In September 1994 the trustees of Rapides Regional Medical Center established Rapides Healthcare System, which is a joint venture with HCA for the operation of the hospital. The $140 million in proceeds resulting from the joint venture were used to create The Rapides Foundation, what was then among the largest endowed charitable foundations in Louisiana.
In developing its grantmaking approach, the Foundation became aware of the impact of behavioral and social determinants on health status, and its Strategic Grantmaking Framework is built around the determinants that the Community Health Needs Assessments tell us are most important in the region.
The Rapides Foundation focuses its work in three strategic areas: Healthy People, to improve access to healthcare and promote healthy behaviors; Education, to increase the level of educational attainment and achievement as the primary path to improved economic, social and health status; and Healthy Communities, to improve economic opportunity and family income, and enhance civic and community opportunities for more effective leaders and organizations.
The Foundation’s current grantmaking approach allocates spending policy as follows:
- 39% to Healthy People
- 40% to Education
- 21% to Healthy Communities