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Essentia Health-St. Joseph's awards $13,000 in Community Health Initiative Grants

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation is able to impact the lives of patients, staff and community through good stewardship by recently awarding $13,387 through four Community Health Initiative Grants.

The Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Baxter Clinic Family Medicine Department received $2,887 for the purchase of 50 individual blood pressure monitors.

“Persons who have uncontrolled hypertension and do not have the means to purchase the necessary equipment to monitor their blood pressure will be given a blood pressure monitor,” said Dr. Peter Dunphy, family medicine physician at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Baxter Clinic. “Our goal is to control hypertension in each individual and the population.”

Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity received $2,500 to improve the air quality of a home in East Brainerd that is being rehabilitated for a family. It includes completion of mold mitigation and the installation of appropriate air quality controls.

“Like St. Joseph’s our values are similar to the Benedictine values, and we believe that safe housing is a matter of conscience. We hope that we can help families thrive and improve their health and wellness by providing a decent and affordable home. Our goal is to make the community a better place; one family, one home at a time,” said Kevin Pelkey, executive director for Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity.

Mounted Eagles Therapeutic Horsemanship received a $3,000 grant to support their ridership/scholarship program. Mounted Eagles enhances the lives of program participants, volunteers and the community by providing a safe and enjoyable environment where individuals with special needs benefit from therapeutic, developmental and educational equine-assisted activities.

“This grant will help provide scholarship funds to persons of all ages with physical, mental, emotional and social disabilities who are financially unable to participate without this assistance,” said Lynn Fairbanks, executive director of Mounted Eagles, Inc.

Miracle League of Minnesota, Inc. was awarded a $5,000 matching grant for the construction of Miracle League field at Bane Park in Brainerd. This adaptive ball field will give kids with special needs the opportunity to play in a fun filled environment where they are cherished and cheered for simply because they are present.

“Every child in the league scores a run every inning, and both teams win,” said Kevin Thoresen, Miracle League of MN, Inc. Founder, “giving every child the opportunity to play baseball, it’s our national pastime and they get to enjoy it too.”

The St. Joseph’s Foundation board of directors reviews grant applications six times annually. Applications must focus on community needs in the Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Clinics service area, be submitted by nonprofits or governmental agencies, and meet outlined criteria.

To apply for a grant from Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation, more information and a grant application can be found at or by calling 218-828-7564.

The next deadline for applications for Community Health Initiative Grants is Feb. 1. Applicants will be notified within 60 days.

A gift to the St. Joseph’s Foundation supports local health care needs and the lakes area community. For more information, contact Miranda at 218-828-7564 or

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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