Local Nonprofits Rejoice

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Grant recipients commend Con Alma for much needed funding

By Carol A. Clark

The mood was joyous among members of the nonprofit community gathered inside the Community Building for the ninth annual grantee recognition live webcast Thursday.
Thirty-five nonprofits from throughout New Mexico shared in $527,535 in funding awards. Los Alamos Family Council is one of several Los Alamos agencies awarded Northern New Mexico Health Grant Group grants.
“We received $20,000 and all of it is going to support low income people in need of psychiatric treatment, which has been identified as one of the most pressing needs of this community,” said Counseling Center Program Director Cheryl Pongratz of the Los Alamos Family Council. “Con Alma has been a life saver … there are people in this community who are suicidal and this funding gets them the help they need.”
Pongratz explained that Con Alma is the parent of the Northern New Mexico Health Grant Group and all of the money given through grants to northern New Mexico programs has come from Con Alma. Con Alma received several million dollars from Los Alamos Medical Center several years ago when it went from a not for profit to a for profit hospital, Pongratz said.
“They’ve given back $1.6 million to Los Alamos, Pojoaque and Rio Arriba counties since 2004 – we’ve had a net of about $100,000 during this time period,” she said.
The Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board also is a grant recipient.
“We received about $10,000 for teen and family counseling and about $8,000 for evaluation of programs,” Chairman Alan Kirk said. “It’s very important that we continue the plan for sustainability and realize that we’ve got to go out for funding aside from the funding we receive from the schools, county and state.”
The county provides JJAB with $139,000 in funding, the schools provide $10,000 and the state provides $107,000, Kirk said.
Con Alma awarded the Family Strengths Network $6,850 to support “We Help Ourselves,” a national program that teaches children and youth how to be safe at home and school.
The Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service received $10,685 to certify two Registered Nurses from Los Alamos and Espanola in wound and skin care.
Planned Parenthood of New Mexico received $20,000 for the Northern New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties and surrounding Pueblo communities.
Sage Cottage School received $5,000 to provide early childhood health, wellness and development training to teachers and parents in Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties.
Self Help received $20,000 to increase the capacity of its Immigrant Health Initiative.
The Alzheimer’s Association received $10,000 to increase its outreach activities. Amigos del Valle received $12,000 to provide in-home services and transportation to allow adults to remain independent within their own homes in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties.
The Los Alamos First Born Program received $20,000 to provide home visits to new mothers.
Through its 2010 multi-year grant program, Con Alma also awarded the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation a $15,000 matching grant to support an evaluation of the First Born Program in Los Alamos, Grant, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Socorro and Taos counties.
“We are proud to support and partner with these organizations to help fulfill our mission to improve the health status and access to health for all New Mexicans,” said Executive Director Dolores Roybal of the Con Alma Health Foundation.
Recipients of Con Alma’s 2010 multi-year, small grants and Northern New Mexico Health Grant Group grantees were honored during Thursday’s event, which included a live webcast from the Santa Fe Convention Center featuring a keynote address by Executive Director Robert Valdez of the RWJF Health Policy Center at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.