Our History

Partners for Health traces its origins to the Mountainside Hospital Foundation, which was incorporated as the fundraising arm of the hospital in 1990. With the sale of Mountainside Hospital from Atlantic Health to a for-profit owner, Merit Health System, the Foundation became an independent public charity known as the Mountainside Health Foundation in 2007.

Mountainside Health Foundation awarded its first grants in June 2008.  Prior to this, the Superior Court of NJ in Essex County approved the Foundation’s Cy Pres application to redirect funds to advance its new mission. The Court’s ruling also cleared the way for the Foundation to continue to support the hospital’s Chaplaincy Program, scholarships for Mountainside School of Nursing students, and recognition awards for registered nurses, which are funded with donations restricted for these purposes.

The Foundation’s name was changed to Partners for Health in 2010. The hospital changed its name to HackensackUMC Mountainside two years later. It is now known as Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center.

Since the closure of the Mountainside School of Nursing in June 2016, the Foundation has awarded restricted scholarships funds are to students attending nursing programs at colleges or universities located in the Montclair area.

Effective January 1, 2023, Partners for Health began operating as a Private Foundation, which means it is no longer a Public Charity that raises money from the community. This shift allowed us to focus more resources on activities that includes our ongoing grantmaking as well as convening local partners, educating the public on important health topics, and informing policy and practice.

As a Private Foundation, Partners for Health is still a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We continue to support local organizations and efforts to address the health needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. We remain committed to our vision of thriving communities where health exists for all, and our mission to partner to advance health equity through learning, grantmaking, and advocacy.