Community Health Benefit Fund to support advancement of health in northwest Colorado

Annual grant application process to open in January
July 16, 2019
This is a photo of the front entrance of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.
Yampa Valley Medical Center became part of the UCHealth family in September 2017. Photo by UCHealth.

As part of the partnership established between UCHealth and Yampa Valley Medical Center (YVMC) in 2017, the Steamboat Springs community and YVMC are benefiting from investments of more than $105 million from UCHealth, including a $20 million contribution to Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation (YVMCF). Beginning in January 2020, organizations in the communities served by YVMC will be able to apply for grants from a portion of this donation.

Grants from the Community Health Benefit Fund (CHBF), the name given to the funds YVMCF received from UCHealth, will be split equally between two purposes:

  • Annual grant funds for the advancement of health in the communities served by YVMC, including population health initiatives.
  • Special initiatives for the benefit of programs, services and capital projects within or related to YVMC operations and activities.

“Thanks to the generosity of UCHealth and the work of YVMC’s local leaders and trustees, there are now significant grant dollars available for health-focused nonprofits in our communities,” said Soniya Fidler, president of YVMC. “By working together and supporting select nonprofits with grant funds, we have the opportunity to improve lives in a much greater way.”

“The impact these funds can have in our local communities is monumental,” said Karen Schneider, executive director of YVMCF. “We are excited to be able to review proposals and provide grants to organizations focused on truly improving the health of our neighbors.”

The annual grant funds have been quasi-endowed, a decision made by the CHBF committee to ensure funding is available to support the community and its population health initiatives in perpetuity.

The special initiatives funds are earmarked for larger projects that have the opportunity to effect lasting change in the communities served by YVMC.

Focus areas for funding will be determined each grant cycle. To qualify for the inaugural grant cycle, organizations must be an existing 501(c)(3) and located within Routt and/or Moffat counties. Organizations meeting these requirements may apply individually or together to reach a shared goal.

“All grant requests will be reviewed equally, and all applications should align with the areas we’ve identified as having the most impact for the people we serve,” said Mark Fitzgerald, YVMCF board member and chairman of the CHBF committee. “We’re anticipating a good response from the community, and are grateful to UCHealth for the opportunity to help our community focus on health.”

The CHBF committee is working to establish an online grant application and approval process. Additional information will be shared with the community in October, prior to the application window opening in January 2020.

Over the almost two years since joining UCHealth, YVMC, its patients and the Steamboat Springs community have benefited from additional specialties, a new electronic medical record, increased stroke and trauma capabilities, advanced technology and initiatives to reduce the cost of care.

About the author

Lindsey Reznicek is a communications specialist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She has spent the last ten years working in marketing and communications in health care, an industry she never considered but one to which she's contributed through her work in media relations, executive messaging and internal communications. She considers it an honor to interact with patients and write about their experiences; it’s what keeps her coming back to work each day.

A native of Nebraska, Lindsey received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, with a focus on public relations, from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University – she bleeds purple.

She could see a Broadway musical every week, is a huge animal lover, enjoys a good shopping trip, and likes spending time in the kitchen. Lindsey and her husband have two daughters and enjoy hiking in the summer and skiing all winter long.