The Mat-Su Health Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $625,000 to five organizations working to improve the health and wellness of the community. Selected for grants were Chickaloon Village Traditional Council, Covenant House Alaska, Kids Kupboard, Native Village of Eklutna and Valley Interfaith Action. The following grant awards were made under the foundation’s Healthy Impact grant program:
• Chickaloon Village Traditional Council: $300,000 for the Ya Ne Dah Ah School Multi-Use/Daycare Expansion project located near Sutton. This project is a 2,000 square foot addition of the existing school structure which is intended to house the local Native Youth Olympics (NYO) program, a childcare center and a community gathering space. The planned addition will include a shock-absorbent floor, an ADA accessible bathroom/shower, small laundry facilities and a teaching kitchen.
• Covenant House Alaska: $60,000 as a match over years two and three of a three-year national award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the continuation of education, employability skills and training for at-risk youth in the Mat-Su. Services are offered at MY House in Wasilla through a partnership that includes Nine Star Education and Employment Services.
• Kids Kupboard: $60,000 to expand its physical space and operations serving meals to children throughout the Mat-Su Borough. The mission of Kids Kupboard is to impact child hunger in the Mat-Su through the provision of healthy, free meals to children in areas that have been identified as food-insecure based on school district and income data. The grant will be used to purchase two re-locatable containers customized as kitchens and feeding spaces.
• Native Village of Eklutna: $100,000 for the purchase of a mobile x-ray machine for their new clinic, which serves all, Native and non-Native, including many Mat-Su residents. The clinic provides primary care and dentistry services, and in the future plans to offer behavioral health and substance abuse disorder treatment.
• Valley Interfaith Action (VIA): $105,000 over three years to fund operations. VIA uses congregation-based community organizing to address community problems and is currently comprised of eleven congregations located from Sutton to Willow. The organization is in regular communication with other congregations throughout the Valley, and expects to expand into the far reaches of the borough in the future.
Healthy Impact grant applications are accepted two times annually; the next opening date will be announced soon. The Mat-Su Health Foundation also offers a Target Wellness grant program for projects less than $15,000 and it is open year-round. More information and the online applications can be found at www.healthymatsu.org.
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 asset through board oversight. The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at www.healthymatsu.org.