Mitch Balk (LC 2001)
President, The Mt. Sinai Health Foundation
Mitchell Balk is founding president of The Mt. Sinai Health Foundation, a grantmaking foundation resulting from the 1996 sale of The Mt. Sinai Medical Center and related Cleveland hospitals. He spearheaded the emergence of the Foundation as an independent health grantmaker. As of December 31, 2022, the Foundation had assets of $165 million and had distributed more than $166 million in its initial 27 years of grantmaking.
Among his many professional activities, Mr. Balk was founding board chair of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, a non-partisan information resource for policymakers, founded by Ohio foundations. Through numerous activities that detailed benefits to Ohio and Ohioans, Mr. Balk and Mt. Sinai supported Governor John Kasich’s call to expand Medicaid in Ohio when states were able to “opt in” or “opt out” of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion provision. Mr. Balk has also been a major force in the establishment of a comprehensive system of countywide senior transportation. He serves on the Board of the Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County, a successful example of regionalism.
Under his leadership, Mt. Sinai played a seminal role in the establishment of the 500-member Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition as well as First Year Cleveland, Cleveland/Cuyahoga County’s infant mortality reduction initiative. Mr. Balk also played a key role in bringing Nurse-Family Partnership to Cleveland for the first time and secured operating support for the program from federal MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) dollars, the first time such funding had been awarded in Cuyahoga County.
On the national level, Mr. Balk serves on the US Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Advisory Council on Outreach and Education. He sits on the National Academies’ Roundtable on Obesity Solutions’ Early Care and Education Innovation Collaborative, a result of Mt. Sinai’s early childhood obesity prevention efforts.
In 2017, Mr. Balk and Mt. Sinai were presented with the Case Western Reserve University President’s Award for Visionary Achievement. He is the recipient of the Philanthropy Award from the Otis Moss, Jr. – University Hospitals Medical Center and the Five-Star General Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, Class of 2001.