Rocky Mountain Health Foundation (RMHF) in its current configuration started in 2017 when United Healthcare (a for profit business) purchased Rocky Mountain Health Plans (a nonprofit corporation). Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is a private foundation completely separate from the health plan. The initial proceeds from the sale resulted in $38M invested on behalf of RMHF. Subsequent additions to the investments, related to the sale, bring the current investment dollars available to RMHF to approximately $85M.
RMHF proudly traces its roots back 40 years to Rocky Mountain Health Plans in Grand Junction, where the Foundation headquarters are located today. As one of the first Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) was started by physicians and community leaders to ensure people of all population groups had access to innovative, quality, affordable healthcare at reasonable costs. RMHP is a good neighbor in communities by supporting both the people and the medical professionals in collaborative and participatory ways. Rocky Mountain Health Plans has earned a national reputation for doing the right thing to provide for those most in need.
The Rocky Mountain Health Plans Foundation was originally incorporated as a state-wide nonprofit organization in 1997 with a purpose of being a catalyst for innovative health care solutions for communities large and small throughout the state. It functioned as a small corporate foundation. Then, as now, it was recognized that many people with long-term health problems or modest means were in urgent need of help.
One of the Foundation’s first grants provided access and financial support for dental care for pregnant women suffering from dental disease to prevent preterm deliveries. That very first grant then led the Foundation to one of its legacy programs, BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program which incentivizes pregnant women to stop smoking early in their pregnancy with free baby diapers for a year after their baby is born. The program has one of the highest cessation successes anywhere in the United States at 89% and every $1 dollar spent on the program results in $6.73 costs savings by mothers delivering fewer preterm babies, having babies at a healthy birth rate, and fewer babies being admitted to neonatal intensive care programs.
RMHF prioritizes our funding around efforts that address critical needs and increase access to health for the underserved. For those struggling to provide for themselves and their families, we support nonprofits that provide services meeting physical health, behavioral health and basic needs.
Even though RMHF is no longer a part of Rocky Mountain Health Plans, we are fully committed to continuing the tradition of caring for those most vulnerable in our region.