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Health First Foundation awards $900,000 to improve health in northern Arizona

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September 15, 2021

Health First Foundation Northern Arizona recently awarded $900,000 in grants and scholarships to improve health and well-being in the region.

The foundation awarded grants to nine nonprofits for initiatives demonstrating positive and sustainable impact on community health. It also awarded 15 scholarships to college-level students studying in northern Arizona to become health professionals.

“These annual awards move the foundation closer to achieving its vision of optimal health and well-being for all and the promotion of vibrant communities,” said Sandra Kowalski, Health First Foundation president and CEO. “We are excited to advance such innovative projects that will raise the bar for mental health, preventative care, and integrated care in our region. We are grateful to our donors who enable us to support these impactful programs.”

Grants ranging from $20,000 to $200,000 went to:
• Manzanita Outreach for MO Packs, making nutritious food accessible to children in the Verde Valley
• Flagstaff Shelter Services for its Housing as Healthcare program that links two critical needs for those experiencing homelessness
• Arizona’s Children Association for establishing child and family behavioral health services in Mohave County
• Steps to Recovery Homes for establishing an intensive outpatient addiction recovery program serving Cottonwood and surrounding areas
• Creek Valley Health Clinic of Colorado City for integrating physical and mental health services in the underserved community
• Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council for providing behavioral health services to veterans experiencing homelessness in Mohave County
• Northern Arizona University for establishing a patient-actor program, a novel integration of nursing and drama studies to teach approaches to patient evaluation and care
• Polara Health for expanding metrics-driven, patient-centered mental health and wellness care in the Prescott Valley area
• NACASA at North Country HealthCare for providing care and services to victims of sexual assault

The grantees share the Health First Foundation mission to advance community health and wellbeing.

“(Our) services go beyond just seeing a doctor,” said Hunter Adams, CEO and co-founder of Creek Valley Health Clinic. “We’re really looking to transform our entire community and help our community live as safe, healthy, and empowered as possible.”

Since 2016, Health First Foundation has invested $18 million in community health, helping more than 500,000 people achieve better health. These initiatives address the social determinants of health, the social conditions and environments that impact health and wellbeing, and the region’s health priorities. They reach a diverse range of people across northern Arizona’s five counties.

Funding for Health First Foundation comes from the contributions of generous donors. As little as $25 can make a positive impact on the health and well-being of a neighbor or community member. Visit to learn more.

Nancy Wiechec, Corporate Communications Specialist, (928) 223-9246

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