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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Avista Foundation announces $297K in donations to area nonprofit agencies

The Avista Foundation has announced it will be giving about $300,000 to 33 nonprofits organizations in three states.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

The Avista Foundation has announced it will be providing grants totaling $297,000 to 33 nonprofit organizations in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

The grants are focused on providing financial assistance to those organizations providing mental health and homeless programs, Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO, said in a news release.

Among the grants are $60,000 for Communities in Schools of Spokane County; $15,000 for Community Minded Enterprises of Spokane; $40,000 for Family Promise of Spokane; $7,500 for Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Consortium; and $10,000 for YWCA Spokane.

Among the organizations in Idaho receiving grants are UCAN Sandpoint, $4,250; Sandpoint Area Seniors Inc., $3,000 ; and Safe Passage in Coeur d’Alene, $3,000 .

“As the effects of the pandemic persist, we remain committed to investing in organizations that have a positive impact on people’s lives,” Vermillion said. “Supporting health and human services is especially critical now, and we recognize that the local needs are evolving.”

The largest grant, $75,000, will be used to help build a residency program at Pullman Regional Hospital, hospital CEO Scott Adams.

Pullman Regional is working with the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University to create a Family Medicine Residency Program based in Pullman aimed at easing the physician shortage in the greater Palouse area.

“This funding will improve access to quality medical care in underserved areas and help fill that gap,” Adams said.

Since its establishment in 2002, the Avista Foundation has given more than $10 million in grants targeted to those regions thata have vulnerable or limited-income populations, according to the release. The grants also focus on education and cultural vitality, foundation Executive Director Kristine Meyer said.

“Through the Avista Foundation, we’re able to support a wide range of these nonprofit organizations that work to provide food security, shelter and other health care programs,” Meyer said.

The foundation is a separate, nonprofit organization established by Avista Corp., which provides electricity to about 400,000 customers. The foundation does not receive funding from revenue generated from ratepayers.