News and Information

August 30, 2012

$300,000 Grant Supports Franciscan’s Work To Reduce Youth Violence

The Franciscan Foundation has received a $300,000 grant to support the Franciscan Health System’s Youth Violence-Prevention Initiative in Federal Way, Gig Harbor and Enumclaw.

The grant was provided by the Mission and Ministry Fund of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), the national health system that includes Franciscan. Franciscan operates St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw.

A goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of students expelled or suspended for violent and/or risky behavior by 20 percent in 10 designated public schools, and by 10 percent in the entire Federal Way School District, by the year 2015.

"We are excited to partner with St. Francis Hospital to address a community issue that has a significant impact on our students’ success in school," Federal Way School District Superintendent Rob Neu said. "The CHI youth-violence grant is a great example of how community organizations can team together to support our students through a targeted, well-conceived initiative."

The grant will support a coordinator to facilitate work aligned with strategies created by local community coalitions and to work with school leaders in creating school-based violence prevention plans. It will also help fund an additional staff member to work directly in schools who will focus on reducing risky behavior. Additionally, development of a soccer field and youth soccer league in the Westway neighborhood of Federal Way will be supported by grant funds.

"We are thrilled to support the Youth Violence-Prevention Initiative, including the Westway community project," said Franciscan Foundation President Gregory Unruh. "Developing a soccer field for children in this neighborhood contributes to an environment where violence is not tolerated, and where healthy and fun activities are part of community life."

The Mission and Ministry Fund has awarded 347 grants totaling more than $41.6 million to programs across the globe since it was established in 1996 with guidance from the founding congregations of CHI. The fund was created through contributions from CHI facilities across the nation, including the Franciscan Health System.

"Violence prevention is a systemwide, long-term commitment for CHI, and we’re very proud of the collaborative work being done by the Franciscan Health System in the community," said CHI President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lofton.

The mission of Franciscan and CHI is to create healthier communities.

CHI is a national non-profit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 76 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2011, CHI provided more than $612 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of more than $10.5 billion, CHI is the nation’s second-largest Catholic health care system.

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