Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte awards $2.85 million to local groups, projects aiding the community

Smiles lit up the Civic’s lower level Monday, Nov. 6, as the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte (HFL) awarded its first round of grants since reorganizing earlier this year. Smiles for good reason: At the awards presentation, the HFL gave out a total of $2,850,561 to fund 61 projects ranging from mental health programs, to health and wellness programs for kids, to providing immediate help for drug addicts who seek it. (The complete list of awards is below).

A total of 44 LaPorte organizations submitted the 61 projects that were awarded funds. The HFL grants are based on three focus areas — Healthy Children, Healthy Minds, Healthy Living — or contribute to the overall health and wellness of LaPorte (Healthy LaPorte).

“Two million, 800 thousand dollars is going to the community today,” HFL Board Chairman Jeffrey Bernel told the crowd of about 150 community and organization members. “It’s just such an exciting day.”

Bernel commended the 11-member HFL board and the other professionals and community members involved in the grant-making process. “I can’t tell you how many levers it takes to pull to put this all together,” he said.

Largest grant goes to new program addressing opiate addiction

Maria Fruth, president and CEO of the foundation, announced that the largest grant in this 2017 cycle — $633,000 — went to development of a new local program addressing the opiate addiction problem in the community. She said LaPorte County will now become the first Indiana county outside of Marion County to team with Indiana University to combat the problem.

Fruth introduced Swanson Center CEO Matthew Burden, who told those gathered about the new project’s approach.

The Detox Now program “is being launched today,” Burden said. With the grant money the program will address three major “barriers” addicts face: it will offer immediate help for addicts when they seek it, provide funding for rehab, and educate addicts about the program so they might be more likely to seek treatment.

In LaPorte County, Burden said, there are an estimated 100-300 people ready and willing to start treatment for their addictions but face one or more of those barriers.

The program will be rolled out in phases and will also involve teaming with the hospital and law enforcement, he said. “It will literally be door-to-door transportation” from LaPorte County to a Merrillville rehab facility and back, all at no cost.

Full list of HFL grant types and recipients

Healthy Children (Strategic Grants) – $503,001

HFL: “The health of LaPorte’s children is one of our greatest priorities. The lifelong benefits of good childhood health, for both individuals and communities, have led us to identify Healthy Children (prenatal to end of high school) as an HFL Strategic Focus Area.”

  • CCC Head Start of LaPorte County – Healthy Access Medical Transport Van, $61,754
  • City of LaPorte Park and Recreation Department – Summer Playground Program Expansion, $20,972
  • Dunebrook – Healthy Families LaPorte County, $87,110
  • Dunebrook – Public Education Program, $37,016
  • Family Advocates – LaPorte County CASA Youth Specialist, $41,950
  • LaPorte City Police Department – DARE Program, $8,100
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – Postponing Sexual Involvement (PSI Program), $5,000
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – Slicer Wellness Community Health Program, $20,000
  • LaPorte County Health Department – Cribs for Kids, $16,000
  • LaPorte Hospital – Lil’ F.I.S.H. Club, $66,836
  • Michigan City Area Schools – Creating a Mental Health Safety Net, $75,813
  • Open Door Community Alliance – Open Door Adolescent Health Center (ODAHC), $30,000
  • Southshore Skipping Stones – Smile Baby! Born to be Cavity Free, $1,450
  • Women’s Care Center LaPorte, $25,000
  • Youth Service Bureau Big Brothers Big Sisters – Kids on the Block, $6,000

Healthy Living (Strategic Grants) – $806,885.42

HFL: “Obesity and weight-related chronic disease are severe obstacles to a person’s ability to live a long and fulfilling life. The many negative consequences of unhealthy weight, poor diet and physical inactivity can lead to serious health risks, greater medical costs and a lower quality of life. We are committed to reducing the negative effects of poor physical health and its impact on our community and therefore identify Healthy Living as a Strategic Focus Area.”

  • City of LaPorte – Chessie Trail, Phase 1, $232,020
  • Friendship Botanic Gardens – The FBG Fitness Trail (phase 1), $25,000
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA – Capital Campaign Preparation for New LaPorte Y, $15,000
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA – ENHANCE FITNESS for Arthritis Sufferers, $8,104
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA – LIVESTRONG for Cancer Survivors, $8,458.21
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA – Diabetes Prevention, $12,794.21
  • LaPorte County Parks Department – Luhr County Park Land Acquisition and Improvements, $70,000
  • LaPorte Hospital – DEAL Diabetics Empowered Adds to LIfe 2017, $15,008
  • LaPorte Hospital – Mobile Health Screenings, $21,713
  • LaPorte Meals on Wheels – Lunch Box of Hope, $24,476
  • LaPorte Park Foundation – Clarke Park Renovation Project, $25,000
  • New Prairie United School Corporation – Healthy from the Start, $78,267
  • Purdue Extension – Farm to Freezer to Table, $2,745
  • Swanson Center – Activity Center for Older Adults, $25,000
  • The Pax Center – Brighton Street Green Space, $204,800
  • The Salvation Army – Backpack for Kids Weekend Food, $38,500

Healthy Minds (Strategic Grants) – $831,539

HFL: “Behavioral and mental health are a vital component of a person’s well-being. Mental health disorders, substance abuse and tobacco use negatively impact overall health and quality of life and can place a burden on entire communities. The negative impact of mental illnesses and substance abuse on our neighbors and our community has led HFL to identify Healthy Minds as a Strategic Focus Area so that we can support programs that focus on the prevention and treatment of mental and behavioral health issues.”

  • Frontline Foundations – Life Recovery Community Center, $63,090
  • Paladin – Behavior Management and Music Therapy, $49,479
  • Samaritan Counseling Centers – Mental Health 2030: Increasing Access to Services, $49,970
  • Swanson Center – Detox Now: Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Treatment, $633,000
  • The Dunes House – Nine-Bed Scholarship, $5,000
  • The Intrepid Phoenix – Pilot Program, $16,000
  • Worthy Women Recovery Home – Healthy Women, Worthy Women, $15,000

Healthy LaPorte (Responsive Grants) – $321,681.50

“HFL identifies health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ as defined by the World Health Organization. We recognize that wellness is the ‘active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence’ and the six dimensions of wellness are emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual as developed by the National Wellness Institute. Healthy LaPorte Responsive Grants meet our community’s health and wellness needs that fall outside of the three Strategic Grant Areas and demonstrate a connection to HFL’s mission and vision.”

  • Arts in the Park – Growth and Expansion, $10,000
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gary – Preventing Homelessness, $15,461
  • Center for Creative Solutions – Happiness = Health = Creativity/Innovation = Happiness, $6,570
  • Citizens Concerned for the Homeless – Sand Castle Shelter Health Care Literacy and Initiatives, $3,000
  • Citizens Concerned for the Homeless – Keys to Hope Health Care Literacy and Initiatives, $2,500
  • Home Team of LaPorte County (under Unity Foundation) – Home Team Coordination, $17,500
  • Housing Opportunities – Financial Health, $23,390
  • Indiana Guardianship Services – Adult Guardianship Program, $15,000
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – Boston Middle School Project Extended Day, $23,500
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – GrapeSEED Early Language Acquisition Program, $10,000
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – Kesling Middle School Project Extended Day, $23,500
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – LPCSC Middle School Afternoon Success Program, $25,000
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation – Slicer Champions School-based Mentoring Program, $10,000
  • LaPorte County Department of Homeland Security EMA – Save A COP, $13,200
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA – CPR, AED and Basic First Aid and Lifeguard Training Equipment, $7,183
  • LaPorte Fire Department – AED Program, $24,212
  • Leadership LaPorte County – Youth 2017-18 Program, $4,400
  • MSD of New Durham Township – Westville Little School, $24,919
  • North Central Community Action Agencies – Wheelchair Ramp/Home Safety Repair Program, $20,000
  • Open Door Community Alliance – Medication Assistance Program, $5,000
  • Paladin – Unreimbursed Medical Expenses for Developmentally Disabled, $5,000
  • READ LaPorte County – ESL Classes with a Health & Wellness Component, $7,346
  • Visiting Nurse Association of NWI – LaPorte Community Liaison, $25,000

Healthy Partners – $129,091.07

HFL: “In order to develop an accurate perspective of LaPorte’s health and wellness, it was also necessary to gain an understanding of the resources that were already serving the community. HFL set about the educational process of identifying community organizations and agencies that impact the area’s health and wellness and invited them to introduce themselves and their programs to our board and staff. Listening to their needs inspired us to consider capacity building opportunities. HFL has identified capacity building as a funding priority to help organizations develop and strengthen the skills, abilities, and resources that are needed to make an even more impactful change in our community.”

  • Capacity Building
  • IU Center for Health Policy Study
  • IU Nonprofit Management Certificate
  • Results Based Accountability
  • Web Development

Legacy Funding – $258,363.17

“HFL recognizes the invaluable role that the former LaPorte Hospital Foundation’s signature programs and events played in our community. The two foundations blended their financial and operational efforts together as of January 1, 2017, and HFL continues to maintain these programs and events in support of our mission to empower residents to live healthy and well in and around LaPorte.”

  • Access to Medication
  • Breast Cancer Prevention
  • Cancer Patient Assistance
  • Chapel Programs
  • Children’s Programs (Lil’ F.I.S.H. Club; Get Active, Get Fit!)
  • Education for Healthcare Providers
  • Health and Wellness Programs
  • HFL and Auxiliary Scholarships
  • LaPorte Hospital Auxiliary Projects
  • Samaritan Assistance

Grant application process

“HFL appreciates the time and effort of all the 2017 grant applicants and encourages local organizations who have great ideas related to health and wellness to submit applications for the 2018 grant cycles when they open next year. For more information about HFL’s grant applications, visit”

HFL is a not-for-profit, independent, private foundation dedicated to empowering our residents to live healthy and well in and around LaPorte to become one of Indiana’s top 10 healthiest communities by 2030. The foundation was initially funded in March 2016 from the proceeds of the sale of LaPorte Hospital. Learn more about how the HFL supports the community and how to get involved in its efforts at or by calling 219.326.2471.

2 Responses to “Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte awards $2.85 million to local groups, projects aiding the community”

  1. Kathy T

    Nov 07. 2017

    This is amazing and I thank the Health Foundation for their immense generosity to our own community.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Mary Barbara Backer

    Nov 09. 2017

    This is an amazing list of donations to wonderful organizations. It must have taken many hours to determine what to support and what amount would be granted. Congratulations for your hard work and the results will be remarkable.

    Reply to this comment

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