EHF invests in 19 new grant partners

EHF has approved $4.3 million to benefit new grant partners to empower Texas communities to make a positive change in their own health.


EHF approved $4.3 million in June to benefit 19 grant partners to empower Texas communities to make a positive change in their own health. EHF’s Board of Directors has now awarded $6.7 million in grants in 2016 to organizations working across 57 Texas counties.

“If we want to truly tackle the health crisis facing Texas, then we need a new approach that addresses health from all angles,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “Many of these grants go beyond a doctor’s office and focus on enabling communities to change the systems that influence and shape their health.”

Texas has the most uninsured children and adults in the nation. Health disparities are worse in minority, rural and low-income communities across the state. Evidence shows where you live and the social and environmental conditions in your community have a direct effect on your health.

“What good does it do to treat people in a doctor’s office, if we keep sending them back to the conditions that made them sick in the first place,” Marks said. “These grants take an important step in helping communities stand up and advocate for long-lasting change for their own health.”

Grants announced include:

EHF’s grant will provide non-partisan, voter education focused on Texas’ health insurance “coverage gap.” The effort will be targeted to specific areas of Houston, Bryan/College Station, Richmond and Waco. The low-income, primarily Hispanic residents of these areas fall into the “coverage gap” – they are too poor to qualify for subsidies to buy Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance, but they earn too much to qualify for the state’s traditional Medicaid coverage. The effort will work through local churches to advocate for policy change that would increase access to quality health services for all Texans.


  •   $130,610 to Early Matters in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Waller counties.

The grant will support a community engagement effort to include low-income, underserved families in the development of Early Matters’ work. Early Matters is an early learning collaborative working to improve lifelong outcomes for children across Greater Houston. The coalition’s goal is to have all third graders reading on grade level by 2025. To reach that goal, EHF and Early Matters believe families being served must be involved in the process to not only identify current barriers to success, but to help determine how challenges can be overcome. This grant also underwrites placement of an Episcopal Service Corps member with Early Matters for one year to work in the community engagement effort.


This grant supports a faith-based effort to advocate for health insurance coverage expansion in Texas as a basic human need. Without the expansion of Medicaid in Texas, nearly one million low-income Texans will likely remain uninsured with little or no access to affordable health services. This effort will be based in churches across EHF’s 57-county area and is designed to mobilize congregations with accurate information about coverage expansion and to express the moral concerns of not offering health coverage for disadvantaged families and communities.

Grant is to develop a toolkit that captures the techniques used to develop leaders to make a community-wide health effort successful. GAVA is a program organizing efforts in two low-income areas of South Austin to advocate for healthy living, changing unhealthy behaviors and improving the overall health of the community. EHF is interested in learning about effective ways to mobilize communities on behalf of their own health. The leadership toolkit and techniques developed with GAVA will be used for future community health engagement projects across EHF’s 57-county area. 


Additional new EHF Grant Partners:

BUILD Health Challenge
EHF Strategy: Healthy Planning

Grant allows EHF to join the BUILD Health Challenge collaborative with the Kresge Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, deBeaumont Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation to encourage community partnerships among health systems, community organizations and health departments to improve community health.

Capital IDEA Houston (Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Montgomery counties)
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
Grant is to expand a program designed to recruit and offer wrap-around support services to low-income adults working towards a career in health care.

Catholic Charities of Central Texas (Travis and Williamson counties)
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness

Grant is to support access to quality mental health care for low-income, vulnerable populations in Central Texas.

D.O.R.S. Community Services (DCS) (Gregg, Harrison and Rusk counties)
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness

Grant is to provide individual and/or group mental health evaluation and counseling, as well as some physical/dental/vision care, to homeless and at-risk young people participating in DCS programming.

Health Affairs (Project HOPE Foundation)
EHF Strategy: Healthy Planning

Grant is to develop and publish two special issues of Health Affairs in collaboration with other national foundations to help shape the national health research agenda and public policy discussion on wellness and primary prevention, social determinants of health, and healthy equity into non-health systems.

Health Horizons of East Texas, Inc. (Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties)
EHF Strategy: Comprehensive community-based primary care

Grant supports administrative and clinical staff to expand services and re-brand the agency as a Rural Health Center.

Houston Achievement Place (Fort Bend, Galveston and Harris counties)
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness
Grant is to support the expansion of a behavioral and social skills learning program in Fort Bend, Houston and Spring Branch ISD for at-risk children, their teachers and parents.

Houston Area Urban League (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris and Waller counties)
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
Grant is to expand the organization’s health and wellness initiative to conduct enrollment, outreach and education activities to increase long-term enrollment in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, CHIP, Medicaid and other resources available to its clients.

Innovative Alternatives, Inc. (Brazoria, Galveston, Harris and Montgomery counties)
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness
Grant is to increase access to affordable, quality mental health services by building a strong resource development program within a behavioral health organization with strong program outcomes.

Jewish Family Service (Fort Bend and Harris counties)
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness

Grant is to expand mental health services for low-income clients in Southwest Houston, including a new Intensive Outpatient Program and trauma recovery expertise.

Krist Samaritan Center for Counseling and Education (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton counties)
EHF Strategy: Mental health and wellness
Grant is to increase service to low-income individuals, expand partnerships with primary care clinics and to hire a Director of Development to increase donated revenue for the organization.

South Central Houston Action Council, Inc. (Harris County)
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
Grant is to pilot a Community Health Worker and Clinical Case Worker program serving seniors, people living with disabilities and formerly homeless low-income, populations at a new clinic site located in the Independence Heights neighborhood of Houston.

St. Joseph Foundation (Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington counties)
EHF Strategy: Access to health services

Grant is to improve health outcomes and build linkages to appropriate, community­-based care for low-income residents of the Brazos Valley.

Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (All 57 counties)
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
To improve access to care for adolescents and youth by building capacity to serve this population within Federally Qualified Health Centers and community clinics throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Travis County Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Survival Center (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties)
EHF Strategy: Access to health services
To provide a Forensic Nursing and Advocacy Program for sexual assault survivors at the 24-hour crisis center, local emergency rooms, the University of Texas and the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center.