About Us

Michael Reese Health Trust is the foundation established when the not-for-profit Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center was sold to a for-profit corporation.  Carrying on the Michael Reese tradition, we have worked since 1995 to improve the health of the area’s poor, children and youth, people with disabilities, the elderly, immigrants and refugees, the uninsured, and others not adequately served by existing health care delivery systems.

Michael Reese Health Trust is a catalyst for change, an active player in improving the health and well-being of those in Metro Chicago, particularly its most vulnerable.

More than a Grantmaker… 




The Health Trust is more than a grantmaker: we are a catalyst for change, an active player in improving the health and well-being of the Chicago metropolitan community. Our staff and trustees participate in dialogues and share new ideas and proven strategies with grantee organizations, service providers, funders, and government agencies. We create opportunities to engage community stakeholders in collaborative problem-solving and program development.

The health care system we envision will require the resources of multiple sectors. Therefore we work with local, regional, and national partners, both private and public. We seek ways to leverage our funding and to disseminate lessons learned.


Our Programs




The Health Trust works through two grantmaking programs that receive equal attention and comparable funding:

  • Responsive Grant Program

    The Responsive Grant Program accepts applications for support of specific projects, programs, or general operations. Our areas of interest include increasing access to health and social services, innovation in health care delivery, disease prevention, education for health care providers, policy analysis, and advocacy to improve health care systems serving those in greatest need. Most grants are made for one year, though we occasionally make multi-year awards.
  • Proactive Grant Program
    Through our Proactive Grant Program we work with a wide range of public and private partners to develop more effective, integrated health-care delivery models—systems geared to provide individuals with comprehensive, coordinated services. The program is staff-driven, and is often informed by the work of the Responsive Grant Program.

Proactive grants are initiated by the Health Trust.  We do not accept applications for these grants.

In addition to making grants, the Health Trust convenes forums and other meetings that bring together innovative thinkers, policymakers, advocates, and practitioners to create long-term solutions to the region’s persistent and emerging health care challenges.