Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky reports its 2013 grants

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky invested just over $2 million in 2013 on programs, research and initiatives designed to inform and promote better health policy in Kentucky, it said in a news release Tuesday. It said the grants went to community-based organizations, healthcare providers, universities and health-advocacy groups across the state.

“Foundation funding provides resources to organizations that are working to make Kentucky a healthier place to live, work and play,” said Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the foundation. “Current initiatives build on our first decade of work, to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians through investment at the local and state levels.”

This is the first year the foundation made grants under its 2012-2017 strategic plan, which includes an Investing in Kentucky’s Future initiative to provide training, technical assistance and direct grants to seven Kentucky communities. The foundation has made a five-year, $3 million commitment to support the communities’ efforts to develop and implement strategies to help school-age children grow up healthier than their parents.

Another initiative, Promoting Responsive Health Policy, “couples targeted research and polling with investment in effective statewide health-policy advocacy groups, in an effort to make health policy . . . more responsive to Kentuckians’ identified needs,” the release said. This includes a multi-year study of the state’s transition to managed-care Medicaid, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, and support for Kentucky Voices for Health, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Youth Advocates and the foundation’s local health data website,

The foundation’s Kentucky Healthy Futures initiative provided matching funds to leverage local resources and attract funds to Kentucky from federal and private sources. Foundation funds matched money from the federal Social Innovation Fund to help improve the health of medically under-served areas in 52 of the state’s 120 counties, through nurse-managed clinics, telemedicine, mobile health services, care navigation and a Meade County activities center. Several groups, including Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation, the Kentucky Public Health Association, the Kentucky Teen Institute and the Todd County Health Department (for the Western Kentucky Public Health Forum), received money to support conferences, seminars, and symposiums aligned with the foundation’s mission, to meet the unmet health-care needs of Kentuckians.

The foundation’s grants for communications included $20,000 to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, primarily for Kentucky Health News, and $100,000 to KET for health programming. A full list of grants by the foundation in 2013 is available at

The foundation was created in 2001 from the charitable assets of Anthem Inc., recovered in a lawsuit by then-Attorney General Ben Chandler after the company converted from a mutual insurance firm to a stock company. Under a settlement, the $45 million was invested and only the earnings from it may be spent.

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