Letter from the President
While 2022 was a year of transition for many of us, I found the most difficult moments over the past year also brought the most significant growth, which is why I am excited to unveil the HopeStar Foundation. Formerly the Winer Family Foundation, our name has changed to reflect the Hope we have in fulfilling our ambitious mission of building capacity and aligning systems to ensure all families with children aged prenatal to five are healthy, educated, and empowered. The HopeStar Foundation’s goal is centering family and community voices in how we fund across the Carolinas.
Over the next three years, the HopeStar Foundation will focus efforts on the following three areas of need in Maternal and Child Health:
Advancing a trauma informed NC court system
Building the resilience movement in NC and nationally
Addressing Disparities and barriers to access in Maternal and Child Health
As a small family foundation, we utilize all available resources to achieve our mission, focusing our work on systems change through advocacy, convening, and partnerships with public and private entities across the state and nationally.
Through our Resiliency work over the past three years, we recognize that childhood trauma is a Public Health issue. In partnership with North Carolina’s Administrative Office of the Courts, we continue to support the ACEs-Informed Courts Task Force which met four times in 2022. Partners, like the Bolch Judicial Institute Trauma Education Initiative, are incorporating trauma education as part of the orientation for new North Carolina judges during their annual summer judicial conference. In addition to judicial training, we believe there is an opportunity to incorporate required trauma-informed curriculum throughout our nonprofit and governmental systems with the goal of creating a state that focuses on building family and childhood resiliency.
In maternal and infant health across the state, there were over 116,000 births in NC in 2020. Many women face barriers to accessing quality maternal care early in pregnancy, and this is even more critical in rural areas across the state. In the upcoming release of the Progress and Opportunities: Maternal and Child Health Equity in North Carolina report from FHLI, highlighted in the NC Perinatal Health Strategic Plan (2022-2026) and also underscored in the Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Maternal Health Report from BCBS NC (2022), we are seeing data trends for our state in the red zone of infant and maternal mortality rates, especially for non-Hispanic, Black women. Alongside 15 other philanthropic funders, we have been learning from maternal health experts over the last 18 months to assess maternal and birth investment opportunities in North Carolina. What we have found is a growing interest to coordinate current services, identify needed capacities, and increase equity across maternal and infant health.
The HopeStar Foundation will continue this important work supporting the health and wellbeing of children and families. We understand the importance of upstream investments in children’s earliest years and the healthy development of families and communities across the Carolinas.
Elizabeth Hope Star
HopeStar Foundation President