Episcopal Health Foundation invests in 15 new grant partners

[Episcopal Health Foundation press release] The Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) has approved $2.2 million in February to benefit 15 new grant partners in their efforts to bring positive change to the health of communities across Texas. This is the first group of grants the Foundation’s Board of Directors has awarded in 2016.

“These grants demonstrate EHF’s commitment to be a new voice for health across Texas,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “We’re helping strengthen and build the expertise and effectiveness of health nonprofits so they can serve those who need the most help in new and more life-changing ways.”

Texas has the most uninsured children and adults in the nation. Texans suffer from higher rates of diabetes, high-blood pressure and diabetes than most other states. And the health disparities are worse in minority, rural, and low-income communities across Texas. The evidence is clear: doing the same things in the same ways will not improve community health in Texas.

That’s why more than half of the funds invested ($1.2 million) are dedicated to helping organizations build the staff, infrastructure and skills required to address the root causes of poor health in their communities.

“We have to empower organizations so they can that can take on the health challenge in Texas in different ways,” Marks said. “We believe positive change happens when communities drive the effort to transform the systems of health where they live. These capacity building grants are a first step toward building a foundation for long-lasting change.”

Grants announced include:

  • $125,000 to ProUnitas in Houston

Grant is to provide operating support for the community organization working in the low-income Kashmere Gardens neighborhood in Northeast Houston. ProUnitas is comprised of community members from the neighborhood to represent the needs and voices of those living in the area. The group coordinates health, educational and social services for children and youth in the neighborhood on behalf of those living in the neighborhood. ProUnitas seeks out service providers who are able and willing to meet health and social needs in the neighborhood and then connects those providers with children and teens who need the help.

ProUnitas’ work began after a door-to-door survey of residents identified health services and mentorship as priorities to build a better future for neighborhood youth. The group believes that community only becomes stronger when its members are at the center of change that is taking place. So far, ProUnitas has helped 45 partner agencies come into the neighborhood to work with families.

  • $308,863 to the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) in Smith County

EHF’s grant is help strengthen the backbone organization supporting a coalition of groups working side by side in Northeast Texas to improve community health for all in Tyler and Smith County.  Along with adding key staff, the grant will help ETHNN continue to gather information from those they serve so that those voices drive ETHNN’s actions toward improving community health and eliminating poverty.

  • $250,000 to Texas Organizing Project Education Fund (TOPEF) in Harris County

Grant supports the effort to work in three targeted low-income neighborhoods in Houston to organize leaders to tackle the difficult problems and barriers to health within those communities. The effort will also include the opportunity for Episcopal church members to work as advocates alongside these community groups. The goal is to build positive impact and increase the resources needed in these areas to develop healthy neighborhoods.

Additional new EHF Grant Partners:

Austin Travis County Integral Care (Travis County)
$100,000
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness
Grant is to provide mental health services through the Healthy Community Collaborative – a comprehensive system to address health care for the homeless and those living in poverty with mental illness, addiction and other chronic health conditions.

Aware Central Texas (Bell and Coryell counties)
$50,000
EHF Strategy: Capacity building
Grant is to increase in-home family visitations and coaching to at-risk families to prevent child abuse and improve family health outcomes.

Children at Risk (Harris County)
$100,000
EHF Strategy: Early childhood development
Grant supports the delivery of a “train-the-trainer” Positive Parenting Program that’s proven to reduce behavioral, developmental and emotional problems in children.

Children’s Defense Fund (Smith County)
$308,666
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
Grant is to improve child health outcomes through a focused, community-based health insurance enrollment effort and to lay a foundation for community wellbeing based on improved child health.

Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults (Harris County)
$110,641
EHF Strategy: Comprehensive, community-based primary care
Grant is to expand services to address the integrated behavioral health and primary care needs of children in foster care.

The Immunization Partnership (Angelina, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Harris, Jefferson, McLennan, Travis, Wharton and Williamson counties)
$100,000
EHF Strategy: Healthy planning
Grant is to improve community health through health care provider education and engagement.

Interface Samaritan Counseling Centers (Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris and Liberty counties)
$175,000
EHF Strategy: Capacity Building
Grant is to provide staffing for a development director and program manager to start a Telemental Health Services program for underserved communities in rural and urban areas.

Planned Living Assistance Network of Central Texas (PLANCTX)
(Bastrop, Travis and Williamson counties)
$107,000
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness
Grant is to provide funds for the executive director, a grants care manager and additional clinic staff for crisis intervention and behavioral health services for adults with severe mental challenges.

Special Health Resources for Texas (Gregg and Smith counties)
$125,000
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
Grant is to support the general operation of a new federally qualified health center providing comprehensive primary and dental care to the underserved in communities in Tyler and Longview.

Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (23 counties)
$150,000
EHF Strategy: Capacity building
Grant is to develop quality standards to improve performance and increase capacity at charity clinics.

Texas Behavioral Health Funders Collaborative (All 57 counties)
$25,000
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness
Grant is to support EHF’s participation in the statewide collaborative funding innovative, solution-oriented projects designed to promote high-impact mental health interventions or support improved mental health policy in Texas.

Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility (Travis County)
$113,080
EHF Strategy: Early childhood development
Grant is to develop a pilot Toxic-Free Child program in partnership with two community health centers that will educate pregnant women and families about the dangers of toxins, ways to prevent health complications, minimize exposure to toxins and create healthier alternatives.

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