Baptist Health Foundation Offers Nearly $7 Million in Grants for Area Health Care Nonprofits

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Ernest Arce works in the sewing department, helping to create fireproof tactical pants worn by military service members.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

The San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind was one of last year's local recipients of grants funded by the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio.

Nonprofit organizations that address health care needs in San Antonio and surrounding counties can apply for grants from the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio (BHFSA), which will award nearly $7 million in 2019.

BHFSA trustees started accepting grant applications May 7 from organizations working to better people’s physical, mental, and spiritual health in one of eight counties served by the foundation, including Bexar, Bandera, Guadalupe, and Kendall counties.

The foundation has been offering grants to health-care oriented nonprofits since 2005, said Cody Knowlton, president and CEO of BHFSA. Since then, the organization has awarded more than 1,000 grants totaling nearly $76 million.

President and CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation Cody Knowlton

Cody Knowlton, president and CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation

“We give out funding for programs and projects ranging from scholarships for students pursuing a career in health care, to disaster relief efforts,” said Knowlton, noting some service areas are harder to reach than others. “We provide the most funding to Bexar County and the New Braunfels area. We struggle finding nonprofits to apply for grant
funding in counties like Atascosa and Wilson” counties.

For organizations seeking $25,000 or more, applications can be made until noon on May 31, he said. These grants are given to programs that work to improve access to health care locally, eliminate disparities in health care, and provide care to the medically vulnerable, he said.

Smaller grants are for organizations seeking $7,500 or less to help support grassroots health initiatives, churches, and other nonprofits expand health care offerings for those in need. Applications will be accepted until noon on July 31.

Last year, the Medina County Food Pantry and the Medina Healthcare Fund were amongst the two largest grant recipients. Locally, the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind and Vision Impaired, SAMMinistriesHaven for Hope, more than a dozen colleges, and the Mayor’s Fitness Council received funding from BHFSA.

The Foundation is only able to consider one request per organization per year, and organizations should have at least one full year of operating history before applying.

“The Foundation offers these grants as a way to help nonprofits have greater impact,” Knowlton said. “We know nonprofits both big and small help shore up the gaps in available health care, and we want to contribute to those efforts.”

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