Riddell said the additional money will allow it to increase those annual grants to about $3.4 million a year. To date, the foundation has given away about $5.7 million to 209 nonprofit groups in 300 grant awards in 22 Western Slope counties. Most of those foundation funds were deposited into accounts to help it earn interest, money from which goes out each year in the form of grants to a variety of groups across the Western Slope. “That’s awesome,” she said. “This allows us as a foundation and the nonprofits we collaborate with to have a greater impact as we work to improve the health and well-being of people on the Western Slope.”
The new donation is to go into the foundation’s coffers and will allow the group to provide more in annual grants to various groups over many years to come, said Pat Riddell, chairwoman of the foundation. The bulk of that donation — $25 million — is to go to the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation, a nonprofit group that was formed in 2017 when Rocky and UnitedHealth merged, and has been providing health-related grants four times a year to area groups ever since.
The foundation was initially seeded with about $38 million, but then got another $13 million in a settlement agreement in 2019 with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, with an additional $7 million going to various providers in the community, Gordon said. “I’m grateful for your leadership, generosity and vision in investing here in Colorado,” added Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who helped make the voluntary donation a reality and came to Grand Junction to participate in the announcement. “What (UnitedHealth) has chosen to do is honor the commitment to Western Colorado. This is going to be a big deal.”
Exactly where the remaining $400,000 will go has yet to be finalized. “We know that addressing youth mental health and addressing the school-prison pipeline is an area that we could do better on,” Weiser said. “We all can ask, ‘How can we help young people and enable them to live productive lives?’ We all have to do our work, and these organizations are extraordinary. We support you. We see you and we believe in you.” Another $1.5 million is to go to the Boys & Girls Club of Colorado to expand its programs and serve more youth; $500,000 to Sources of Strength to increase access to youth suicide prevention programs in schools; $400,000 to the Center on Colfax in Denver to support career counseling and mental health services to LGBTQ youth; and $400,000 to The Place in Colorado Springs.
Those three groups — Mile High Youth Corps, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, and Western Colorado Conservation Corps — will split the most, $1.8 million. In addition to that foundation donation, UnitedHealth and Rocky also are giving $5 million to a variety of Western Slope and statewide health and youth nonprofits, including the three groups of the Colorado Youth Corps Association.
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- Rocky Mountain Health and UnitedHealth Donate $ 30 Million | Western Colorado
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