February 27, 2024

February newsletter: Our new strategic direction, take action for health equity, 2023 grants roundup and more!

Subscribe to our newsletter! 


Now, the real work begins! Launching our new strategic direction

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our three community conversations to announce our new strategic direction. Over 200 people joined us to learn about our work over the past 14 months to launch the next phase of our journey as an organization – from our new vision, mission and values, to our new focus areas, to our new branding and website that reflects our bolder, deeper direction, to our commitment to co-creating solutions with our community. We are so excited to get to work in all of these areas and to work with all of you to ensure everyone in Howard County can live healthy and abundant lives.

Not able to make it to one of the conversations? Check out our YouTube page for the recording of our virtual session and presentation. And please get in touch with us with any questions, or if you would like us to come present to your community organization to explore how we can work together.

We will have more opportunities coming up this year to engage with us and learn from one another. Onward!

Learn about our new strategic direction>>
Check out our new website>>
View our presentation recording>>
Update your email preferences to make sure you stay up to date on our new focus areas>>


Take action for health equity: Contact your state legislators today!

The Horizon Foundation and our partners are hard at work advocating for legislation during this year’s Maryland General Assembly session that will make our state healthier and more equitable. The Foundation is supporting a number of bills to achieve these goals, including these three key bills that would sustainably fund the 988 crisis helpline, provide free school meals to every student and expand access to the state’s health insurance market:

  • HB 933/SB 974: This bill would create a permanent funding source for Maryland’s 988 helpline and enable the state to improve services for those experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Tell your legislators to support this bill!
  • HB 696/SB 579: This bill would offer all students school breakfast and lunch at no cost. The pandemic-era waivers from the federal government that provided universal school lunches to students have expired, putting many children at risk for food insecurity. This bill would ensure that no student in Maryland goes hungry during the school day. Tell your legislators to support this bill!
  • HB 728/SB 705: This bill, known as the Access to Care Act, would allow all Marylanders, regardless of immigration status, to access insurance through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. This will ensure that immigration status is no longer a barrier for Maryland residents to purchase a health insurance plan and that everyone can access health care. Tell your legislators to support this bill!

We believe each of these bills are important in order to enable everyone in our communities to thrive and live a healthy and abundant life. Act now to tell the Maryland General Assembly to support these bills!

Take action for the 988 helpline>>
Take action for universal school meals>>
Take action for the Access to Care Act>>


$1.12 million awarded in grants in 2023

The Foundation awarded $1.12 million in grants to 29 community organizations and partners in 2023. We are so proud of all of our grantees and incredibly grateful for their work to make Howard County a healthier and more equitable place for everyone. As we launch our new strategic direction, we are looking forward to co-creating solutions and working side by side with community to build power, advocate for policy change and dismantle structural racism to achieve better health for everyone in Howard County and greater Maryland.

Check out our 2023 grants roundup>>


Join us for our next First Thursdays community conversation on March 7

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s First Thursdays community conversation! We continue to have rich and robust conversations with community members about health equity issues in Howard County.

Please join us on the first Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. for breakfast and a guided conversation about key issues on the minds of fellow Howard Countians. This month, we plan to discuss some of the barriers faced by immigrants in our community.

Our next First Thursdays conversation will take place at the Horizon Foundation’s office on March 7 at 10 a.m. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to D’Paul Nibber by March 4.


Staff picks: what we’re reading, watching and listening to