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Cambia Health Foundation recently launched its new funding track designed to improve the health of underserved children and families in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. This new strategic priority area enhances the Foundation’s overall goal of building healthier communities and investing in innovative, collaborative programs that transform healthcare.  In a February 2013 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics asserts: “Interdisciplinary communication and coordination are crucial for successfully addressing all the factors that contribute to a child’s health and well-being.” The Cambia Health Foundation seeks to partner with community and school-based organizations that are pursuing holistic, integrated approaches to addressing child health issues.

Extensive research efforts suggested the key focus areas of oral health, behavioral health and childhood obesity prevention. In addition to being three of the most pressing public health issues facing American children, these are under-resourced, traditionally fragmented fields where collaboration is rare yet needed for system-wide change.  In the wake of healthcare reform, efforts are underway to design integrated, cost-effective approaches across sectors. Community stakeholders, including public officials, private payers, providers, nonprofit organizations and parents, all seek solutions to these challenging and potentially chronic health conditions. The Cambia Health Foundation will convene stakeholders, encourage stronger links across sectors, guide proactive dialogues and fund innovative, sustainable, patient-centered solutions.

Focus Areas

The child health funding track focuses on improving the health of underserved children and families through three strategic funding areas:

1.  Support innovative programs that effectively address oral health issues among underserved children, specifically those projects that improve care coordination, enhance quality and reduce costs.

Theory of Change:
Good oral health is intrinsically linked to a child’s overall health and wellness. Routine preventative care, a healthy diet and evidence-based disease interventions are critical strategies to improve children’s oral health. Cambia Health Foundation supports innovative, collaborative and cost-effective programs that:
  • Provide evidence-based, preventive oral health interventions and education in community and school-based settings to underserved children.
  • Deliver evidence-based prevention tactics specifically targeted at pregnant, underserved mothers.
  • Build integrated systems of care--or health homes--that merge dental health into the primary care model.

2.  Fund innovative programs that address behavioral health issues affecting underserved children and specifically those interventions that treat children’s health issues holistically, improve care quality, reduce costs and break through traditional health care silos.

Theory of Change:
Good mental health is another vital component of a child’s health and well-being. If a child’s behavioral health needs go unmet all health indicators are negatively impacted. Care coordination, early diagnosis, evidence-based interventions, and positive school environments that foster mental health wellness are key strategies to improve overall health outcomes among children. The Cambia Health Foundation supports innovative, collaborative, cost-effective programs that:
  • Foster collaboration between parents, health care providers, schools, and other child-serving organizations that provide screenings, early diagnoses and evidence-based treatment to children with behavioral health issues.
  • Provide school-based, integrated behavioral health services for underserved children.
  • Implement integrated systems of care--or health homes --that merge behavioral health into the primary care model.

3.  Support innovative programs that address the childhood obesity epidemic, specifically those projects that treat children’s health issues holistically, reduce health inequities and build community partnerships that promote collaboration and system-wide change.

Theory of Change:
Obesity poses serious health consequences for children as they grow into adulthood, placing them at increased risk for diabetes, asthma, sleep disturbances, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental illness. Increasing access to nutritious foods and integrating physical activity into children’s lives can help reduce and prevent childhood obesity. The Cambia Health Foundation supports innovative, collaborative, cost-effective programs that:
  • Provide evidence-based early childhood interventions, including prenatal programs, which educate underserved families about the importance of nutrition and physical activity.
  • Improve access to a) affordable, nutritious foods and beverages, b) provide extracurricular recreation in underserved communities, and c) encourage families to engage in healthy activities and become more proactively involved in their health outcomes.
  • Promote “silo-busting” interventions that address the physical, emotional and environmental causes of obesity in children living in underserved communities.

Guidelines and Criteria

This information is intended to provide a framework for the strategies and priorities in the child health funding track.  Grant request amounts vary, but generally range up to $50,000 or up to $100,000 per year with multi-year funding considered.  Request amounts should be reflective of the size and scope of both the project and the organization.  To be competitive in the application process, all projects should include:
  • Support from the organization’s leadership. 
  • Alignment between the organization’s core mission and the proposed project. 
  • Well-defined project goals and measurable objectives. 
  • An evaluation plan that includes measurement tools and techniques.  
  • A plan to communicate outcomes and lessons learned to appropriate audiences. 
  • Diverse or potentially diverse funding sources and sustainability plans.  


  • Applicant organizations must be a nonprofit (501c3) or public entity. 
  • Projects should focus on benefiting residents and communities in our Oregon, Washington, Utah and/or Idaho service areas.

Funding Focus

Cambia Health Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that employ innovative methods to address oral health, behavioral health and the childhood obesity issues for children via evidence-based interventions. In particular, the Foundation seeks partnerships with organizations that collaborate across child-serving sectors to achieve system-wide change and those that effectively address persistent health inequities. 

Contact Us

Although we do accept unsolicited proposals through an on-line application that starts with a letter of inquiry, potential applicants are highly encouraged to contact foundation staff ( to determine if there is a potential fit within our strategies and priorities.  

Are We a Potential Fit? 

Myriad organizations and community stakeholders are engaged in activities designed to improve the health and wellness of children. Please carefully study the eligibility guidelines and strategic priorities listed above before submitting your grant inquiries. For additional insight into the Foundation’s goals and the research that informs our grant making strategies, please consult the following resources: 

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