Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation accepting applications for over $300K in grant funding
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In its second year, the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation has increased its annual grant cycle to $325,000.
The money is available through an application process for existing 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations located in Routt or Moffat counties.
To qualify, organizations must also be working in the following three areas: access to health care, mental health or substance use disorder.
Grant proposals may be submitted until March 31, and grant recipients will be notified in June if selected.
“The most important thing is the clear connection between their program and health in the community,” said Karen Schneider, executive director of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation.
The increase of $50,000 in funding from last year’s total of $275,000 in grants is a result of the fund’s investments, she said.
And given the challenges still being wrought by the pandemic, the access to additional funding comes at a critical time, Schneider said.
Because it is a “quasi-endowment,” she said, “we will be able to invest in the community in perpetuity.”
Last year, 34 organizations applied, and 15 programs were chosen as grant recipients. Grants ranged from $2,000 to $50,000. Programs included the identification of behavioral issues in preschoolers, animal therapy, suicide prevention efforts and comprehensive addiction therapy.
Integrated Community received a $20,000 grant in the 2020 cycle, and Executive Director Nelly Navarro said she is applying again this year. The grant provided critical funding to provide translation services for individuals and organizations across the community, regardless of ability to pay, Navarro said.
“The COVID pandemic has had a devastating effect on the local immigrant population,” she said.
Integrated Community has been working closely with the Routt County Department of Public Health and other city, county and health care-related agencies to ensure crucial information and documents are translated and transmitted for non-English speakers.
Interpreters work at COVID-19 testing sites, Navarro said, and regular online updates have been posted in Spanish and French about what is happening in the community. The funding also provided for the translation of programs such as the series of three virtual panels held on vaccinations.
Navarro said in a normal month, her organization translates about 20 documents. Last April, they translated 97 documents.
“There was a lot of fear,” she said, especially in the early months of the pandemic. “People didn’t know where to turn.”
This year’s funding priorities, which are established by a community needs assessment and through the input of local physicians, are the same as the inaugural 2020 grant cycle.
Those priorities remain, Schneider said, and the foundation made the decision to keep funding in the same three critical areas so existing efforts can be strengthened and made more sustainable. It is a way for the funds to have the greatest impact, she said.
Previous recipients won’t automatically receive another grant, Schneider said, but sustaining what is currently making a positive impact will be taken into consideration.
Schneider is currently reaching out to all of last year’s recipients to get an update on how the funds are being used.
Largely due to the pandemic and its ripple effects, Schneider said she is seeing nonprofits working to meet increased demands for their services, and in many cases, cuts in other funding sources.
“We want to see as many organizations as possible apply and to invest in as many as possible,” she said.
Organizations meeting the requirements may apply individually or together to reach a shared goal via an online application at yvmcf.org/chbf.
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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