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The Mt. Sinai Health Foundation seeks to assist Greater Cleveland's organizations and leaders to improve the health and well-being of the Jewish and general communities now and for generations to come.
Ira C. Kaplan Elected Board Chair
CLEVELAND, OH—Civic leader Ira C. Kaplan has been elected Chair of the 27-member Board of Directors of the Mt. Sinai Health Foundation at the organization’s June 8, 2022, Annual Meeting held at Severance Music Center. He succeeds Judge Dan A. Polster, who served as board chair for three years and who was elected Life Director of the Foundation.
Mr. Kaplan previously served as vice chair and treasurer of the Board of Directors and has been an active member of the Grants Committee and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. He currently serves as Executive Chairman and Executive Committee Member of the law firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, where he focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions as well as public and private debt and equity financings. He has served as Board Chair of the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living and is former Board Chair of Bellefaire JCB and the Wingspan Care Group. For the United Way of Greater Cleveland, Mr. Kaplan currently serves as Vice Chair and previously served as Campaign Co-Chair. He also formerly served as the Board Chair of the Cleveland Leadership Center and Engage! Cleveland. After serving as Chair of the Community Planning Committee and longstanding member of the Board, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland recognized Mr. Kaplan in 2018 with the prestigious Gries Family Award for his lasting impact on Cleveland’s Jewish and general communities. He and his wife Amy reside in Lyndhurst and are the proud parents of three children and a granddaughter.
“Philanthropy is the heart and soul of Cleveland, and Mt. Sinai has been the driving force behind so many high-impact efforts over its 25 year history. Stewarding the Mt. Sinai legacy to care for those who have been historically marginalized is a privilege and responsibility I take very seriously,” Kaplan said. “I am humbled to serve as Board Chair and honored to use this platform to continue to strengthen the Jewish and general communities.”
Other officers elected at the Annual Meeting were James A. Ratner, and Beth D. Rosenberg, vice-chairs; Michael Goldberg, treasurer; and Jeremy A. Paris, secretary. Newly elected Directors include Peter Golden, Jr., MD, J. David Heller, Mariely Luengo, and Alan Rosskamm.
Mitchell Balk, President of the Mt. Sinai Health Foundation, expressed a sense of promise for the organization’s future. “From the darkest moments of the pandemic to the hope of finally achieving a lead-safe Cleveland, the past three years have been truly remarkable under the leadership of immediate past-chair Judge Dan Polster.” He continued, “I know I speak for the entire Mt. Sinai family when I share how excited we are for the leadership of Ira Kaplan and for the new and returning members of our Board.”
Mt. Sinai Board Directors can serve up to three, three-year terms. Officers of the Board of Directors, including the chair, may serve up to three, one-year terms.
Mt. Sinai Foundation Appoints New Program Officer
March 23, 2022 (Cleveland, OH) — The Mt. Sinai Health Foundation has appointed Rachel Oscar to the position of program officer. Ms. Oscar will begin her duties in late April 2022.
In January 2020, Mt. Sinai Directors approved an expanded strategic approach beyond grantmaking to improve population health in Greater Cleveland. Central to this expanded vision is recognition that philanthropy can only go so far in driving health improvement and that cross-sector collaboration, public-private partnerships, and policy change—supported by greater human capital as well as financial capital—are pivotal to creating lasting impact. Program staff expansion is the realization of this enhanced vision.
Ms. Oscar comes to the Foundation from the Campus District, Inc. Community Development Organization where she has served as Director of Programming and Community Engagement for the past five years. In this role she increased collaboration, built relationships and advanced neighbor-identified goals in order to build a stronger connection between institutional and residential members of the Campus District.
Ms. Oscar earned a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Kenyon College and a Master’s Degree in urban planning and development from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. A native Clevelander, Ms. Oscar is a graduate of Gross Schechter Day School and Shaker Heights High School. She grew up at B’nai Jeshurun Congregation and among her many accomplishments, in 2018 co-created Ad HaKol, the Racial Equity Passover Seder, bringing together Jewish Clevelanders and Black Glenville residents to celebrate the Jewish holiday of freedom from slavery.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Rachel’s background join our program staff,” said Foundation President Mitchell Balk. “With Rachel’s appointment, Mt. Sinai is doubling-down on its commitment to pursuing health equity through convening, advocacy, and strategic grantmaking. Rachel’s track record in racial equity reflects the Foundation’s continued movement upstream to address the causes of health disparities that disproportionately burden Black people and other people of color. With Rachel’s unique skills, the Foundation will be even better positioned to support our region’s health and human services agencies in ensuring all Clevelanders have the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be.” Working with Mt. Sinai Vice President, Strategy, Daniel Cohn, and Program Officer Adam Nation, Oscar will support the Foundation’s strategic agenda related to primary prevention, population health, and health policy.
FCCR releases new vaccine uptake initiative RFP
Despite skyrocketing infections, the evidence remains clear: vaccination against the coronavirus drastically reduces the likelihood of symptomatic COVID-19 as well as the likelihood of severe disease and death in cases of so-called “breakthrough” infection. Still, only two-thirds of eligible Cuyahoga County residents and just 39% of Cleveland residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of December 2021, some Cleveland census tracts have vaccination rates as low as 12%.
The Funders’ Collaborative on COVID Recovery is seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations aiming to catalyze vaccine uptake at a hyper-local level, with a special focus on neighborhoods where vaccination rates remain far below those of the surrounding area.
Nine (9) grant awards of up to $50,000 are available. Proposals for 6-month projects will be reviewed on a rolling basis through February 25, 2022.