Mat-Su Health Foundation 05



Wasilla, Alaska — Five local organizations were recently awarded Mat-Su Health Foundation grants totaling more than $1.1 million. The grant recipients are the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Co-Occurring Disorders Institute; Mat-Su Borough; Mat-Su Health Services; and the University of Alaska. The awards were part of the Foundation’s Healthy Impact grant program, which funds projects over $15,000 that improve the health and wellness of people living in the Mat-Su Borough. An overview of each grants follows:

• Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ACBVI) was awarded $133,000 over five years to support its Mat-Su Health Access Project. The funding will allow the center to expand its services to the smaller, more remote parts of the Mat-Su, and to increase low vison clinics, expand its home visiting program, increase peer support groups, and begin technology fairs. Many of the Mat-Su residents served by ACVBI are senior citizens.

• Co-Occurring Disorders Institute (CODI) will receive $290,000 over three years to re-launch its Strengthening Families Treatment Program, a 14-session, evidence-based training program focused on parenting skills, children’s social skills, and family life skills specifically designed for high-risk families with children ages three to ten years old. This program will be unique in the Mat-Su Borough as it will offer families with children in this age range behavioral health treatment services during the time parents are receiving parenting education.

• Mat-Su Borough will receive $390,000 to light 2.5 miles of Nordic ski trails at the Government Peak Recreation Area near Hatcher Pass. Lighted trails will increase the safety of the junior Nordic and high school skiers who regularly use these trails, and improve after work access for adults and families in the community.

• Mat-Su Health Services (MSHS) was awarded $100,501 to support a project to improve the effectiveness of treatment of depression and anxiety in the primary care setting. Mat-Su Health Services provides both primary and behavioral healthcare to the uninsured and underinsured residents of the Mat-Su Borough. Integration of primary and behavioral health care for those who need behavioral health services results in the highest quality of care. Through this project, MSHS staff are able to provide integrated services with a warm hand-off of patients from primary care staff to behavioral health staff.

• The University of Alaska was awarded $235,600 over two years to provide “Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)” training to staff at Sunshine Community Health Center, Mat-Su Health Services, and Solstice Family Medicine. The training focuses on early identification and intervention for substance misuse, thereby reducing its health consequences. The grant also allows for evaluation of the training effort and the sharing of lessons learned with other Mat-Su health providers.


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