Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte awards $5,365,789 to 60-plus local health, education and assistance programs

(Scroll down to read story and list of grant recipients)

A banner showing the distribution of HFL grants at the entrance to the luncheon.

(Photos above and below:) HFL President Maria Fruth (left) and Board Chairman Jeff Bernel, along with a representative from Indiana University School of Public and Enviromental Affairs, hand out certificates for graduates of the Nonprofit Leadership Academy.

Nonprofit Leadership Academy graduate Nate Loucks of the Pax Center speaks on behalf of the class.

Fruth speaks about the funding’s impact on the community.

(This photo and the 5 below:) Groups of people representing the various organizations receiving grants from HFL.

WNLP photos by Bob Wellinski

These are exciting times for the LaPorte area, with another round of Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte grant awards — this time totaling $5,365,789 for 2018 — which were formally presented to local organizations Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

Maria Fruth, HFL president and CEO, praised the collaborative effort of the community partners at the event, hosted at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium.

Fruth also celebrated the first graduation of the Nonprofit Leadership Academy. Close to two dozen organization leaders underwent training with the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Nathan Loucks of the PAX Center, who spoke on behalf of his fellow graduates, reminded the group that their efforts were about “creating collaboration, so that everyone knows we’re not alone in believing a better world is possible.”

LaPorte Mayor Mark Krentz called the HFL grant awards “a game changer” and presented a map of LaPorte that showed areas in which HFL grants have already impacted the city. The Chessie Trail expansion, Fort La Play Porte improvements, and new equipment at Stone Lake Beach are just a few of the benefits Krentz identified as a direct result of the grants.

Jeff Bernel, chairman of the HFL Board of Directors, thanked the HFL staff and the board in their efforts to meet the foundation’s goal of empowering the community to live healthy and well.

HFL appreciates the time and effort of all the 2018 grant applicants and encourages local organizations who have great ideas related to health and wellness to submit applications for the 2019 grant cycles when they open next year. For more information about HFL’s grant applications or the 2018 grantees, visit


Healthy Children (Strategic Grants) – $660,067

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

  • City of LaPorte Park and Recreation Department
    • Fort La Play Porte Renovation, $65,000 – Renovate and build additions to existing playground structure at Kesling Park
  • Dunebrook Inc.
    • Healthy Families, $82,338 – Engage families early to provide education and prevent child maltreatment cases
    • Public Education, $45,500 – Educate the entire LaPorte community about the child sexual abuse problem and how to prevent and respond to it
  • Family Advocates Inc.
    • CASA Youth Specialist, $36,800 – Advocate for and advise foster youth ages 13 to 21
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation
    • Postponing Sexual Involvement, $5,000 – Teach values such as abstinence from sexual involvement, respecting oneself, how to cope with peer pressure, and honoring the feelings of others
    • Family/Community Resource Services, $52,000 – Support for students and families including ENL services, skill building, and resource links and service coordination
  • LaPorte County Health Department
    • Cribs for Kids, $11,000 – Safe sleep education for anyone interested and a free safe sleep kit to community members in need
  • LaPorte Hospital
    • Lil’ F.I.S.H. Club, $67,606 – Instill healthy behaviors in 4th and 2nd graders in local schools using state standards for education and incorporating physical activity
    • Slicer Health Clinic, $165,323 – On-site primary care center focusing on the health and well being of LPCSC students in kindergarten through 12th grade
  • Open Door Community Alliance Inc.
    • Open Door Adolescent Health Center, $25,000 – Emerging medical home that emphasizes comprehensive, accessible & continuous care for adolescents
  • The Salvation Army
    • Weekend Backpack Food for Kids, $79,500 – Provide six healthy kid-friendly meals to 400 students from four schools in the LaPorte Community School Corporation on the weekends during the school year
  • Women’s Care Center
    • Building Capacity for Healthier Babies, $25,000 – Ongoing health services and support to expectant mothers and babies

Healthy Living (Strategic Grants) – $2,963,242

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. HFL is 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.

  • Bethany Church
    • LaPark Playground Renovation and Additions, $25,000 – Build a park with playground, splash features, and equipment for multi-generational and handi-capable use
  • City of LaPorte
    • Chessie Trail Phase 2 Engineering, $60,000 – Engineering design for Phase 2 of Chessie Trail in LaPorte
    • Clear Lake Trailhead and Boardwalk, $570,089 – Construct Clear Lake Trailhead and Boardwalk to give access to recreation and exercise activities for all LaPorteans
    • Sub-Area Plan and Clear Lake Recreational Improvements, $425,000 – Improvements to Chessie Trail and Clear Lake area for access points and planning for future recreation areas and projects
  • City of LaPorte Park and Recreation Department
    • Allesee and Rumely Park Tennis Courts, $57,500 – Construct and renovate tennis courts at Allesee and Rumely parks
    • Kesling Park Batting Cages and Shade Sails, $181,768 – Install shade sails over bleachers and construct indoor batting cages at Kesling Park
    • Outdoor Fitness Court, $119,223 – Construct an NFC Fitness Court in Kesling Park that provides a free bodyweight circuit-training system for adults of all ages and fitness levels
    • Park Safety Initiative, $64,800 – Purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs), lightning detector systems and radar speed signs for three regional parks
    • Soldiers Memorial Park Renovations Phase I Planning, $20,000 – Develop a plan to renovate Soldiers Memorial Park south of Stone Lake
    • Stone Lake and Fox Park Equipment, $90,669 – Climbing rock wall at Stone Lake Beach and PlayCube Structure at Fox Park
    • Summer Playground Program, $19,972 – Free drop-in program offering activities for children throughout summer break in five neighborhood parks
    • Tennis Renaissance Phase I, $165,000 – Renovate the Bill Reed Tennis Complex in Kesling Park
  • Family Advocates Inc.
    • Teaching Wellness During Supervised Parenting Time, $17,736 – Education, encouragement and an environment for healthy eating habits and routine physical activity while families engage in supervised parenting time
  • Friendship Botanic Gardens
    • Wild-Fit Trail Phase 2, $25,000 – Add 5 new strength-training exercise equipment stations throughout the wilderness trails
  • LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service
    • Video Laryngoscopes, $37,500 – Purchase a video laryngoscope for every EMS vehicle to increase success rate of obtaining a secure airway and reducing oropharyngeal trauma
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA
    • Evidence-Based Health Intervention Program Expansion, $33,934 – Incorporate Moving For Better Balance (improving mobility) and Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring into programs created to assist those facing or at risk for chronic diseases
  • LaPorte Fire Chiefs Association
    • County Firefighter Hood Project, $49,375 – Equip each firefighter, career and volunteer, in LaPorte County with a new particulate-blocking protective hood
  • LaPorte Hospital
    • Community Outreach, $125,000 – Ongoing health screenings and health fairs to community neighborhoods, support to discharged patients, and concussion testing for high school student athletes
    • LaPorte Community Health Center & LaPorte Dental Center, $650,000 – Access to affordable medical and dental services for community members challenged with low income, no insurance, or those qualified for a sliding fee scale
  • LaPorte Meals on Wheels
    • Restructuring for Our Future Growth, $25,000 – Grow program capacity and outreach in LaPorte
  • MSD of New Durham Township
    • Westville Wellness Initiative, $23,204 – Establish strength-training class for middle and high school students, conditioning for student athletics, exercise sessions and yoga classes for staff members, and open weight room facility to community members
  • New Prairie United School Corporation
    • New Prairie Empower Hour, $147,472 – Safe space for students after school to learn healthy, safe and responsible behaviors to help them grow into productive community members
  • North Central Community Action Agencies Inc.
    • Wheelchair Ramp/Home Safety Repair Program, $20,000 – Construct wheelchair ramps and perform home safety repairs for elderly and/or disabled low-income residents who require this assistance
  • The Social and Learning Institute for the Disadvantaged Inc.
    • Health & Wellness Program, $10,000 – Program and classes to achieve health goals and benchmarks for students

Healthy Minds (Strategic Grants) – $1,025,898

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.

  • Citizens Concerned for the Homeless Inc.
    • Keys to Hope Community Resource Center Case Manager, $24,000 – Case manager who will increase positive outcomes for community members seeking support from Keys to Hope
  • Family Advocates Inc.
    • CASA Volunteer Coordinator, $19,000 – Volunteer coordinator who will recruit, screen, train and retain volunteers to help abused or neglected children in LaPorte County
  • Frontline Foundations Inc.
    • Comprehensive Health Initiative, $67,159 – Trauma-focused counseling, eye movement desensitization psychotherapy, and medication-assisted treatment to address trauma, addiction and physical health
  • Healthy Communities of LaPorte County
    • Suicide Prevention Education, $14,000 – Offer evidence-based Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) training to parents, educators, first responders, and any interested community members
  • LaPorte County Public Library
    • Community Resource Coordinator, $24,437 – Coordinator who will provide community members in need real-time access to critical health resources
  • Swanson Center
    • Detox Now, $731,812 – Eliminate barriers of time, cost and transportation for community members in need of inpatient/residential detox and subsequent addictions treatment. Create an extended Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.
  • The Dunes House
    • Nine Beds Scholarship, $14,490 – Supplement rent payments for men entering nine-bed long-term recovery program to become sober, responsible and employed
  • The Intrepid Phoenix
    • The Intrepid Phoenix, $25,000 – Combine the fellowship and unity of a 12-step program with a holistic approach to fitness in the recovery process
  • Youth Service Bureau
    • Kids on the Block, $6,000 – Educate second grade students in LaPorte County about physical and sexual abuse
  • LaPorte County Schools
    • Partners in Prevention, $100,000 – Planning grants to 15 schools in LaPorte County for prevention programs available to approximately 19,000 students

Healthy LaPorte (Responsive Grants) – $407,868

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 La Porte 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
    • Dennis Smith Amphitheater Expansion, $25,000 – Improve existing amphitheater site by adding permanent, accessible concessions, restrooms, dressing rooms and storage
    • Summer Concert Series, $15,000 – Coordination of free concert series and events for LaPorte community
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gary
    • Lifeline Utility Assistance, $7,707 – Financial assistance for low-income families and individuals facing disconnection of utilities
    • Preventing Homelessness, $15,461 – Financial assistance to help residents avoid eviction or foreclosure and a workshop to help develop a strategic financial plan to achieve financial sustainability
  • Citizens Concerned for the Homeless Inc.
    • Grace Learning Center’s Nurturing Parenting Program, $3,912 – Program dedicated to removing barriers to self-sufficiency for parents to help them achieve the ultimate outcome of jobs and housing
  • City of LaPorte Police Department
    • AED and First Aid Equipment Program, $12,565 – Purchase of new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and First Aid equipment for the LaPorte Police Department and City Hall
  • Indiana Guardianship Services Inc.
    • Adult Guardianship Program, $17,700 – Decrease wait list time for guardianship services to incapacitated adults
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation
    • ICU – Individual, Creative and Unique, $15,000 – Awareness and skill building for students and families who are struggling with self-regulation, mental health concerns and life trauma
    • Kingsbury Healthy Families, $4,135 – Mitigate, educate, and inverse intergenerational cycles of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their residual health effects in the community
    • Middle School Afternoon Success Program, $25,000 – Safe environment for middle school students, including academic interventions for struggling students and enrichment opportunities for all students
    • Slicer Champions School-based Mentoring Program, $20,756 – Link caring adults from business, civic organizations and the community with middle and high school students who are disconnected from education and our community
  • LaPorte County Family YMCA
    • Volunteer Capacity Building, $25,000 – Further develop volunteer capacity and processes to recruit more volunteers, expand program impact, and maximize the health outcomes that come from volunteering
  • LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra
    • Children’s Education Concert, $15,000 – Bring students out of the classroom and into the performance hall to experience the cultural power of the arts through the orchestra’s education concerts
  • Leadership LaPorte County Inc.
    • Youth 2018-19 Program, $7,100 – Build on the skills, ideas and energy of local youth to improve the community through service-led projects and promoting civic engagement
  • Michigan City Area Schools
    • All About M.M.E. (Mindful Motor Enrichment), $23,189 – Mindful motor enrichment activities to build self-regulation skills needed for all persons to be peaceful and successful individuals
  • MSD of New Durham Township
    • Westville Little School, $24,999 – Collaboration with Purdue Northwest and Dunebrook to offer 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children and their families an educational opportunity integrated with home visits and social service supports
  • North Central Community Action Agencies Inc.
    • Children Vision Screening Program, $8,000 – Vision screening for 3-6-year-old children in LaPorte County with complimentary follow-up exam and pair of glasses for children with financial need
  • Open Door Community Alliance Inc.
    • Medication Assistance Program, $10,000 – Remove barriers for patients who are in need of medications and supplies
  • Paladin Inc.
    • Transportation for the elderly, disabled and medically fragile, $25,000 – Reliable transportation for the elderly, disabled and medically fragile so they may access needed medical and community services
  • READ LaPorte County Inc.
    • ESL Classes with a Health & Wellness Component, $10,000 – Instruction and practice in using English through general, financial, job readiness, and health and wellness instruction
  • Reins of Life Inc.
    • Equine-assisted Learning, $22,844 – Collaboration with the South LaPorte Special Education Cooperative to design specifically tailored lessons with various unmounted and mounted equine-assisted activities
  • Stepping Stone Shelter for Women Inc.
    • Transitioning from Violence to Safety, $10,000 – Providing crisis lines, intervention, temporary shelter, clothing and food, transitional housing, counseling, support groups, and advocacy to victims of domestic violence
  • The Singing Company of LaPorte County
    • Children’s Chorus, $2,000 – Engage children in experiences of music education and performance opportunities to foster their character through music
  • United Way of LaPorte County
    • 2018 LaPorte Community Schools Kindergarten Countdown Camps, $10,000 – Four-week curriculum taught by licensed kindergarten teachers for children with no preschool experience
  • Unity Foundation of LaPorte County
    • Vibrant Communities of LaPorte County, $25,000 – Create a grassroots county-wide action agenda for the 15 communities of LaPorte County and the county as a whole
  • We Connect
    • Success Coach, $25,000 – Success Coach who will offer onsite career mentoring and professional development tailored to at-risk employees’ unique needs
  • Yana Service Club Inc.
    • Handicap Access Ramp, $2,500 – Build a handicap access ramp to enable individuals who are handicapped to access the clubhouse for the purpose of attending 12-step recovery meetings

Healthy Partners – $105,053

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.

  • Meals on Wheels – Capacity building support for Local Meals on Wheels
  • Nonprofit Leadership Academy – IU Nonprofit Leadership Certificate
  • – Website with data and resources related to LaPorte County

Legacy Funding – $203,661

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 its mission to empower residents to live healthy and well in and around LaPorte.

  • Breast Cancer Prevention​
  • Cancer Patient Assistance​
  • Chapel Programs​
  • Children’s Programs​
  • LaPorte Hospital Auxiliary Projects​
  • Samaritan Assistance
  • Scholarships

One Response to “Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte awards $5,365,789 to 60-plus local health, education and assistance programs”

  1. Pat Larson

    Nov 16. 2018

    The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte is a blessing for our community! Please be proud and grateful for all the wonderful services this Foundation provides for so many, Thanks to all who have donated to help these funds grow to serve so many needs in our community. The Foundation’s beginnings as The La Porte Hospital Foundation assisted me in many ways through scholarships as I pursued and achieved higher levels of education. In a time of need The Foundation and my colleagues at La Porte Hospital purchased and installed a ramp that allowed me to be more mobile. Thank you to Maria Fruth and the Board along with all those involved. Your efforts and assistance are greatly appreciated and life enhancing in more ways than you may ever realize!

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