Alexandria – The Rapides Foundation has received a one-time, unrestricted gift in the amount of $14 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
Foundation President and CEO Joe Rosier said the gift will allow The Rapides Foundation to deepen its mission to improve the health status of Central Louisiana.
“We are extremely grateful that MacKenzie Scott believed enough in the mission and grantmaking strategies of The Rapides Foundation that she would make this significant gift,” Rosier said. “In the same way that we have approached development of our grantmaking strategies in the past, we will be intentional and deliberate about the best way to use this funding so that it translates into improvement in health status for Central Louisiana residents.”
The Rapides Foundation works in three strategic areas to improve the health status of Central Louisiana – Healthy People, Education and Healthy Communities. Since its creation in September 1994, the Foundation has awarded approximately $240 million in grants to address the social and behavioral determinants of health affecting the region’s residents.
“Our work focuses on root issues impacting health status – access to healthcare, healthy behaviors, education and income,” Rosier said. “The disparities and gaps in each of those require that our work involve those affected by a history and culture of poverty, illiteracy and low-wage employment. The health status of the region can only be measurably and significantly improved by eliminating those disparities and gaps.”
Through its Healthy People priority area, the Foundation seeks to improve access to healthcare and to promote healthy behaviors. The Foundation’s Education priority area works to increase the level of educational attainment and achievement as the primary path to improved economic, social and health status. And through the Healthy Communities priority area, the Foundation works to improve economic opportunity and family income, and also to enhance civic and community opportunities for more effective leaders and organizations.
“This gift to support the work of The Rapides Foundation affirms that the strategic priorities implemented in support of our mission are viewed by others as worthy of additional investment. We appreciate that validation and will use these funds to strengthen our work on the core generational issues facing our region, while always improving our approach,” Rosier said.