In 1995, St. Luke’s Hospital system was sold to a for-profit corporation and the St. Luke’s Charitable Health Trust, later St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, was endowed to continue the mission of the organization. In 2016, after 19 years as a public foundation, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives changed its name to better capture the full scope of its services. Since its founding, Vitalyst Health Foundation has expanded its services and now partners with organizations statewide to serve the larger Arizona community.
Vitalyst Health Foundation is on a mission to improve the well-being of Arizonans by addressing root causes and broader issues that affect health. The organization focuses on four key priorities, increasing access to care and insurance coverage, working with municipal leaders to promote healthy community design, building community-based organizational capacity, and promoting health and health care innovations and collaborations.
Program Information: Annually, Vitalyst awards innovation grants to community organizations to catalyze innovations that will transform systems and policies impacting health and resiliency. It is also a programmatic foundation that initiates policy work, advocates for systems change, and provides extensive technical assistance to nonprofit organizations.
- Financial Information:
Total Assets: $121,960,127 (FY15)
Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: $3,364,381 (FY15)
- Special Initiatives and/or Representative Health and Human Services Grants
Cultivating South Phoenix (CUSP) – CUSP has secured a lease for 18-acres of land in South Phoenix. The land hosts a community farm, food distribution hub, recreation opportunities, and arts and culture events. Community gardeners and residents tap into South Phoenix’s deep agricultural roots to reinvigorate the neighborhood. In 2015, Vitalyst Health awarded an innovation grant to CUSP, which has leveraged more than twice its amount in other funds. ($125,000)
2017 Year of Healthy Communities – Vitalyst Health has spent the past few years working with local organizations to promote the idea of “health in all policies.” This work will culminate in a yearlong celebration of healthy communities through programming, workshops, and recognition. ($250,000)
Cover Arizona Coalition – In 2013, a small group of partners gathered with Vitalyst to tackle the challenges faced during the first year of the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid expansion. Together, the coalition was able to successfully aid in enrollment throughout the state. Today, 1,000 nonpartisan organizational members work together to help Arizonans find the coverage they need. ($900,000)
Reinvent PHX – Based on a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Reinvent PHX was established with the goal of improving five neighborhood districts along the light rail in Phoenix, Arizona. Using the Health Impact Assessment approach, Vitalyst was able to assess the health impacts of conditions, plans, and policies in these five neighborhoods along the light rail to make recommendations for development. Reinvent PHX has bolstered the creation of two Complete Streets ordinances and a Walkable Urban Code, and has laid the framework for future development in the city.
Healthy Corner Stores Project – In 2014, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was awarded a Health Innovation Grant for the Healthy Corner Stores Project. The project connects local farmers who are growing local and culturally appropriate foods to local store owners. Both farmers and store owners are then trained on how to successfully collaborate and provide fresh, healthy produce to the community. ($125,000)
“During the past 19 years, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives has invested more than $100 million toward creating a healthier, more resilient Arizona. We felt that changing our name to Vitalyst Health Foundation was a great way to start our 20th year and position us for our future endeavors. It celebrates our past, as a catalyst for community health, but it adds the notion of vitality, which embodies much of the work we are now undertaking.”
Suzanne Pfister, President and CEO