Instituted in 1960, ACMS started the Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation with donations from the polio immunization program. The immunization effort was undertaken by ACMS and the Allegheny County Health Department, and sparked a public outpouring of donations collected in jars on the streets of Pittsburgh. The Foundation has since given $2.26 million back to the community.
While so much has changed since that early start, so much remains the same for those the ACMS Foundation seeks to serve. To zero in on core issues the Foundation could potentially impact, the ACMS Foundation, not surprisingly, found that an increasing number of health issues affecting families and their communities arise from their home environments.
A new mission statement captures that focus: ACMS Foundation grants will support home and community environments that nurture and develop healthy children and families for a healthy Allegheny County.
The ACMS Foundation’s vision makes that ideal clearer still:
- We will help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their physical and behavioral health, their quality of life and that of future generations.
- We recognize that many medical illnesses can be traced to unhealthy circumstances in our community that occur during the formative years, and can be successfully remediated or prevented.
- We will support organization- based activities that engage individuals and families in the planning, development, evaluation and implementation of programs at the community level that assist individuals in creating supportive and healthy home environments.
- We believe that all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives and in their communities. We will support programs that respect and value individuals and their collaborative work to improve health care in our community.