Vitalyst Health Foundation

OVERVIEW: This health legacy foundation is focused on health funding in Arizona. Priorities are access to care and coverage, healthy community design, community capacity building, and community innovation and collaboration.

FUNDING AREAS: Access to care and coverage, healthy community design, community capacity building, community innovation and collaboration.

IP TAKE: This isn’t just another health funder awarding hospital grants. It’s really interested in policy and nonprofit capacity too. Also, it’s an accessible funder that welcomes staff interaction.

PROFILE: The Vitalyst Health Foundation is a health legacy funder formed after St. Luke’s Hospital System sold to a for-profit corporation in 1996. Before adopting its current name, it was known as the St. Luke’s Charitable Health Trust and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives. Over the years, this foundation has invested over $100 in Arizona health.

Current foundation priorities are as follows: (1) increasing access to care and insurance coverage, (2) working with municipal leaders to promote healthy community design, (3) building community-based organizational capacity, and (4) promoting health and healthcare innovations and collaborations.

Access to care topics have included the Affordable Care Act and workforce. Community policy focuses have included municipal planning, healthy food, transportation, and community needs assessments. Organizational effectiveness covers community-based organizations, fiscal scholarship, alliances, and policy continuum. And finally, the foundation focuses on care coordination, innovation grants, national funders, and value-driven healthcare in its collaboration category.

A list of past grants can be viewed here. Innovation grants tend to be around $125,000, and medical assistance program grants are between $10,000 and $100,000. Vitalyst has also partnered with the Arizona Community Foundation to fund grants for educating youth about healthy lifestyles and improving health in Native American tribes.

Innovation grants support “collaborative innovations that impact health and resiliency through transformational systems and policy change.” Vitalyst also awards grants on a three-year cycle from medical assistance funds that align with the original donors’ wishes and its mission. Vision grants are being awarded from 2015-2018 and hearing grants from 2016-2019. Through these grants, the foundation requests proposals from nonprofits to help low-income and uninsured individuals with vision and dental screenings, glasses, and hearing aids.

View an orientation session presentation online to learn more about this funder’s grantmaking. Letter of intent guidelines and the innovation grants timeline can be viewed online too.

You can keep up with what this funder is doing by following its news section. It has also published issue briefs, research reports and policy primers, which you can view here to learn more about issues in the Arizona health policy landscape. General questions can be directed to the staff at 602-385-6500 or via email at


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