Since its founding in 2007, The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation has awarded hundreds of grants to organizations that promote innovation, service excellence and a commitment to finding innovative ways for all people to live well. We have dedicated our efforts to advancing inclusive health and wellbeing for the populations served by Sevita, Sevita employees, and the communities in which Sevita works.
A few of our recent grant partnerships include:
Advancing inclusive health nationwide for people with intellectual disabilities
Special Olympics (SO) is a champion for health equity, delivering lifechanging programming to people with disabilities and transforming the culture of health care to ensure people of all abilities can lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Since their start in 1968, Special Olympics has grown to have a global footprint spanning 201 countries and jurisdictions with 251 national and state programs.
This Foundation has supported SO’s Healthy Communities inclusive health program since 2020, most recently with its digitization efforts. This program works to ensure individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) have access to quality health programs and services where, currently, there are significant barriers in obtaining them. According to research, people with ID in the US have shorter life spans (20 years on average) than people without ID due to preventable health conditions.
“With support from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation, Special Olympics has been able to provide ongoing programing around prevention, fitness, early detection, and care coordination,” says Annemarie Hill, senior vice president of global health operations. “We are grateful for this partnership in enabling Special Olympics to scale reach and enhance the athlete experience by digitizing health programming.”
Investing in sexual and safe relationship education and resources for all people
As reported by NPR, U.S. Department of Justice data show that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than that for people without disabilities. Oak Hill’s Center for Relationship and Sexuality Education (CRSE) has led the fight to help combat sexual assault against individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Foundation is proud to be a supporter of CRSE, including providing funds to create a free online guide to accompany its workbook series on safe relationships to help direct support professional support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they gain the knowledge and resources they need to engage in safe, meaningful and healthy relationships. In 2022, the Foundation invested in CRSE to train first responders about augmentative alternative communication and to launch its crisis fund, supporting Oak Hill’s experts to assist with forensic interviews of victims with disabilities.
Cultivating leaders within the industries serving vulnerable populations
Since 2021, the Foundation has supported National Inclusion Project (NIP) as it created and launched its online Inclusive Recreation Specialist Course for recreation and special education professionals. The 16-week course trains practitioners to comprehensively meet the needs of children with disabilities in a variety of recreational settings. It is designed to adhere to the best practices of online learning methodology and the curricula aligns with the Standards for Inclusive Recreation Programs.
Additionally, in 2022 the Foundation provided funding to United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) for scholarships for clinicians from underserved communities and non-MD and non-DO health professionals to attend Cerebral Palsy conferences focused on early detection and early intervention. By covering the costs for these convenings, more members of the direct health care workforce has access to advances in detection and interventions.