The Premera Rural Health Care Fund Applications will be accepted year-round

Apply now for funding from the Rural Health Care Fund, established by Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska.

The Rural Health Fund – a limited fund grant program, established by Premera and administered in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska Community Foundation – supports access to quality health care in rural Alaska communities

A new grant fund that aims to fill gaps in rural Alaska health care is now open for applications. This time-limited grant program was established in late 2019 by Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, which has generously provided $3 million for the fund. It is being administered in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska Community Foundation.

Eligible organizations are defined as community health centers, outpatient clinics, Alaska Native organization and tribal government operated clinics and/or hospitals, critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals, located in rural and remote locations of Alaska. Organizations must be based in Alaska, either have 501(c)(3) status and classified as a “not a private foundation” under section 509(a) of the tax code, or units of government, such as a city or tribal government. Organizations may receive multiple grants, if projects are different sites of service.

Grant requests may be up to $100,000.

Eligible projects are short-term capital projects, including the purchase of medical and dental equipment, technology, vehicles and ancillary equipment for emergency services, facility renovations and restorations, and furnishings. Preference will be given to projects that improve the quality of health care delivery as demonstrated by evidenced-based research.

The Fund will generally not support: reimbursement for already purchased items or completed project components; projects associated with core government functions, including but not limited to roads, utilities, and public safety; K-12 education; general operations, administrative, indirect, or overhead costs; deficits or debt reduction; endowments; scholarships; or fundraising events or sponsorships.

This time-limited grant program was established in late 2019 by Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, which has generously provided $3 million for the fund. It is being administered in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska Community Foundation. In all, Premera has committed $5.7 million to improve health care in rural Alaska.

Evaluation

Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis and grants will be awarded quarterly. Applications will primarily be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The organization’s history, fiscal capacity, active board of directors, staff experience, financial support and the
  • The project’s other sources of funding, sustainability, and benefit to the organization and community and/or region served.
  • The Fund will prioritize projects to distribute grant funding, to the extent feasible, equitably across Alaska’s geographic regions.

Please review the following documents to apply.

Proposals will be accepted through the online grant system on a rolling deadline. Proposals will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Grant Guidelines

Application outline

Helpful hints for applying online

 

Contact

Please contact the program director, Dr. Gary Ferguson at Rasmuson Foundation, if you have questions about the Premera Rural Health Fund.  If you have any questions after reading these documents, please contact an ACF Program staff member at grants@alaskacf.org or call 907-334-6700. 

The Rural Health Fund – a limited fund grant program, established by Premera and administered in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska Community Foundation – supports access to quality health care in rural Alaska communities

“We are glad to partner with Premera on this new grantmaking venture, specifically to serve the needs of rural Alaska, the small village clinics and critical access hospitals,” Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation president and CEO, said when Premera announced the Rural Health Care Fund. She referenced a plane crash in Unalaska that cut off air service to the Aleutian Islands community. “It’s not uncommon for rural communities to be cut off from higher level medical service than available at home because of weather or other circumstances. The Premera partnership will enable local clinics to acquire the critical equipment they need as first responders. Lives will be saved.”

In October, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield announced an investment of $5.7 million in Alaska including $3 million for the new Rural Health Care Fund.

In announcing the new Rural Health Care Fund, Premera cited a 2017 study from the National Rural Health Association. Researchers found that people living in rural areas suffer worse health outcomes than their urban counterparts. They are sicker, poorer and older and are more likely to experience higher rates of premature death, disability and chronic disease. In Alaska, more than 200,000 people, or about 32% of the state’s population, live in rural communities. With about 200 villages off the road system and only reachable by boat, aircraft, snowmachine or four-wheeler, the state faces unique challenges to providing timely and quality care for all its residents.

“We’re proud to support the work that Alaska organizations, the university and ANTHC are doing to serve the health care needs of Alaska’s rural communities,” said Jeff Roe, president and CEO of Premera Blue Cross. “Many of Alaska’s communities are hundreds of miles from a regional medical center, and in most rural communities there is not an adequate number of physicians, primary and mental health care providers and sufficient facilities. It is critical to invest in effective, long-term solutions to close the growing gap between urban and rural health care access.”