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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Avedis Foundation announces first grant cycle to begin August 1

  • The Avedis Foundation has begun the process to establish itself as a private foundation, complete with a grant making process by announcing the procedure is in place to implement its first grant cycle. The initial grant cycle will be available to potential applicants beginning Aug. 1.
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  • The Avedis Foundation has begun the process to establish itself as a private foundation, complete with a grant making process by announcing the procedure is in place to implement its first grant cycle. The initial grant cycle will be available to potential applicants beginning Aug. 1.
     
    Prior to Aug. 1, potential applicants can read the guidelines posted to the Avedis Foundation website under the Guidelines/Resources tab to verify that the criteria to apply can be met by the organization.
     
    The process begins with a quiz to make sure the organization is eligible for a grant. Once the applicant passes the quiz, the grant application process begins by completing a letter of intent, which will include information about the organization, how much it is seeking for the grant and what the money will go toward.
     
    Michelle Briggs, president, CEO and board member of Avedis Foundation, said applicants must have their letter of intent completed and submitted prior to Aug. 15 to be eligible for the first grant cycle.
     
    After the first step of completing a letter of intent, the Avedis Foundation staff will have two weeks to notify organizations as to whether or not additional information is needed in the form of a complete application or that the request is declined at that time.
     
    If Avedis Foundation staff requests a comprehensive application, applicants will have an additional two weeks to complete the application. After the completed comprehensive applications have been submitted, the Grant Committee, which is comprised of the Board of Directors, will choose whether or not to approve grant requests. Briggs said the announcement of approved grants will be at the beginning of November.
     
    “We don’t want anyone to be afraid to apply, so we made it [the process] as simple as possible,” Briggs said.
     
    She said preference will be given to projects or entities that have collaborative projects with other organizations, strong board involvement and commitment, consistent and proven management and additional support from other organizations, individuals or entities.
     
    “We are looking for projects with the biggest impact on the community,” Briggs said.
     
    She said the Avedis Foundation plans to have two grant cycles per year. Another grant cycle is planned for the first quarter of 2014 with awards being announced in early May 2014. As of now, applicants can apply for grants in each cycle, whether the organization was awarded or not and there is no size limit on the amount of the grant request. Briggs said this may change in later years, but the Avedis Foundation wants to help as many as possible.
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    “Everything we do is a first for us and we’re learning new things as we go,” she said.
     
    The Avedis Foundation, previously named Community Health Partners, is what remained after the sale of the hospital to SSM Health Care and has assets in excess of $110 million. Avedis means ‘bearer of glad tidings or good news’ and Briggs said the board selected that name because they felt Avedis would be good news for the county.
     
    Briggs said the mission of the Avedis Foundation is to improve the health, wellness and quality of life of the citizens of Pottawatomie County and its surrounding communities. The governing board of the Avedis Foundation is the former board of directors of Unity Health Center, which was owned by Community Health Partners. Briggs said the people who serve on that board are leaders, physicians, business owners, educators, accountants and psychologists from the community.
     
    Charles Shields, former school superintendent, is the board chair of the Avedis Foundation. Paula Waters, who has experience and background in the not for profit sector with a focus on community collaboration, is the program director at the Avedis Foundation.
     
    The Avedis Foundation has already made a large financial commitment to Pottawatomie County and the surrounding communities by pledging $35 million to the hospital/SSM for a major construction project, of which $20 million has already been paid. The remaining $15 million will be disbursed during the construction project.
     
    “We’re excited about giving back to the community,” Briggs said.
     
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