May 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Philanthropic Partners

Emerson Ecologics grants funds to IHPC's cost-effectiveness project, Foundations Project and NY NDs

Emerson Ecologics is the largest distributor of natural products to professionals in the United States, representing over 275 brands. In 2012, to respond to the chaos of multiple requests for financial support from the associations and institutions linked to the professionals they serve, Emerson established an annual $25,000 grant award program. Emerson announced the 2014 winners here: 1) The Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine project ($7800), led by Pamela Snider, ND, to support a residency; 2) the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians ($10,000) for licensing efforts; and 3) the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium ($7200) for a cost effectiveness booklet. They also announced an in-kind donation to the Patriot Project.

Comment: News of these awards strikes me in multiple ways. First, I am pleased Emerson is making awards. Many companies don't. Second, often I know the awardees and thus am aware of the intended good work so am happy that their projects will get a boost. Third, associated with a not-for-profit as I am, I wonder why I didn't get a proposal submitted! Then, finally, I cannot help but seek some perspective on the size of these grants relative to Emerson’s revenues and all the hoopla that surround the awards. How big a commitment is $25,000 for Emerson? I could not find anything on line about the closely-held firm's revenues or profits. I’d that this fits into the marketing budget like a handful of full-page ads. Still, these sums all mean a great deal to the small budgets off which these organizations work – with each dollar multiplied many times by volunteerism. So, thanks, Emerson – and hey, consider upping your annual amount, eh?

Health Partners, BCBS, Tufts, etc. - payers and insurers in grants to Pathways for Wellness 

The May 2014 newsletter for Pathways to Wellness, one of clinics for the delivery of acupuncture, massage and other integrative services most thoroughly integrated into its local community – Boston, in Pathways’ case - announced an impressive list investment partners. These included: 1) Tufts Health Plan Foundation awarded $20,000 to provide home care acupuncture and massage services to elder clients in their homes; 2) Partners Healthcare awarded $20,000 to support operations plus $5,000 as a Gold level sponsor of our Longwood Symphony Orchestra benefit concert (see below); 3) BCBS of Massachusetts Foundation awarded $5,000 for the redesign of the center's website, and 4) the Boston Redevelopment Authority awarded $20,000 to support the construction costs of Pathways’ new facility. In addition, the same newsletter noted $11,000 raised from the Longwood Symphony benefit.

Comment: The Pathways to Wellness operation has been enmeshed in care delivery in Boston for a quarter of a century. Great to see these grants and, in the interest of recognizing full value, maybe one or more might consider adding a zero to their next contribution!