Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation awards $275,000 in grants
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 7:40 p.m. to reflect the foundation’s correct name.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In its inaugural grant cycle, the Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation awarded $275,000 in grants to 14 local nonprofits.
“We are thrilled to be able to grant the full amount of $275,000 among these nonprofits in a time when everyone’s world, especially nonprofits, has been impacted,” Karen Schneider, executive director of the foundation, said in a news release. “This significant investment by UCHealth into our community will have wide-reaching, positive impacts.”
The grants range from $2,000 to $50,000, and the application process was focused on three funding priorities: access to health care, mental health and substance use disorder.
“The committee looked for greatest alignment as well as greatest impact,” Schneider said. “A lot of nonprofits are doing a lot of good work already but need to expand because the need so great.”
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits are in a position of meeting increased needs with less funding, she observed. The committee also saw more collaboration among nonprofits and a focus on figuring out how to do more with less.
- Advocates of Routt County
- City of Steamboat Springs
- Connections 4 Kids
- GrandKids Child Care Center
- Heeling Friends
- Horizons Specialized Services
- Integrated Community
- LiftUp Routt County
- Northwest Colorado Health OR
- Grand Futures
- Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide (REPS)
- Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Inc.
- Town of Oak Creek
- Yampa Valley Autism Program
“COVID-19 created great strain on nonprofits in serving the more vulnerable populations,” Schneider said. “Collaboration is going to be huge moving forward in determining how to ensure the services are still provided, but with the nonprofits splitting some of the costs.”
The application process for the grant funding opened on January 1, and was open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofits in Routt and Moffatt counties.
A total of 34 applications were submitted, and out of those, 15 were awarded, with Northwest Colorado Health receiving grants for two separate programs.
The total grant request was for $750,000.
Schneider said the decisions to narrow the 34 down were difficult, and the all-volunteer committee spent many hours reading applications and discussing the awards.
“It was an incredible process,” she said, and much of it done in virtual meetings.
Several of the committee members commented they were very impressed and surprised at “all of the extraordinary nonprofits we have in our community and the extraordinary work they do,” Schneider said.
The funding priorities for the foundation grants will be re-evaluated each year based on need, she described.
Utilizing local data, surveys and input from health care professionals as well as the greater community, the Board of Trustees of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical will determine strategic initiatives based on where the greatest needs in the community.
This year’s grant for Horizons Specialized Services will help with the cost of operating its Moffat County comprehensive residential program, which serves adults in group homes who have cognitive and physical disabilities with co-occurring mental and behavioral health conditions.
“Heeling Friends is excited to be receiving grant funds from the YVMC Foundation this year,” said Larry Jenkins, Heeling Friends hospital coordinator. “These funds are targeted towards the recruitment of new teams and for supporting existing member teams. Heeling Friends is a 100% volunteer nonprofit. Grant funds offset the many compulsory expenses that our team members encounter while volunteering, such as the required training, annual animal health exams and equipment necessary for registered therapy teams.
“We do not want these high expenses to prevent any potential or existing team from being an active part of this wonderful organization that brightens and brings smiles to the lives of so many individuals every year,” he added.
Mindy Marriott, executive director of Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide (REPS), said, “REPS is grateful for this amazing funding opportunity to benefit our community. These additional funds will allow us to increase our current suicide prevention programs and services, while continuing to meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations.”
One of Northwest Colorado Health’s grants will support the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program, which uses “medications combined with behavioral health care that provides a comprehensive, individually tailored, and holistic approach to substance use disorder,” described Suzi Mariano, senior director of marketing and development. “MAT has proven to be an effective way to treat those with addition to alcohol, heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy significantly reduces the need for inpatient detoxification services and increases the sustainability of recovery.”
The second will support NWCH’s services provided to homebound clients, regardless of ability to pay.
“Nurses address a client’s home medical needs, such as wound care, but also serve as advocates, answering questions, contacting their doctor with concerns or connecting them to community resources. Nurses, therapists, social workers and certified nurse aides go into patients’ homes to assess the patient’s condition, the home environment and support system, as well as provide care,” described Mariano.
The Home & Community-Based Services programs helps with things like bathing, housekeeping, grocery shopping and transportation.
“These are just a few of the programs that will be able to advance the health of our communities,” said Mark Fitzgerald, chair of the Community Health Benefit Fund committee. “We’re excited to see the outcomes and look forward to the opportunity to grant funds in the years to come.”
Schneider said it is an honor to support the local nonprofits, and noted, “Health is far greater than just going to the doctor. It’s everyday proactive measures. And we want to support that in every way.”
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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Pulmonologist Dr. Brent Peters, medical director of the Sleep Lab at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, considers his work in sleep medicine fun because of the positive changes he can see in patients.