Mat-Su Health Foundation 13


Scott Johannes

"The Journey Ahead" - Highlights from the Mat-Su Health Foundation's 2015 Annual Report

2015 was another exciting year for the Mat-Su Health Foundation! Some key highlights include the following:

We published reports one and two of the Behavioral Health Environmental Scan (BHES) research project that began in 2014. The scan included in-depth analysis of information about behavioral health in the Mat-Su; the information is being presented in three separate reports. The first report, published in January, carefully examined the care that Mat-Su residents receive when they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The second report, published in November, focused on analyzing the system of care in order to determine what is available and working well and what could be improved. In the time since the publication of these two reports, we’ve seen positive movement towards a more coordinated system, and we’re supporting regulatory and policy changes and new services to create a system that works better for everyone. The third and final report will focus on prevention opportunities and will be published in 2016.

A searchable grants database was added to the MSHF website, increasing transparency of the foundation’s stewardship and offering an easy, effective way for people to learn about the organizations and projects we have funded.

A new grant program was created. Discovery Grants target the funding of projects to address findings of specified Mat-Su Health Foundation-funded research, such as the Behavioral Health Environmental Scan discussed earlier.

ROCK Mat-Su (“Raising Our Children with Kindness”), was launched with MSHF serving as its backbone organization. ROCK Mat-Su is a cross-sector collaboration of individuals from more than 30 organizations working together to improve the lives of local children and families. It uses a common agenda to align efforts to increase family resilience and reduce child maltreatment in the Mat-Su.

The foundation’s ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center increased from 25% to 35%. MSHF exercised a 10 percent buy-up option provided for by the Operating Agreement between Valley Hospital Association and Palmer-Wasilla Health System, an equity partner/owner of Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. The increased ownership will result in larger distributions to the foundation from the hospital, which will in turn increase the funds available for grant making. Our relationship with the hospital goes well beyond the financial; our Board of Directors continues to be actively involved in the governance of the hospital, helping to ensure that the services the community needs are available, and that charity care is robust.

The foundation granted more than $5.3 million to more than 50 non-profit organizations serving the needs of Mat-Su residents. It also awarded $295,000 in scholarships to 75 local students pursuing education and training leading to careers in health and wellness. Our previously established work with local coalitions and funding partners around the state continued as we supported innovative work by groups like Recover Alaska, the Alaska Wellness Coalition, the Alaska Trails and Parks Foundation, and the Mat-Su Senior Services Task Force.

Thank you for joining us on the path to a healthier Mat-Su!