December 24, 2019
Lewiston Morning Tribune

Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation gave out more than $800,000 to health-related nonprofit organizations earlier this month.

There were 20 recipients of the 2019 Impact Grants, a competitive grant program that awards health related nonprofit organizations with $25,000 to $75,000 grants, Chairman of the Board of Community Advisors for the Foundation Dr. John Rusche said.

An additional 44 health-related nonprofits were awarded smaller grants of as much as $5,000, Rusche said.

“It’s a really exceptional asset the community has,” Rusche said. “We can help not-for-profits that can’t normally apply for grants.”

This year’s grants will improve efforts to battle hunger, provide improved clinical access and access to health care, and increase mental health care options in the region, he said.

“We are proud of the not-for-profits in our region, working through their programs and community volunteers to help their fellow residents,” Rusche said. “While not curing all the ills, we do believe that these awards and these organizations will improve lives in our region.”

The foundation was established when St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, formerly a nonprofit hospital, was sold to for-profit RCCH Healthcare Partners in 2017. The foundation was staked with $23 million from the $109 million sale of the hospital and another $2 million from RCCH.

The foundation distributes 5 percent of the average monthly holding of the trust set up with the $25 million. That money is used for administrative costs and for funding grants, Rusche said.

“It is a way to recapture value the community donated to the hospital over the years,” Rusche said. “So far we’ve managed to maintain the $25 million.”

The foundation received $5 million in requests from more than 100 nonprofits and governmental entities functioning as not-for-profits.

“We think we can donate close to $1 million per year,” Rusche said. “We are hoping (the trust) will last 20-30 years or longer.”

The board prioritizes the larger-impact grants to applicants with long-term vision, partnership building and projects that improve wellness and prevent disease, a news release said.

The Fast-Track Small Grant is intended for small nonprofits with operating budgets below $250,000 per year that are focused on health, wellness or disease prevention.

The 2019 Impact Grant recipients were Backyard Harvest, Camas Prairie Food Bank, CHAS Lewis & Clark Health Center, Clearwater County Ambulance, Community Action Partnership, Garfield County Food Bank, Idaho Food Bank, Interlink Inc., Latah Alliance on Mental Illness, Lewis Clark Council of St. Vincent de Paul, Nimiipuu Health, Public Health Idaho North Central After Jail Care Training, Public Health Idaho North Central Senior Quality of Life Initiative, Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation, Snake River Community Clinic Nurse Practitioner, Snake River Community Clinic Day Clinic Medical Assistant, Valley Meals on Wheels, Wallowa County Healthcare District and Whitman County Public Health.

The 2019 Fast Track Grant recipients were AbbaDaddy House Inc., Centennial Elementary School, Council on Aging & Human Services, City of Deary Recreation, Clarkston Community Garden, Community Health Action Team, Communities Creating Connections, the Discover Center, Cornerstone Teen Center, Deary Community Food Bank, Elk City Ambulance Inc., Elk River Volunteer Fire Department, First Step 4 Life & Snake River Community Clinic, Friendly Neighbors Senior Citizens Inc., Friends of Wallowa Public Library Inc., Friends of Wallowa School District, Garfield County Public Hospital District, Grantham Elementary School, Homes of Hope Inc., Inland Oasis, Interlink Inc., J-K Good Samaritan Food Bank, Kamiah Senior Citizens Society, LaCrosse Community Outreach & Foodbank Center, LC Valley Resilience Coalition, Lewiston Fire Department, Life Choices Clinic, Marines of the Palouse, Moscow Central Lions Club, North Idaho Central Health District, Palouse Alliance for Healthy Individuals Families and Communities, Prairie Community Library, Prairie Mtn Nutrition Inc., Pullman Schools Pantry Program, Reliance Center, Salmon River Senior Citizens Inc., 2nd Judicial District CASA, Snake River Community Clinic, the Green Apple Project, the Salvation Army Lewiston Corps, the Willow Center Inc., Tri-State Memorial Hospital, Troy Community Food Bank, Whitman Hospital & Medical Center and WSU Master Gardener Foundation Asotin City Chapter.