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Mat-Su Health Foundation Announces Over $1 Million in Grants to Mat-Su Nonprofits


WASILLA, Alaska -- The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) announced its third and fourth quarter Healthy Impact grant awards to qualified nonprofits serving Mat-Su residents. Sixteen organizations received a total of $1,229,000 for projects that help build opportunities for a healthy life in Mat-Su. A complete list of Fall 2009 grant awards is attached to this release.

The foundation board authorized two multi-year grants for large health-related capital projects in Mat-Su. They awarded $1,000,000 over three years to Nugen's Ranch to help construct a new long-term residential treatment facility at Point Mackenzie. This 16,857 square-foot facility will house 32 clients needing rehabilitation, residential treatment education and advocacy services for their chronic substance abuse. The board also authorized a $500,000 grant to Sunshine Community Health Center over two years for the construction of a new permanent primary care clinic in Willow. This satellite center will offer comprehensive patient care, including mental health, dental care and digital radiology services, to Willow's growing population and provide access to health care for the uninsured and underinsured via a sliding fee scale.

Other MSHF grant awards included $300,000 to the Big Lake Lions Club for construction of an unheated indoor ice rink; $45,000 to the Mat-Su Ski Club for construction and trail grooming equipment; $10,000 to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Matanuska Experimental Farm for the creation of a soccer field complex and research facility; $39,400 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska to increase their mentoring matches in the Mat-Su by 52%; and $55,000 to Bishop's Attic II to purchase new vehicles and bins to increase household item and clothing donations.

Deborah Prator, Chair of MSHF, explains, "On the health side, the large grants to Nugen's Ranch and Sunshine Community Health Center will help provide access to important health services for the underserved in our community. And on the wellness side, some of these grants increase opportunities for physical activity for borough residents while other grants help specific nonprofits offer more services to those in need. The foundation is honored to partner with these nonprofits to promote health and wellness for our neighbors."

The MSHF offers Healthy Impact and Target Wellness grant programs in order to improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. The foundation awards Healthy Impact Grants, any request over $15,000, twice a year. The next MSHF Healthy Impact Grant award cycle will commence December 1, 2009 and Project Pitches for this award cycle are due in the MSHF office by 4 p.m. on January 8, 2010. Target Wellness grant proposals $15,000 and under are welcomed throughout the year, and decisions and distributions are usually made within 30 days. Healthy Impact and Target Wellness grant awards must meet MSHF grant guidelines. For more information about any of the MSHF grant programs and application procedures, prospective grantees can go to www.matsuhealthfoundation.org.

The Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su's community hospital and protect the community's interest in this important healthcare institution through board oversight. The MSHF invests its assets into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su.

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