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Healthy Impact Grant Awards Announced - Plus More MSHF News

MSHF Awards $1.75 Million in Grants


The Mat-Su Health Foundation board of directors recently approved the awarding of $1,752,000 to eight organizations working to improve the health of Mat-Su residents.

The awards were part of the Foundation's Healthy Impact grant program, and the grants are earmarked for the following projects:

The Alaska Youth and Family Network (AYFN) Mat-Su office was awarded $375,000 over two years to provide convening space and additional staff to scale the number of families and children the organization assists in the Mat-Su. AYFN identifies, serves and stabilizes families of children and youth experiencing behavioral health challenges. Engaging these families increases the likelihood of preserving or reuniting, builds resiliency, and promotes recovery.


The City of Wasilla Public Library received a grant for $25,000 to purchase health-related materials for the new library currently under construction.


CCS Early Learning was awarded $50,000 for its Road to Resilience project to provide training to staff and families about the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), peer support, and mental health counseling.


MYHouse received a grant of $75,000 to help fund a street outreach coordinator, data coordinator, and outreach program support for this organization, which works with homeless youth and young adults to help them become contributing, self-supporting members of the community.


Onward and Upward, Inc. was awarded $347,500 over three years to build program capacity for its strength-based curriculum designed to support positive development and academic enrichment for at-risk youth in the Mat-Su.


Sunshine Community Health Center received a grant of $168,840 to supplement a total project cost of $409,474 to establish two new positions: An LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and a Behavioral Health Nurse Case Manager. These new positions would be added to the existing workforce to further expand and integrate behavioral health services into the existing primary care programs at its locations in Willow and Talkeetna.


The University of Alaska Anchorage Mat-Su Campus received a grant of $195,864 to expand a pilot project for the delivery of mental health care services to students through a contract with Mat-Su Health Services. Additionally, the grant will support implementation of a healthy lifestyle education program for students and will provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.


Wasilla Area Seniors (WASI) was awarded $500,000 through a PRI (Program Related Investment) to purchase land adjacent to its campus in Wasilla. WASI provides a variety of programs and services to seniors residing in the Mat-Su and the land it is purchasing allow it to supplement those services as the Valley's senior population grows.

The Foundation will announce the recipients of its next round of Healthy Impact grants in the Spring of 2016.
We recently welcomed Christopher Emond to our team as director of finance. Chris oversees all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for the foundation, in conjunction with the executive director, board of directors, and finance and audit committees of the board. He plays a key role in strategy development and implementation; serves as the management liaison to the MSHF board finance and audit committees; and supports joint venture planning and management. He also oversees key operating functions of the organization including accounting, legal and compliance, human resources, IT, physical plant asset management, and grant management. 
"Along with extensive financial management experience, Chris brings strong analytic and strategic thinking capabilities to our team, which will help enhance our hospital partnership engagement and stewardship of our assets toward meaningful community impact," said Elizabeth Ripley, Mat-Su Health Foundation Executive Director.
Chris came to the Mat-Su Health Foundation from his previous role as director of treasury at Alaska Communications Systems. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Houston and serves as an officer on the board of directors for the Alaska E-Health Network. Chris lives in Palmer with his wife and two sons.

The Mat-Su Health Foundation wants to know if Mat-Su seniors 65+ are getting their health needs met. We have already talked with seniors at the local senior centers - now we are looking for seniors who do not regularly use these centers. If this is you or someone you know, please consider helping us. Those who participate in a 30-45 minute anonymous telephone interview will receive a $25 Visa gift card. Call Aaron Gallagher at (907) 267-6503 to learn more. A person from MSHF-contracted research company the McDowell Group will do the interview, and information you share will bot be associated with your name and will only be reported anonymously in a report.


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