August 20, 2018

Wasilla, Alaska – R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness) has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) to further R.O.C.K.’s work promoting family resiliency and reducing child maltreatment.

“The funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will support several specific R.O.C.K. Mat-Su strategies, including increasing access to behavioral health services for families enrolled in the Palmer Families with Infants and Toddlers Court (FIT Court), developing a youth leadership council, and creating a multi-tiered approach to addressing racial inequities and multigenerational trauma,” said Desiré Shepler, director, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su.

“R.O.C.K. Mat-Su has distinguished itself in its focus on protecting children in ways that are culturally relevant for the Mat-Su community and character – a place-based strategy that is critical to improving the health of Alaska Native communities,” said Lola Adedokun, program director for child well-being at DDCF. “We are proud to support R.O.C.K. Mat-Su as it continues to meet the unique needs of families and children in the Mat-Su Borough, build upon the strengths that already exist there, and offer a tangible, hopeful path forward.”

R.O.C.K. Mat-Su is a collaborative of community members joining together to promote family resilience and reduce child maltreatment. It was developed as a cross-sector partnership of Mat-Su agencies, and the Mat-Su Health Foundation provides ongoing staff support to the collaborative. R.O.C.K. Mat-Su works to build social supports, eliminate silos, and influence systems that affect children and families throughout the borough, all in support of achieving the goal of ending child abuse in Mat-Su. R.O.C.K. Mat-Su strives to achieve its goals through the development of prevention strategies that run the gamut of impacting all families to targeting families with more specific experiences and challenges.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and child well-being, and through the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s Child Well-being Program aims to promote children’s healthy development and protect them from abuse and neglect. To learn more about the program, visit www.ddcf.org.


About MSHF: Mat-Su Health Foundation 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 asset through board oversight.The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at www.healthymatsu.org.