Partnership brings COVID-19 funding to Alaska communities


Ethan Kispert


A partnership between the Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, along with other cities, will help manage $5.1 million in federal grant funds. The money will help aid communities’ efforts to recover from the coronavirus.



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The partnership, known as the C-19 Response Funding program, targets three key areas. The funding is aimed at helping spur COVID-19 testing, administering COVID-19 vaccinations, and promoting activities designed to help combat inequities with regards to COVID-19. 

Any group seeking aid must either be located in the Matanuska-Susitna Region of Alaska. If not, that group must indicate what services they serve to the area or how many people they serve. 

Karen Koenemann, VP of programs at MSHF said:

“This partnership with the State of Alaska and local governments to disburse federal dollars will give local organizations the funding they need to prevent further spread of the disease and at the same time support recovery from the pandemic.”

According to MSHF, any nonprofit or for-profit entities, health care providers, tribes, governments, school districts, and faith-based organizations that promote the overall health of the community that it’s in is qualified to apply for the aid. 

The federal grant money will go towards ensuring that people get vaccinated, promoting COVID-19 testing for employees that need it, and helping facilities secure the right equipment so that they can meet patient demand. The full list of funded activities can be found at this Mat-Su Health Foundation website

This aid aims to help get the current COVID-19 situation in the state under control and back towards pre-pandemic conditions. According to data from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), 59.3% of Alaskans age 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of August 12. 53.3% of Alaskans age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated. DHSS data shows that there were 275 new cases of COVID-19 on August 15. 

Data from DHSS shows a clear disparity in vaccination rates among cities throughout Alaska. According to the data summary, the Juneau region has the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents at 75%. The Matanuska-Susitna Region of Alaska, one of the cities included in the $5.1 million partnership, leads the list with the lowest percentage at 37.1%. 

Organizations interested in seeking funding can contact the Mat-Su Health Foundation at 907-373-2827 or by email at [email protected]