“Foundation funding supports innovative approaches to reducing health risks and promoting health equity and health care access for Kentuckians throughout the Commonwealth,” Susan Zepeda, CEO of the foundation, said in a news release.
“Promoting Responsive Health Policy,” one of the foundation’s 2012-17 initiatives, includes a multi-year study of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s impact in the state, including its impact on Kentucky’s children; a three-year study of the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care; the Kentucky Health Issues Poll; and support for Kentucky Voices for Health, Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Youth Advocates, the Center for Smoke-Free Policy at the University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Population Health Institute.
Another initiative, “Investing in Kentucky’s Future,” supports seven communities in developing and implementing strategies to reduce chronic disease risks in children to help them grow up to be healthier than their parents.
Six of the seven communities in this initiative received money in 2015 to implement their strategies, including: Kentucky River Community Care – Breathitt County ($115,800), Clinton County School District ($158,361), Fitness for Life Around Grant County ($182,033), Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness ($161,850), United Way of Paducah-McCracken County ($150,000) and Partnership for a Healthy McLean County ($87,065).
The foundation’s grants to improve health literacy and communication includes support for Kentucky Educational Television; the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, mainly for Kentucky Health News; the Next Louisville: Community Health project at WFPL-FM public radio; and the foundation’s local health data website: www.kentuckyhealthfacts.org.
Several groups, including the Kentucky Public Health Association, Community Catalyst, The Healing Place, and Health Watch USA received conference support grants to help host health policy and equity conferences, seminars, and symposiums.
The foundation was created in 2001 from the charitable assets of Anthem Inc., recovered in a lawsuit by then-Attorney General Ben Chandler after the company converted from a mutual insurance firm to a stock company. Under a settlement, the $45 million was invested and only the earnings from it may be spent.