The Duke Endowment | Strengthening communities in the Carolinas for nearly a century
Hear the name “Duke” in the Carolinas, and you’re likely to think of the university or the power company.
But another entity with the same family name is having its own unique impact in the region.
Through its grants and partnerships, The Duke Endowment carries on the legacy and philanthropic spirit of industrialist James Buchanan Duke, whose name has become a familiar one in the Carolinas. Though connected by the same family name, the university, the Endowment and power company are separate organizations.
The Charlotte-based Endowment supports efforts in the Carolinas to help nurture children, promote health, educate minds and enrich spirits – the four key areas Duke emphasized when he created the foundation in 1924 with $40 million.
Its support has touched every region in the Carolinas, including the Grand Strand. Since 1997, The Duke Endowment has granted more than $4 million to Tidelands Health – funding that has led to expanded services, initiatives to help improve the health of the community and collaborations to help provide access to medical care for the uninsured and underinsured.
“Without a doubt, the longstanding support from The Duke Endowment has had a significant impact on improving lives in our region,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health. “We are so grateful for this partnership with an organization that shares the same goal of improving access and quality of health care available in our community.”
The Endowment was instrumental in the creation of Tidelands Community Care Network, a public-private partnership that helps break down barriers to medical care for uninsured and underinsured adults. The program began in 2011 with the support of a $500,000 grant from The Duke Endowment and has received additional grants from the group over the years totaling $2 million.
Tidelands Community Care Network boasts roughly two dozen partners, including health educators, state agencies, transportation providers, primary and specialty care providers and others who can help uninsured and underinsured residents gain access to medical care. Since its start, the network has served more than 4,000 people by connecting them to care and has created diabetes prevention and palliative care programs.
“The Duke Endowment’s generosity has helped our Tidelands Community Care Network open doors and remove barriers to health care for so many in our community,” said Kelly Kaminski, director of community health resources for Tidelands Health. “Thanks to the Endowment’s continued support, we’ve made tremendous strides and look forward to growing our efforts to confront the health challenges facing our community.”
But that’s just one of the ways The Duke Endowment is supporting efforts to improve the health of Carolinas residents. Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas engages leaders from a wide spectrum of agencies throughout the Carolinas to align programs and develop new ways to address chronic health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The Tidelands Community Care Network Advisory Council is one of 20 coalitions across the Carolinas that received a $450,000 grant from The Duke Endowment for its Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative.
“Tidelands Health is doing critical work in the community both to improve access to health care and to promote the kind of healthy lifestyles and behaviors that can reduce the need for hospitalizations,” said Lin Hollowell, director of the Endowment’s Health Care program area. “Strong partnerships with front-line providers like Tidelands Health are vital to our mission of improving health in communities across the Carolinas.”
Health care is just one of the foundation’s focus areas.
Educating minds, nurturing children and enriching spirits also remain at the core of the Endowment’s mission – just as Duke laid out when he created the foundation in 1924.
After Duke passed away a year later, another $67 million went to the Endowment. Its assets totaled $3.69 billion as of 2017.
Since its beginning, the Endowment has distributed grants totaling $3.7 billion to support those key areas Duke outlined nearly a century ago. Roughly 46 percent support higher education, 32 percent support health care, 12 percent go to rural church life and 10 percent to child care.
The grants support efforts to reduce child abuse, improve oral health, promote literacy, provide scholarships and more.