Post by Jessie Wuerst
Low income residents of Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston, Idaho, will have improved access to healthcare, and in-home childcare providers in Spokane can better help their young charges to read thanks to recent grants from the Avista Foundation.
At the Dirne Community Health Center in Coeur d’Alene the $2,700 grant will assist in refurbishing and equipping a vehicle for use in delivering quality healthcare in locations that are easily accessible to those most in need – homeless individuals, senior citizens and low income families with children.
“Access to quality healthcare is impeded by limited transportation for a significant number of people in our community. This grant will help us overcome that barrier by delivering healthcare opportunities to those in need right where they need it,” said Mike Baker, CEO of Dirne Community Health Center. “Our new mobile clinic will allow us to serve more than 3,000 individuals per year through visits to sites such as health fairs, community centers, homeless encampments and senior meal sites.”
In Lewiston, a $1,500 grant to the Snake River Community Clinic Dental Safety Net program will provide funds for medications, supplies and administrative costs for the clinic that serves uninsured and under-insured adults primarily in eight counties of southeastern Washington and North Central Idaho.
“Our dental clinic provides vital services to those who are medically needy, many of whom are the working poor in our region. This grant will help with the costs of providing at least 220 single-tooth extractions for adults,” said Charlotte M. Ash, director of the Snake River Community Clinic. “Dental health is an essential part of a person’s overall health. Our all-volunteer staff of professionals helps us leverage these kinds of gifts to provide healthcare services to a greater number of those in need.”
A $4,000 grant to Humanities Washington in collaboration with Community-Minded Enterprises, will help fund a literacy training program for low-income child care providers in Spokane County, Wash. The grant provides funds to support training for 20 licensed, in-home childcare providers for a family reading program. In addition, funds will help provide free books for classrooms and to send home with the children in their care, as well as take-home activities to engage parents in their children’s at-home learning.
“We know that just over 50 percent of Washington’s kindergarten students enter school prepared to learn. Offering this literacy program in partnership with Humanities Washington will give us the opportunity to provide important training to care givers in our region to help them – and the children’s parents – provide reading readiness opportunities to build a solid educational foundation for each child in their care,” said Kathy Thamm, from Community-Minded Enterprises.
“We are very pleased to make these grants through our foundation. All too often health, educational and community resources are stretched beyond capacity. Avista is proud to be an active partner with these organizations to enhance these vital services in our service territory,” said Dennis Vermillion, president of Avista Utilities and member of the Board of Directors of the Avista Foundation.
Avista Corp. and Avista Foundation were recently ranked 13th in corporate and foundation giving in Washington among large companies by the Puget Sound Business Journal. The only other utility in the top 25 ranking, in terms of cash giving in 2010, was Puget Sound Energy Foundation at number 16. In 2010, Avista Corp. and Avista Foundation donated more than $1.5 million in Washington and a total of $2.27 million to non-profit organizations throughout our service territory.