Mat-Su Health Foundation 08



Wasilla, Alaska — The Mat-Su Health Foundation has launched a new “Discovery Grant” program targeted to funding projects that address the findings of specified MSHF-funded research. The Discovery Grant program opened on November 2, 2015 in conjunction with the publication of the second report in the Foundation’s Behavioral Health Environmental Scan (BHES), and the initial grant cycle will welcome applications that respond to specific recommendations from the BHES reports or that propose other innovative solutions to the identified issues.

“This is the first totally new grant program we have launched in several years, and it is in direct response to the findings from research into our community’s behavioral health care system,” said MSHF Executive Director Elizabeth Ripley. “In many ways, the research findings are startling, and in other ways they confirm what many community leaders already knew. In either case, they demonstrate a need for more innovative solutions and collaborations to ensure that Mat-Su residents can enjoy optimal behavioral health.”

The Behavioral Health Environmental Scan project included researching and analyzing the following Mat-Su information:

  • Patient access and flow through the system
  • Barriers and challenges to accessing services
  • Service availability and potential gaps or linkage issues
  • System response and service provision for behavioral health emergencies
  • State and national policy and regulatory effects on the Mat-Su system
  • Policies and practices that have worked in like communities to address challenges
  • Upstream prevention opportunities
The first BHES report was issued earlier this year and focused on the Borough’s crisis response system. Report 2 was published this week and documents the community’s system of care. A third report about the prevention system will be issued in late 2015.

Discovery Grant applications will be accepted through December 4, 2015. The initial phase of the application process consists of a “Project Pitch,” which is submitted online and includes a short description of the proposed grant along with information about the organization(s) submitting the grant request. The project pitches will be reviewed by Mat-Su Health Foundation staff, and those which are selected as most promising will move forward the full application process.

Applicants for Discovery Grants are encouraged to solve problems, redesign systems or subsystems, and fill gaps using evidence-based practices OR promising practices OR innovative solutions. Proposals that incorporate new uses of technology to solve problems, involve nontraditional sectors in problem solving, and promote collaboration in new and innovative ways are welcome. Additionally, pilot projects that propose to test a solution on a small scale are also eligible. Grantees may be required to participate in cohort learning experiences and/or technical assistance provision that accompany a grant award.
  • Programs and initiatives funded by Discovery Grants can include:
  • Public/private partnerships
  • For-profit/non-profit partnerships
  • Community awareness campaigns
  • Training Programs
  • Initiatives to enhance the social fabric within Mat-Su to support the emotional well-being of residents
  • Faith-based initiatives
  • Peer-support initiatives
  • Youth-led initiatives
  • Community Council initiatives
  • Media projects
Information about the Discovery Grants program and the Behavioral Health Environmental Scan is available at


About Mat-Su Health Foundation: Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare institution through board oversight. The MSHF invests its assets into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available at