PBC’s Largest Health Funder Celebrates 20 Years of Impact


Good morning, Krista,

Quantum Foundation is celebrating 20 years of impact in Palm Beach County. Created after the sale of JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, the health-focused foundation started with $130 million in assets and has given away that amount to hundreds of local nonprofit grantees since 1998—with approximately $150 million still in its coffers left to give! Every dollar the foundation grants stays in Palm Beach county to benefit local communities. The foundation’s focus is to improve the health of Palm Beach County residents.

As Palm Beach County’s largest health funder looks at its next 20 years, the Foundation’s board has already agreed to increase its Quantum in the Community initiative to $1 million annually starting in 2019 for grassroots organizations who meet basic healthcare needs. In addition, the Foundation will serve as a lead partner for Purpose Built Communities as that new initiative begins to gain local traction. As Quantum Foundation marks this important milestone of impacting the lives of Palm Beach County residents, we would be grateful for your consideration of a feature to help your readers understand just exactly how that JFK sale in 1995 has generated more than $130 million dollars to benefit local residents over the past two decades, and where this health leader has its focus for the future.

Please see the narrative below and advise if we can assist with coordinating interviews. We appreciate your consideration of this important story!

Many thanks,


2701 N. Australian Ave., Suite 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Media Contact: Jennifer Cope or Kelly Husak, Slatkow & Husak Public Relations


Palm Beach County’s largest health funder continues commitment to local residents

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) In 1998 Quantum Foundation marked its rookie year as one of Palm Beach County’s newest and largest philanthropic organizations with an impressive $7.6 million granted to more than 40 Palm Beach County projects. Twenty years later, the organization has assets of approximately $150 million, and its focus remains on keeping Palm Beach County healthy.

Only three years after JFK Medical Center in Atlantis was sold to Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. to create a health-focused foundation with more than $130 million in assets, Quantum Foundation was already making its impact locally in 1998 by offering welcomed financial assistance to Palm Beach County organizations. Their awards totaling $130 million to date have impacted hundreds of local nonprofit grantees during that time. Every dollar the foundation grants continues to stay in the county to benefit local communities. The foundation’s focus is to improve the health of Palm Beach County residents.

“As we look toward our next 20 years of grantmaking, our focus has evolved,” said Eric Kelly, Quantum Foundation president. “While we started with a basic directive to provide Palm Beach County residents with access to health services, we grew and adopted companion strategies to help address important mental and behavioral health needs. In 2011 we launched Quantum in the Community as a way to develop whole-health initiatives and recognize the social determinants of health – which we now know are really where health happens in a community.”

According to Eric Kelly, one of Quantum’s most recent initiatives focuses on community health, and Purpose Built Communities, a nationwide organization supporting this type of work, has selected West Palm Beach as their 20th city in the country. The national program takes a holistic approach to community revival by combining mixed-income housing, a cradle-to-career education pipeline and enriching community wellness programs, all driven by a committed local lead organization. Quantum is just one of the organizations involved with the program.

“We now want to take an upstream look at health, and programs like Purpose Built Communities embody that strategy for our next 20 years,” Kelly continued. “While we continue to honor our grantmaking roots, we also know that our medical community can’t heal the body without having healthy societal and external factors in place. Our future grantmaking will recognize those organizations that are working on the causes of, and benefits to, a healthy community.”

A track record of impact

According to a June 26, 1998 op-ed in The Palm Beach Post, Quantum Foundation’s first year of impact was significant, with grants ranging from modest to major – helping the First Baptist Haitian Church with $500 in toys for its after school programs, to nearly $1 million to the county’s Children’s Services Council to coordinate emergency shelter services for needy children and families.

One of its earliest and most celebrated partnerships was with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County (HCD) to place nurses in every school in Palm Beach County. Quantum Foundation invested $500,000 to help start the pilot for the program, which now includes more than 210 school nurses, 10 health support technicians, 10 nursing supervisors, four nurse specialists to assist with diabetes, screenings, and education along with three administrative staff members serving more than 174,000 Palm Beach County students.

“Personally, Quantum’s support of this programming changed my life,” said Ginny Keller, director of the School Health Program for the HCD. “I volunteered in one of our schools for 11 years prior to becoming an HCD school nurse in 1997. At the time, I anxiously watched the process that the HCD went through with Quantum to create what was formed, and I was the very first nurse to apply for a school nurse position with the HCD! If not for that Quantum support, we may not have had the ability to form what we’ve grown into today – where daily, School Health staff provide multiple nursing services to students in the majority of the public schools in Palm Beach County. While many of these students have health insurance, the ability for them to utilize their personal healthcare providers isn’t always easy for their parents or caregivers so they often rely upon our nurses for much of their healthcare guidance.”

In addition to basic healthcare, early grants from Quantum Foundation included a focus on access to healthcare and establishing necessary safety net clinics.

“Our grants from Quantum Foundation have meant validation of our service and peace of mind,” said George Papadimitriou, executive director of the Community Health Center of West Palm Beach (CHC), a medical home for those who do not have access to healthcare, but also a clearing house of resources to address the needs of the community beyond just healthcare. “We are now averaging around 2,000 patients a year with around 4,800 visits. We are currently at capacity and looking to expand as a result of the support and partnership with Quantum Foundation. That funding has allowed us to not only increase access to services, but also increase our capacity to maintain this level of service. As the CHC moves into a new season of growth, Quantum Foundation continues to be a blessing and a partner in pushing us into being a stronger organization with a significant impact in our local community.”

According to Andrea Stephenson-Royster, executive director for Health Council of Southeast Florida, grants from Quantum Foundation assisted her organization in establishing Navigate PBC, a forum for professional development, training, collaboration, sharing of ideas, and promotion of consistencies in processes for individuals and organizations providing services in the community. The ultimate goal was to address the growing and substantial need for resources to help residents navigate the various aspects of health and human services available in the county.

“Quantum Foundation funds have allowed us to respond to the needs of the local community in a creative way and to enhance other funding we receive,” said Stephenson-Royster. “We have been able to accomplish things that might have otherwise proved difficult, and we have recognized impressive outcomes. It is not a coincidence that Palm Beach County has had some of the most significant numbers of consumers accessing the various health insurance options. The dollars from Quantum allowed us to bring local organizations together and form a network that could be more responsive to the needs in our community. Thanks to those dollars, we were able to work closely with one another in filling gaps with successful strategies. Other agencies came to us to ask how to be more effective at reaching their audiences.”

Funding that allows an organization to think outside the box and get creative with strategies is a hallmark of Quantum Foundation’s grant process. Kate Arrizza, CEO for the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, credits Quantum Foundation with the nonprofit’s transformation from outdated museum to beloved science center.

“Our ‘Breakthrough Project’ funding from Quantum has truly transformed the Science Center,” said Arrizza. “As our largest funder over the past seven years, the dollars from Quantum allowed us to host blockbuster exhibits, and we’ve grown and thrived to become a regional nonprofit leader, a destination for tourists and residents alike – indeed we are the anchor institution for informal science learning in Palm Beach County. We are truly a different organization now and are most grateful to Quantum Foundation and board member, Bill Meyer, for taking an early chance on us and funding our work. Quantum Foundation is also funding our next new project in the healthcare field, ‘A Journey through the Human Brain.’ Their funding and support has provided so many exciting opportunities for us.”

Quantum Foundation founding board member, William “Bill” Meyer, served as the former vice chairman of the JFK Medical Center board of trustees when the hospital was sold in 1995. He recalls the early days of transitioning the $130 million in proceeds from the hospital sale into a foundation focused on making Palm Beach County healthy.
“Our early efforts to fund and now sustain many of our local community health centers and to help patients navigate insurance and secure access to quality healthcare are continuing to pay off,” said Meyer. “Now we are expanding the foundation’s focus to include mental health – from assisting programs like the Anti-Defamation League’s ‘No Place for Hate’ programming in schools to working with the Center for Childhood Counseling (CFCC) to call attention to ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), to our funding of the Science Center’s new brain exhibit — we can’t ignore the headlines focused on mental health.”

According to Meyer, ACEs are important now more than ever, especially in light of school shootings, domestic violence, substance abuse and the national healthcare crisis. CFCC’s “Fighting ACEs” initiative is funded by Quantum Foundation. This method targets children living in high-risk communities by providing multilayered interventions and support for families and caregivers. The campaign takes a research-based approach to ending intergenerational trauma using science, enforcing the need to change how we work with children by moving away from a reactive approach to focusing on preventative measures.

“Children who have experienced multiple ACEs have high levels of toxic stress, with triple the lifetime risk of heart disease, twelve times the likelihood of attempting suicide and a 20-year reduction in life expectancy,” said Renée Layman, CEO for CFCC. “With Quantum support, CFCC leads the way in combatting this issue through community-wide awareness, education, and programming. Our Quantum funding has allowed us to implement innovative ideas and programming, based on the neuroscience of early childhood, at a time when no other funder supported these efforts – and they continue to be on the cutting edge of this work, providing support that is changing the face of health in Palm Beach County.”

Quantum Foundation is the largest Palm Beach County-based health funder with 100 percent of grant dollars used to support local communities, according to the latest data compiled by the Florida Philanthropic Network. Groups funded by Quantum Foundation must meet strict grant criteria and must be classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

“When Quantum Foundation began its work two decades ago, our mission was to help create a healthier Palm Beach County,” said Quantum Foundation board chair, Donna Mulholland. “We have never changed our course or altered our purpose, but we have embraced learning and refined our work. We’ve gone beyond ensuring access to care for everyone in our community to funding countless fresh and innovative projects. As an organization, we’ve matured to take our place as a cornerstone of community funding without losing the vision and dreams our founding members had when we first began.”

Quantum Foundation also makes grants to tax-supported institutions such as colleges or universities, the local taxing district, and some government agencies. All grants must benefit the people of Palm Beach County. For information about Quantum Foundation, or to learn about applying for grants, please visit http://www.quantumfnd.org/ or call 561-832-7497.

Total Dollars Granted through 2017: $130,000,000

Below is a sample of some of the initiatives Quantum Foundation has funded.

Safety Net Clinics:
93 grants totaling $14,041,861
• Providing medical care to 37,174 individuals through 114,545 visits annually

Mental and Behavioral Health:
42 grants to 30 agencies totaling $6,770,683
• Primary focus of grantmaking in this area has been in prevention and early intervention

Health Insurance Navigation:
43 grants to 36 agencies totaling $7,206,968
• 64,048 assisted
• 37,027 enrolled in benefits
• $31,453,000 in benefits value

Basic Needs to Support Health:
489 grants totaling $6,990,458
• Food, housing, transportation, clothing, and financial assistance

School Nurse Program:
Quantum Foundation invested $500,000 to help start the school nurse program, which provides a nurse in Palm Beach County schools. The program has since been taken over by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County and now provides the following services:

• Providing medical care in 166 schools in Palm Beach County
o More than 174,000 students, for 342,000 visits, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade

Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
In 2011, Quantum Foundation invested $750,000 in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. Funding was used to develop community-based curriculum and programming to help build the healthcare workforce in Palm Beach County as well as provide care to those in need.

South Florida Science Center
11 grants totaling $3,059,149
• A Journey through the Human Brain
• The Breakthrough Project
• Science on a Sphere

Supporting Nurses in Palm Beach County
24 grants totaling $3,336,963
• Funding projects that educate, support, and sustain quality nurses in Palm Beach County