Advance Health Equity

NATIVE Project seeking Spokane area graduates for July event

Originally published by Tribal Tribune

SPOKANE – The NATIVE Project of Spokane is currently opening registration for tribal members in the Spokane area for a Spokane Native American Graduation ceremony set to take place in July at Gonzaga University.

The ceremony is for Native American and Alaska Native students studying or living in the Spokane area who are completing GED programs, high school, undergraduate, graduate, technical or professional programs.

The Spokane Area Native American Graduation Committee, made up of community members and representatives from area public schools and college, has opened registration through April 15.

The project is sponsored by the Empire Health Foundation, Eastern Washington University, Community Colleges of Spokane, Spokane Public Schools, North Idaho College, Gonzaga University, and Washington State University Health Science Campus. 

Registration forms can be found here.

2019 Grant-Making Focus

For the past 10 years Empire Health Foundation has been fortunate to work alongside and in support of partners like you whose like-minded mission is to improve the health and well-being of our neighbors. Your dedication, your passion and your partnership has produced immeasurable impact on the lives of thousands of people across our region, and for this we are incredibly grateful. 

As we begin our second decade of service and support, as key partners we want you to be aware that we will be suspending our general and rural aging Responsive Grants program for 2019 to focus our attention on our strategic grants portfolio that seeks to advance health equity by collaboratively pursuing innovative solutions and transforming systems to improve health and quality of life in Eastern Washington. 

EHF is privileged to be a philanthropic partner to communities of all sizes and we believe the work you do is vitally important to these broader-based efforts. We remain committed to helping you identify new funding resources for your one-time, emergent needs and we look forward to potentially exploring new partnership opportunities through our strategic grants portfolio in your communities in the months to come. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at Thank you for your partnership in our shared pursuit of making Eastern Washington the healthiest region in our state. Together, we are making a difference.  

Seeking funding in 2019? Consider exploring funding opportunities with these community partners:

Our Journey towards Health Equity

By: Christina Kamkosi, EHF Program Coordinator

It has been 10 years since Empire Health Foundation (EHF) was created from the sale of Deaconess and Valley Hospitals in Spokane. Amidst all of the milestones we’ve achieved, there has also been growth opportunities and great lessons learned on how we can better live out our values as a foundation. At EHF, we practice an adaptive, results-based style of philanthropy we call Philanthropy 3.0, which fuses innovation, collaboration and a drive for the advancement of health equity to do whatever it takes to make a measurable impact.

Our Commitment

“Equity means different things to different people and everything to ‘different’ people. Empire Health Foundation is committed to improving health in our region for all of the communities we represent.”

-Gary Stokes, EHF Board President

Our health equity statement narrates our commitment to help everyone reach their full health potential and it serves as the definition of what we think needs to happen to carry out our mission. We also recognize that this statement has the potential to change over time as we adapt to the needs of our region. 

Achieving health equity is a bold goal which recognizes that solving today’s toughest issues is about much more than just writing a check or funding a one-size-fits-all type of strategy. Achieving heath equity takes thoughtful leadership and the consideration of the impact of history and policies that affect our systems. The premise around equity is that not every person or every community starts from the same place. Under-resourced and under-represented communities have far more disparities due to deep-rooted barriers, which are a result of unfair and unjust policies and practices at every systematic level.

Equality vs. Equity RWJ Foundation.png

At EHF, we define health by much more than medicine, disease or one’s physical condition. Research has shown that we are the product of our environment as well as the conditions or factors we encounter as we live, learn, work and play. These defining elements are called social determinants of health and are the reasons why we are investing in initiatives that not only address physical and behavioral health, but also the social, economic and environmental needs of individuals (education, mitigating adverse childhood experiences, workforce development, etc.). We believe these kinds of investments in health are key to reducing and ultimately eliminating existing disparities. We are in pursuit of health equity for all.