified partners, who will then assist with the implementation of the proposed project.
Yes, we consider applications from organizations that are not based in Allegheny or Westmoreland counties. In your application, you should be clear about why and in what ways the project will serve economic development in these counties.
Yes. You may submit an application if your company is based anywhere in the United States. Unfortunately, we are not able to entertain applications from companies not incorporated in the United States. For ideas focused on Economic Mobility, Economic Development, or Health & Well-Being, if your company is located outside the Pittsburgh region, please be sure to address within the application how your idea will positively impact Allegheny and/or Westmoreland counties. If your proposal is related to our Conservation program area, the positive impact you seek to generate can be anywhere in the United States.