Mat-Su Health Foundation awards grants to enhance community health and wellbeing

Wasilla, Alaska — As part of its ongoing commitment to creating a community where all persons have the opportunity for a healthy life, in July the Mat-Su Health Foundation awarded 15 grants totaling $1.2 million to organizations offering services that enhance individual and community wellbeing. The organizations serve a variety of needs including behavioral health, childcare, physical health and more.

The Foundation’s total grantmaking in 2023 so far is $7,426,435.28.

  • American National Red Cross: $32,285 for the Home Fire Relief program, which provides assistance and support to Mat-Su residents affected by a home fire.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska: $165,000 to fund a portion of the For the Kids Foundation’s Infrastructure Improvements Project for upgrades to its donation center and to support youth mentoring in the Mat-Su.
  • Daybreak Inc.: $5,000 to support staff availability for client referrals within the newly established Crisis Now system. Their main responsibility is to ensure post-crisis clients get referred to and are meaningfully connected with care in the community.
  • Mat-Su 2024 Arctic Winter Games Host Society: $275,000 to fund the non-competitive aspects of the event, including community-building activities for Mat-Su residents such as a large volunteer program and a winter carnival, and accessibility of sports and culture venues.
  • Palmer Fellowship United Methodist Church: $15,000 for nutritious lunch packs to be given to children on the weekends.
  • Point Mackenzie Community Council: $50,000 for construction of a handicap accessible ramp and walkway to the community center building.
  • Set Free Alaska, Inc.: $5,000 to fund same- or next-day walk-in outpatient substance use disorder treatment services to clients referred through the new Crisis Now mobile crisis team.
  • Sunshine Community Health Center: $300,000 to cover short-term operational costs of health care services provided by clinics in Willow and the Upper Su area.
  • Sunshine Station Child Care Center: $150,000 to for the renovation of its childcare facility for additional physical spaces and upgrades that will allow the organization to be state licensed as a child care center rather than a child care home—thus increasing enrollment of local families to receive full-time child care.
  • True North Recovery, Inc.: $20,800 to fund a lease with a local hotel to support homeless individuals seeking recovery from substance abuse.
  • University of Alaska, Anchorage: $2,350 for a free Alaska Health Fair at Mat-Su College, which will provide health screenings, affordable blood testing, health education information and educational activities for the community.
  • University of Alaska, Anchorage: $150,000 for expansion of the UAA Master of Social Work program over the next three years, allowing for almost triple the number of MSW students.
  • Upper Susitna Seniors, Inc.: $12,520 to fund technical assistance in carrying out a capital project assessment of a proposed project to serve seniors and community members.
  • Valley Charities, Inc.: $15,000 to fund a two-day in-person training geared toward those who serve reentrants, such as mental health and substance abuse treatment providers, reentry case managers, probation and parole officers, correctional education coordinators and employment technicians.
  • Valley Pathways High School: $14,000 to support the creation of VPSFIT, a free after-school fitness program designed to build kids’ self-confidence, increase their knowledge of healthy habits, and provide a safe environment for them to push themselves out of their comfort zones both physically and mentally.

Information about all MSHF grant programs is available at Applications for all grants are available online and open year-round.


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, MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital to protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare institution. The MSHF mission is to improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in the Mat-Su and the tools it uses include grantmaking, convening of local partners, and policy change. The foundation’s work has resulted in significant improvements in systems that support the health of Mat-Su residents in areas such as behavioral health, child welfare, crisis response, community connections, workforce development, transportation, housing, and senior services. More information is available at