Grant funding from hospital foundation increases for third straight year
Grant funding targeted at population health increased again this year with $340,000 available from UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation’s Community Health Benefit Fund.
When it started in 2020, grant funding totaled $275,000 before jumping again to $325,000 last year. Funding priorities identified by a taskforce controlling the fund have remained the same each year with money targeting mental health, substance-use disorder and access to health care in Routt and Moffat counties.
“Our goal with our investment is to make sure that we can grant annually some amount,” said Karen Schneider, executive director of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation. “We have a long-term strategy on this.”
Previous grants have gone to local organizations, such as Advocates of Routt County, Grand Futures, the Yampa Valley Autism Program, Northwest Colorado Health and even schools like Steamboat Montessori.
The grant money stems from a $20 million donation from UCHealth to the hospital’s foundation spread out over seven years. Half of that funding is treated as quasi-endowment. Essentially, $10 million is invested, which returns funding grants.
“If at some point in the future we have to touch the principal, we can, whereas with an endowment, you can never touch the principal,” Schneider said.
The money was given to the hospital’s foundation without many strings attached, Schneider said. The only requirement is the money be used to fund population health. The other half of the donation is targeted at strategic, community-centered priorities for the hospital.
The most one organization can receive is $100,000, Schneider said, but the largest grant given out was around $60,000. Some grants have been as small at $2,000.
The pre-application period for this grant money opened Jan. 1, and pre-application materials need to be submitted by Feb. 18.
Schneider said this is a high-level review to ensure those applying are eligible, meaning they are a nonprofit group or an educational or governmental organization in Routt or Moffat counties. Final proposals are due by March 31.
In the first year of the grants, Steamboat Springs received money to add automated external defibrillators for events.
Last year, Steamboat Montessori was awarded money to set up a mental health program for students and staff.
While most grants stay away from operational expenses, Schneider said they will consider them, especially when geared toward capacity building.
Access to this money is somewhat unique. Yampa Valley Medical Center is the first in the UCHealth System to have such a grant program, something that makes Schneider proud.
“I think it is one of the biggest gifts that UCHealth has given this community,” said Lindsey Reznicek, communication strategist for the hospital. “This is going to continue for a very, very long time, hopefully outlasting all of us.”
For more about the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation’s Community Health Benefit Fund go to yvmcf.org/chbf/community-health-benefit-fund/.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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