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St. David’s grants address health disparities

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As 2020 ends and we reflect on the challenging events of the past 11 months, one thing is clear – the already critical work of our grant partners has only increased in importance and need. Throughout the course of the year, we, as a foundation, have embraced several opportunities to connect with, listen to and learn from our grantees to assess the community’s most pressing needs and invest resources to support that work as nimbly as possible. Such efforts included deploying the Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund and, as appropriate, converting grants to unrestricted, general operating support to ensure the stabilization of day-to-day operations for some of Central Texas’ most critical nonprofits.

In October, St. David’s Foundation partnered with Episcopal Health Foundation to conduct a survey focused on Central Texans’ views on and experiences connected with COVID-19. The results were sobering, showing significant impact and hardship in Central Texas communities in comparison to the rest of the state. Specifically, Travis County residents are more likely to skip or postpone medical care than those in the rest of the state (42% versus 32%). This illustrates the importance of timely access to care, supporting safety-net clinics and strengthening our overall health care infrastructure. Further, in conversations with local nonprofits and community organizations, several needs became increasingly clear. These organizations need financial assistance and flexibility in navigating the impacts of the pandemic and responding to the emerging needs of the community.

We have listened with intention and thoughtfully taken into consideration survey data, community conversations and the guidance of local health experts, to determine how and where to best support the Central Texas community. In response, we are pleased to announce the recipients of our winter grant cycle totaling $31,669,724. Of that amount, grants totaling nearly $6.1 million were awarded to organizations that provide support in Bastrop County. As determined in our spring cycle, and where appropriate, some of the grants reflect unrestricted, general operating support to provide our nonprofit partners maximum flexibility while other grants – in particular, those made to our clinic partners and other organizations – will support specific projects and initiatives.

Our winter grant recipients represent organizations serving our neighbors facing the greatest needs, including childhood and older adult populations, and those working to improve the critical infrastructure that keeps communities healthy. This includes safety-net clinics, palliative care, home visiting services, and food security in our five-county region.

As we embark upon the new year with renewed hope for a healthier tomorrow, we are humbled by the fortitude of our community while knowing much remains unknown as we face the coming months and as our communities continue to struggle amidst a global crisis. We will stand by our nonprofit community at every opportunity as we work to advance health equity and work to uplift our Central Texas neighbors.

Grant recipients that operate in Bastrop County include:

  • Austin Palliative Care ($500,000): Funding will help provide community-based palliative care services to adults with a serious illness in Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties.
  • Bastrop County ($175,000: Funding will help expand the network weaver leadership approach in Bastrop County.
  • Bastrop County Cares ($150,000): Funding will support the expansion of Bastrop County’s Parents as Teachers Home Visiting model.
  • Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry & Support Center ($70,000): Funding will help provide monthly access to shelf-stable and fresh healthy food to low-income seniors in Bastrop County.
  • Capital Area Initiatives Foundation ($348,843): Funding will support the introduction of the innovative, evidence-based CAPABLE intervention in Bastrop County.
  • Community Health Centers of South Central Texas (multiple initiatives totaling $2,303,157): Funding will provide health care services, as well as essential oral care treatment in to uninsured and unfunded patients in Caldwell and Bastrop Counties.
  • Drive a Senior Central Texas ($130,000): Funding will help provide free transportation and social connection for older adults through volunteer drivers and group vans to access critical services, including medical appointments and shopping, in Travis, Hays and Bastrop Counties.