The Empire Health Foundation has awarded $424,000 to nonprofit organizations.
The grants are the first from the foundation, created in 2008 from the sales proceeds of Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center.
The money was split among 29 nonprofits. The largest grants were $25,000. The smallest was $2,000.
Foundation spokeswoman Jennifer Ramb said another round of grants will be made by the end of the year to help struggling organizations.
Grant applications are being accepted through Oct. 8. Applicants must be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Such responsive grants are not expected to be the norm, however. The foundation’s board of the directors plans to focus on specific community needs and then make larger grants beginning in 2011.
The foundation has about $50 million – making it one of the larger foundations in Washington state. It will distribute money to health care causes in Spokane, Stevens, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Adams and Whitman counties.