SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis and IFM Community Medicine Awarded $5.3m to Deliver Inclusive, Community-Based Health Care Outreach and Services in North St. Louis County

Grant from the Bridgeton Fund at the St. Louis Community Foundation will expand access for tens of thousands living near Bridgeton Landfill

St. Louis, MO — SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis (a non-profit organization established to support SSM Health hospitals) and IFM Community Medicine (a non-profit that delivers health care to underserved communities) have been awarded a $5.3 million grant to create the Connection for Health and Healing Project.

The grant is being furnished by the Bridgeton Landfill Community Project Fund, which is held and administered by the St. Louis Community Foundation. Based at SSM Health DePaul Hospital – St. Louis, this new initiative will work to increase access to health care for approximately 70,000 residents living in a four-mile radius of the Bridgeton Landfill.

“This initiative is a foundational step toward expanding health access and equity for the community surrounding the Bridgeton Landfill, which is an important part of the DePaul Hospital service area,” says Tina Garrison, president of SSM Health DePaul Hospital. “This is another example of the emphasis SSM Health places on Community Health and our unwavering commitment to bringing health care to underserved populations across our region.”

Developed in response to the needs of Bridgeton-area residents, the project’s multi-pronged, community-forward focus on engagement, education and community empowerment will translate into increased access to care, improved health and wellness outcomes and improved quality of life, while advancing health care equity and inclusion for residents within the designated area. The project will:

  • Create 16 new “roving” community care clinics and a community resource center
  • Place nurse practitioners at partner schools, food pantries and shelters
  • Streamline health care access via telemedicine, multilingual outreach and transportation support
  • Engage community health workers to help patients navigate health care resources like Medicaid and health insurance
  • Connect individuals and families with health care providers or services such as food and supply pantries
  • Emphasize the identification and treatment of high-risk conditions created/amplified by the landfill including pediatric and adult asthma, diabetes and behavioral health, as well as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer
  • Provide area residents with access to specialty care at SSM Health DePaul Hospital – St. Louis, including programs for cancer screenings and care, respiratory health, and behavioral health
  • Support local workforce development by prioritizing the hiring of untapped and underrepresented talent in the area

“Thanks to this joint venture, north St. Louis County residents most affected by the Bridgeton Land fill will have access to equitable and affordable health care,” said Amelia Bond, president and CEO of the St. Louis Community Foundation. “As this is our final and largest grant from the Bridgeton Fund, it is essential we provide a long term approach to ensure physical, mental and behavioral health and well being for children
and families in the area.”

Funded by a $12.5 million legal settlement between the State of Missouri, Republic Services, Allied Services and Bridgeton Landfill, Inc., the Bridgeto n Fund was established at the St. Louis Community Foundation in 2018. Its mission is to promote community betterment and well being for those living within a four mile radius of the landfill. To date, 55 nonprofits have received grants from the fund.

“We are so grateful for the confidence that the St. Louis Community Foundation has placed in us with the award of these grant funds,” says Paul Ross, president of SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis. “Partnerships like the one with IFM, under the leadership of president and CEO Dr. David Campbell, illustrate the wide-ranging approach we take in furthering community health efforts across our regions.”

“At SSM Health, we believe strongly in the healing power of presence. We are committed to meeting patients where they are in the community,” said Jeremy Fotheringham, president of SSM Health St. Louis & Academics. “Thanks to this grant, we and our partners at IFM will be able to extend our presence to tens of thousands of area residents, providing greater access to care services for those who need it most.”

SSM Health and IFM anticipate that the project will positively impact the lives of 4,000 community members in its first year of implementation, with numbers doubling in the following years as the benefits of ongoing engagement take root. Although the grant will support the project’s initial ramp-up for five years, grant activities are designed to be part of a long-term solution for the community. A series of proposed partnerships and philanthropic opportunities leveraging SSM Health and IFM’s existing community connections will be critical to program sustainability, as will additional engagement from community stakeholders.

About the St. Louis Community Foundation
The St. Louis Community Foundation is a nonprofit foundation with approximately 800 charitable funds, in addition to the Bridgeton Fund, with total assets of more than $502 million. The St. Louis Community Foundation inspires purposeful philanthropy that connects community and donors to build and preserve a more equitable and vibrant region, now and forever. Over the last 10 years, the St. Louis Community Foundation and its donors made nearly $600 million in grants to charitable organizations. For more
information about the Foundation and its initiatives, visit

About SSM Health Foundation St. Louis
SSM Health Foundation St. Louis was founded in 2018 to unify philanthropic efforts and elevate community impact for SSM Health DePaul Hospital St. Louis, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Health St. Clare Hospital Fenton, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital Lake Saint Louis, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital St. Charles, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital Wentzville and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital St. Louis. The Foundation serves as a cohesive community of supporters, health care professionals, corporate leaders, community donors and volunteers to make an impact on health care in the communities SSM Health serves across the region. Inspired by the mission of the founding sisters who, in 1872, began their ministry of healing with $5 and a basket to collect donations, the Foundation strives to serve by seeking financial support for SSM Health hospitals. For more information, please visit

About SSM Health St. Louis
SSM Health is a Catholic, not for profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. The organization’s more than 40,000 employees and 10,000 providers are committed to providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve. SSM Health in St. Louis operates 8 hospitals, 6 urgent care locations, 23 SSM Health Express Clinics at Walgreens and more than 35 medical offices in the area. For more information, visit us at or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About IFM Community Medicine
IFM has a 21 year history serving the community through a model taking primary and preventive medical services directly to points of need in St. Louis. Advancing their Mission Strengthening underserved communities, one patient at a time, to promote community health IFM provides clinics, run by on site nurse practitioners at 20 partner locations throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area “within the walls of schools,
shelters and other social service organizations. This model allows IFM to provide reduced/sliding
scale fees for services in addition to insurance reimbursements, while also integrating into the community. For more information, visit us at or find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Pictured (left to right):

  • Amelia Bond, CEO St. Louis Community Foundation
  • Dawn Chapman, Co-Founder Just Moms STL
  • Paul Ross, President of SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis
  • Eric Madkins, Vice President / Community Development Manager, Regions Bank
  • Tina Garrison, President SSM Health DePaul Hospital – St. Louis
  • Jeremy Fotheringham, Region President SSM Health St. Louis
  • Karen Nickel, Co-Founder Just Moms STL
  • Dr. David Campbell, CEO and Founder of IFM Community Medicine
  • Dr. Herbert Villaflores, SSM Health DePaul Hospital Connection to Health and Healing Physician Champion