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Russell Berrie Foundation Awards Grant to GBCA to Launch Innovative Partnership

Bergen County, NJ – Greater Bergen Community Action (GBCA) is delighted to announce an investment of $750,000 made by the Russell Berrie Foundation to aid in the establishment of the Unity Health Partnership (UHP). The UHP is designed to provide accessible, coordinated, and comprehensive care that addresses social and economic challenges faced by low-income, uninsured, and under-insured residents of Bergen County.

The UHP is a collaborative effort that includes five community partners, all working together to provide comprehensive health and social services under one roof. Among the agencies participating in this partnership are the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI), which will operate its second health center that will also specialize in diabetes care; CBH Care, which will deliver mental and behavioral health services to individuals and families; the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, which will manage a supermarket-style food distribution center; Mid Bergen Regional Health Commission, which will be an important partner in the Health & Wellness Center; and GBCA, which will offer its full-range of social services for income-eligible individuals and families.

“The Russell Berrie Foundation, a game-changing funder, shares our vision and is invested in the transformation of communities,” said Robert Halsch, CEO of GBCA. “This is a critical commitment, in that while we have raised substantial public sector dollars, it is important that private foundations and donors who invest in social impact endeavors be part of the partnership as well. The Russell Berrie Foundation is leading the way on this and we are grateful.”

“This model of providing comprehensive services under one roof promises to significantly improve outcomes among those groups facing the greatest health inequities,” said Idana Goldberg, Russell Berrie Foundation CEO. “We hope our investment spurs other donors to help advance UHP’s vision of providing the accessible, coordinated health and social supports that our community needs and deserves.”

The Russell Berrie Foundation was created to express the values and passions of renowned business entrepreneur Russell Berrie through social investments in innovative ideas such as partnering with energetic, visionary leaders to change the world for the better.

The UHP site, located in Garfield, is currently under construction, but all agencies are expected to be moved in by early 2024. GBCA is eagerly waiting to see the fruits of all the partners’ labor through their collaborative effort to provide the health and social support necessary for the betterment of the community.

UNITY HEALTH PARTNERSHIP: The Unity Health Partnership will be a model of accessible, quality, and comprehensive care for the low-income, underserved and the underinsured to receive the kind of care everyone deserves. Learn more HERE.


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