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- Proverbs 3:5-6
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By Cindy Dempski - Thursday Apr 23, 2020
PHOENIX (April 23, 2020) —Vitalyst Health Foundation has partnered with the Arizona Community Foundation to award Systems Change Grants totaling $524,948 to three Arizona projects. These grants will help build healthy communities around the state.

“In the first year of Vitalyst’s Systems Change Grants, we have increased the funding amount and lengthened the time per award. These changes will better support projects tackling tough community issues,” said Suzanne Pfister, president and CEO of Vitalyst Health Foundation. “Each of our grant-funded partners has shown a thoughtful approach to improving community health by working with a broad coalition of partners to impact the root causes of health.”

The Systems Change application process began in the Fall of 2019. In the context of COVID-19, it has become more important than ever to ensure that partners such as those awarded below continue to have the capacity to make meaningful systems improvements. The coronavirus outbreak has impacted all communities, but not equally. The work these partners are doing will allow them to better adapt to the shifting circumstances in order to best serve their populations.

2020 Systems Change Grants were awarded to the following Arizona projects:

Pinnacle Prevention received a $174,948 grant. Partners include Living Streets Alliance, the Arizona Alliance for Livable Communities, Health by Design, and the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities. The collaboration is focused on increasing infrastructure investments for opportunities to improve health through parks and recreation, transportation, and overall community design in rural and tribal communities.

South Mountain WORKS Coalition, fiscally sponsored by Southwest Behavioral & Health Services, received a $175,000 grant funded in partnership with the Arizona Community Foundation. Partners include the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Consortium, Southwest Elementary School, Cesar Chavez Leadership Academy, South Mountain High School, Cesar Chavez High School, Roosevelt School District, and South Mountain Community College. The Coalition will create a safe, resilient, and trauma-informed community school system focused on overall health and well-being of South Mountain by changing local policies and practices to address inequities of children and families who have experienced ACEs or trauma.

The End of Life Care Partnership, fiscally sponsored by the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, received a $175,000 grant. Partners include Goodwill of Southern AZ, Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, Pima County Juvenile Court Center, and the University of Arizona. The End of Life Care Partnership will center direct input from youth to develop, implement, and evaluate youth bereavement services for Pima County Juvenile Justice Courts.

About Vitalyst Health Foundation
Vitalyst Health Foundation is on a mission to inform, connect and support efforts to improve the health of individuals and communities in Arizona. Over its history, the foundation has invested more than $100 million and established itself as a key thought leader, convener and catalyst of key initiatives – ranging from statewide health policy and systems to development of local community gardens. More information is available at