Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative launches charitable foundation
501(c)(3) will Support Organizations that Support its Communities and Members
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, the state’s largest individual market health insurer, will create a foundation to help support the local communities in which it operates.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative (CGHC) is unique as a nonprofit health insurer founded by community members to pursue better health care for small employers and for individuals who do not have health insurance through an employer. Both have historically been underserved markets. It is run by a Board of Directors made up of people buying their own health insurance and elected by their peers to serve.
CGHC’s Board Chair, Amy Murphy, said a charitable foundation would help the cooperative to continue to fulfill its mission. “We understand that good health begins at home and in our communities,” she said. “The foundation will enable us to do more as a partner with community organizations that are helping people gain a foothold when they meet an obstacle with their health or finances.”
Murphy, who has had a long career in public health, said CGHC’s work with the Dohmen Company Foundation to provide free healthy meals to members who suffer from diabetes is an example of the kinds of supports and services the insurer believes it can grow through a charitable foundation. “We found a way through a partnership to bring healthy meals to our members which has resulted in positive health outcomes for many people. It’s those kinds of ideas that we want to help inspire through the foundation,” said Murphy.
CGHC CEO Cathy Mahaffey agreed. “The Common Ground Healthcare Foundation will be dedicated to supporting people (through scholarships) and organizations (through grants) that want to do great work but need a little help,” she said. It’s something Mahaffey understands well. “This foundation is really our chance to say thank you to the communities that supported us when we started a decade ago. It’s our way of paying it forward by helping people outside of insurance.”
The Foundation Board, which held its inaugural meeting on November 2, 2022, will be organizing itself over the next several months in anticipation of providing initial grants mid-2023.