Samaritan Health Services presented its 2016 Social Accountability grants to a number of agencies at a luncheon at the Boulder Falls Conference Center on June 24.
The grants were awarded to community organizations in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties that will use the grant funds to help achieve community health goals. The recipients are determined through a selection process that takes place at each Samaritan facility.
Samaritan Health Services CEO Larry Mullins presented the checks and said a few words about the goals of the annual grants.
"We traditionally have targeted health care related activities, but health care's taken on a much broader definition," Mullins said.
And he noted that a few of the organizations receiving the grants provide an overall community benefit instead of a more traditional health care benefit.
For Lebanon recipients, the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam and the Lebanon Public Library are examples of nonprofit organizations that aren't directly tied to health care services, but provide assistance to the community.
"We believe one of the most important things we can all do is help support each other for the community benefit," Mullins said.
This year, the total amount awarded was about $500,000, he said. That total was split among 40 organizations. The $500,000 is about double the amount awarded in previous years.
Samaritan has awarded these grants since 1997, "but this is the first time we've had formally announced the grants at an event like this," Mullins said.
Mullins said one reason for hosting the event was to call individual attention to each organization.
"We think the type of work you're doing is so critical to the community," Mullins said.
Mullins presented an envelope containing a check to a representative from each of the 40 award recipients. All the representatives posed for photos after the checks were handed out.