Frequently Asked Questions


Where does deaconess Fund?

Based in St. Louis, we focus funding opportunities in the city of St. Louis, the Counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri, and Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois. 

How do we define child well-being?

Our Just for Kids theory of change has been designed to realize the Deaconess Foundation’s desired impact – ensuring that children (prenatal to 24 years old) in the St. Louis metropolitan community:

  • Grow and develop as kids their age (and stage) should;
  • Have what they need to be successful as adults; and
  • Are able to enjoy being kids.


"Policy is a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions. Policy decisions are frequently reflected in resource allocations. Child well-being and health can be influenced by policies in many different sectors. For example, transportation policies can encourage physical activity (pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly community design); policies in schools can improve nutritional content of school meals.”

 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

"In its broadest sense, the term advocacy refers to activism around an issue…It can involve many activities, from mobilizing voters to pitching media stories to influencing elected officials and the political process. Policy advocacy…refers to specific efforts to change public policy or obtain government funding for a social program.” 

Forces for Good by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant

"Organizing is comprised of community-based efforts that promote the leadership of affected communities in identifying systemic problems and implementing strategic actions that change policies or institutions. The focus, however, cannot be exclusively on policy reform and/or institutional change. Policy reforms must be accompanied by larger shifts in the ways different communities are valued and represented that paves the way for new voices to be heard. Particular to youth organizing, political education and organizing training, are often paired with efforts to meet some of the other developmental needs of youth members and leaders." 

– Hill-Snowdon Foundation

what is the primary focus of your funding?

Deaconess Foundation invests in systemic change through community engagement, policy development and advocacy in pursuit of policy shifts aligned with the Foundation’s policy priorities:

Early Childhood Education Justice and Equity
for Youth
Family Economic Mobility Comprehensive Health Care
All children of the St. Louis region should enjoy full access to quality child care and education from birth to pre-kindergarten. All children of the St. Louis region should receive  just treatment under the law. All families of the St. Louis region should achieve economic stability within one generation. All children of the St. Louis region should have universal access to comprehensive mental, physical and dental care.


We believe that advancing policy and advocacy will maximize broad impact for children and families throughout the St. Louis metropolitan community. As such, our grantmaking is focused on efforts that promise to influence systemic change – transformation that pervades the electoral, legislative, judicial, administrative, communications and corporate arenas of the child well-being system.

Practically speaking, this includes efforts that: research, develop and test new policy ideas, protect effective policies, advance public debate and will, equip and position advocates and organizers, strengthen networks and alliances, and help policymakers understand how policies are working or when they need innovation.

Please see our current funding opportunities for more details. 

what does it mean to employ a racial equity lens?

Deaconess Foundation envisions a racially equitable St. Louis metropolitan community in which the allocation of power and distribution of resources, benefits, opportunities and burdens are not predictable nor determined by race. Accordingly, we challenge ourselves and our partners to commit to using a racial equity lens as defined by Grantcraft and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity to, “pay disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while analyzing problems, looking for and identifying solutions, and defining success” in ALL of our programming, operations, collaborations, communications and external affairs. Please read more about Deaconess’ Commitment to Racial Equity.

What records or information do you currently retain from the hospital system?

When the hospital system was sold to Tenet Health Systems in 1997, all medical records and employee information were transferred to Tenet. Tenet no longer maintains medical records from the Deaconess system. All medical records were destroyed after the legally allowed waiting period. Tenet does retain the employment records.

Information regarding birth and death records can be obtained from the Missouri Department of Vital Records. They can be reached at (573) 751-6387 or by clicking here.

Other Questions?

Please feel free to contact us at any time.