Wasilla, Alaska – The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has partnered with the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the cities of Houston, Palmer and Wasilla to manage $5.1 million in federal grant funds to support community-driven strategies for COVID-19 prevention and recovery. The new Community-Driven C-19 Response Funding program will provide support in three strategic areas: COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccination and activities to decrease health inequities highlighted by COVID-19.

“It will take the entire community coming together to make progress towards pre-pandemic conditions,” said MSHF Vice President of Programs Karen Koenemann. “This partnership with the State of Alaska and local governments to disburse federal dollars will give local organizations the funding they need to prevent further spread of the disease and at the same time support recovery from the pandemic.”

Organizations eligible to apply for funding include nonprofit and for-profit entities, healthcare providers, tribes, governments, school districts/schools and faith-based organizations that support the health and wellness of borough residents. Applicants must have a physical location in the Mat-Su or indicate what services or population numbers they serve in the Mat-Su.

Examples of activities that may be funded include the following:

  • COVID-19 vaccination.
  • COVID-19 testing, including testing for employees and/or participants in reoccurring activities.
  • Mobile testing and/or vaccination.
  • COVID-19 mitigation needs for facilities (minor renovation, supplies, equipment).
  • Transportation for non-medical emergency COVID-19 testing and/or vaccination.
  • Expansion of hardware/software to improve laboratory capacity and information technologies or to provide other support related to the goals of the funding.
  • Temporary staffing to support medical care providers in contacting patients who have not yet been vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 outreach and community engagement including events or booths at health fairs, conferences, and community gatherings (e.g., sports or faith-based events) or other information-sharing events.
  • Translation of information materials to other languages and/or to meet ADA requirements.
  • Outreach to specific geographic areas, neighborhoods, vulnerable populations or population groups to address health equity.
  • Targeted media materials and dissemination, such as the creation of videos, mailers, radio/newspaper ads and social media.
  • Targeted grants to nonprofits to support mental and behavioral health and/or healthy living related to COVID-19 recovery, mitigation and prevention measures.
  • COVID-19 recovery and/or prevention support for homeless, seasonal/transient, vulnerable or other at-risk populations.
  • Support for faith-based communities and other types of organizations to support COVID-19 recovery and/or prevention.
  • Childcare by a state-licensed facility on a drop-off basis to enable access to the vaccine/testing.
  • Emergency preparedness assessment and identifying improvements to be better prepared for a public health emergency.
  • Improvement of community centers or gathering locations to increase testing, vaccination, quarantine options and/or support socially distanced activities.
  • Upgrading of facilities and/or public buildings with touchless plumbing fixtures.
  • Health improvements within homeless outreach programs.
  • Air filtration via portable HEPA filtration for enclosed spaces (classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, etc.) and/or other ways to increase ventilation.
  • Mitigation/prevention efforts that limit the spread of disease such as quarantine/isolation and/or delivery expenses of food for vulnerable/homebound populations.
  • Incentives such as <$25 value items (gift cards, taxi vouchers, transport voucher, childcare) to remove barriers to testing or vaccination.
  • Incentives for medical providers to use VacTrAK and/or to boost wellness visits with COVID information.
  • Outreach activities by entities that represent underserved populations.
  • Stipends for local experts or community members to share outreach educational information about COVID-19 and/or contribute to community-focused groups or health advisory groups, etc.
  • Respite services due to COVID-19. For example, quarantine and/or lodging for individuals before or after treatment, to prevent homelessness or out-of-home care.

This is not an exhaustive list and other ideas are strongly encouraged. More details on this opportunity are available at Organizations interested in pursuing funding may contact the Mat-Su Health Foundation by phone at (907) 373-2827 or by email to


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 .