Seven Alaska organizations have been selected to receive Mat-Su Health Foundation funds totaling more than $1.7 million. Co-Occurring Disorders Institute Inc. (CODI), Ptarmigan Pediatrics and Set Free Alaska were awarded through the foundation's Discovery grant program. Blood and Fire Ministry of Alaska, CCS Early Learning, Heartreach Pregnancy Center, and Valley Charities were selected for Healthy Impact grants.
The Discovery grant program is new, and this is the first time awards were made under that program. It was created to fund projects that address the findings of specified Mat-Su Health Foundation-funded research. In this first round of Discovery funding, projects were solicited to address the specific recommendations outlined in the foundation’s Behavioral Health Environmental Scan (BHES) reports.
“Data from our research clearly demonstrated a need for innovative solutions to ensure that all Mat-Su residents have the opportunity to enjoy optimal behavioral health,” said Elizabeth Ripley, executive director. “The organizations that applied for and were awarded Discovery funding demonstrated creativity, collaboration, and a real commitment to making a difference in the health and wellness of Mat-Su residents.”
Discovery awards are being made to the following organizations:
- Co-Occurring Disorders Institute Inc. (CODI) was awarded $92,000 to expand mental health services for children ages 0-3 by hiring and training and a therapist specifically to serve this age group.
- Ptarmigan Pediatrics will receive $141,818 over three years for a psychologist internship program that will promote early childhood assessment and intervention in medical and school settings. Since Ptarmigan Pediatrics is a for-profit corporation, any profits that may be realized from the project will be shared with foundation. The Mat-Su Borough School District is also a partner in this venture, and part of the project will be implemented at Goose Bay Elementary School in Wasilla.
- Set Free Alaska will receive $97,000 for the development and implementation of a children’s behavioral health early intervention and treatment program.
Healthy Impact Grants are offered twice annually and are available to fund local health-related projects in excess of $15,000. Awards for this round are as follows:
- Blood and Fire Ministry of Alaska will receive $298,220 over two years for general operating support for its Knik House program providing temporary, long term and emergency housing, as well as recovery and life skill development opportunities.0
- CCS Early Learning will receive $350,000 over three years for training and technical assistance to infuse trauma-informed care throughout its programming.
- Heartreach Pregnancy Center will receive $500,000 to build a new facility that will help it expand its outreach and services to parents and families.
- Valley Charities will receive $250,00 over three years to implement a prisoner re-entry program. The funding will help provide case management, housing placement, transportation and administration of the program.
The application period for the next round of Healthy Impact grants 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 is available at www.healthymatsu.org.