Trinity Health Foundation Awards over $700,000 in Grants to Five East Tennessee Nonprofits

Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Blog, SRW Clients in the News

Trinity Health Foundation Awards over $700,000 in Grants  to Five East Tennessee Nonprofits

Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 30, 2013 – The Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee, successor to Mercy Health Partners Foundation, today announced it has awarded over $700,000 in grants to five local nonprofits to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual health of East Tennessee. Through its grant process this year, the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee has awarded nearly $1.0 million in grants to local nonprofits.

“We could not be more proud to provide support to these five initiatives that we believe will make great strides in improving the quality of life and health of those in East Tennessee,” said Dr. Lee Martin, President of the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee. “We also want to thank all those who have contributed their time and resources to Trinity through past efforts with the Mercy Health Partners Foundation. Together we can continue to make a significant impact on the health of the East Tennessee community.”

Formerly known as the Mercy Health Partners Foundation serving the needs of Mercy Health Partners, Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee was established as an independent foundation in 2011 when the non-profit Mercy System was purchased by Tennova.  Trinity’s predecessor, Mercy Health Partners Foundation, was formed in 2008 from the merger of two non-profit systems, St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, whose foundations’ philanthropic activities benefited East Tennessee for more than twenty-five years.

The 2013 Phase II health initiative grant recipients include:

  • Breakthrough Corporation ($150,000) – Employment Opportunities for Jobseekers with Disabilities. Breakthrough Corporation will initiate Project SEARCH, a program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Knoxville area, which will provide them with life enriching new opportunities for employment in well-paying, skilled jobs. Two sites of the nationally acclaimed Project SEARCH program will be established at leading Knoxville employers. Project SEARCH provides people with autism, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities with nine-month internships that include coursework and training rotations through three jobs at an employer’s workplace. Upon completion, interns are hired by either the host employer or other collaborating employers.
  • Compassion Coalition ($150,000)The Future Story Project. Compassion Coalition will develop through Getting Ahead classes The Future Story Project which will serve Knox County residents who wish to escape from the economic environment of poverty and long to build a better future for themselves and their families.  Each Getting Ahead class composed of 10 – 12 individuals, known as Investigators who currently live in poverty, will perform extensive self-analysis of the impact that living in poverty has on their lives.  They will explore how their lives can change, situations can improve, and stability can be achieved for themselves and their families.  Each Getting Ahead graduate will have the opportunity to be matched with 2 or 3 allies, or volunteers from the community, who are committed to provide ongoing support in a long-term capacity.
  • Emerald Youth Foundation ($150,000)Transformation Through Sports. Emerald Youth Foundation will provide a program for kids to be physically active and be transformed through sports. An urban soccer program is being developed and, at full capacity will grow to reach over 500 young athletes in Knoxville’s poorest communities.   Emerald will run soccer programs, providing opportunities for urban kids and young adults to experience this sport, support and/or create school programs if they don’t exist, and expand its ministry opportunities among the players and their families.
  • InterFaith Health Clinic ($126,000)InterFaith Living Well Program. Interfaith Health Clinic will hold training classes called The InterFaith Living Well initiative, which aims to improve the health and overall quality of life of working uninsured individuals suffering from chronic disease. IF Living Well will lead participants through a six-week workshop aimed at educating and motivating chronic disease sufferers to make good health choices that will help them manage their disease.  IF Living Well aims to affect an improvement in participants’ knowledge about their condition, daily health choices that impact their disease, exercise habits, and communication with physicians.
  • University of Tennessee Medical Center Department of Pastoral Care ($150,000)Continuing Education in Medical Pastoral Care for East Tennessee Spiritual Leaders. The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Department of Pastoral Care will address the spiritual needs of the Knoxville area’s medical community by providing training in clinical pastoral care to community spiritual leaders and volunteers associated with area hospitals’ chaplaincy programs.   By engaging volunteers and the spiritual leaders which the community already trusts, they can help minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of all in medical crisis, independent of hospital, faith or the current or future availability of funds for hospital chaplaincy programs.

In April, 120 non-profit organizations submitted Phase I proposals addressing five 2013 grant initiative topics. The 2013 grant initiatives included proposals that addressed access to preventive care, healthy life choices, mental health and addiction recovery, family strengthening, as well as open topics. From these, 16 winners were awarded a total of more than $200,000 for Phase I project planning efforts.  After planning and research, in-depth Phase II proposals were submitted and five Phase II winners were selected.   Topics for the five Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee’s initiatives were determined following discussions with community health leaders, community roundtable discussions, and review of studies done on the health needs for Knox and surrounding communities last year.


About Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee

Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee has been charged with improving the overall health of our region as reflected in its mission statement, “Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee extends the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our community.”

As a supporting organization of the East Tennessee Foundation, Trinity pursues its mission by convening stakeholders to understand the key health needs of the community while encouraging collaboration through project grants to non-profit organizations. For more information, visit

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