As we celebrate 20 years as a foundation, it is important to recognize our nonprofit roots established in 1907. Faced with a clear community health need, the Right Rev. J. W. Atwood answered it by marshaling people and resources to create a tuberculosis facility of second-hand tenant houses for 20 patients.
The first threads of convening, collaborating and innovating were woven.
The early work established a pattern that has never ceased to this day. It manifested as a countywide hospital system for nearly 90 years. The 1995 sale of St. Luke’s Health System converted us from a health care provider to a foundation. The proceeds from the sale became St. Luke’s Charitable Health Trust from 1996-1999, and the culture of thoughtful innovation remained firmly engrained. It sparked and inspired the significant evolution of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives from 2000- 2016. It crystallized our role as a catalyst for community health and vitality. It made the change of our name to Vitalyst Health Foundation a logical progression.
Stewardship of this legacy is not taken lightly. Through 20 years, three names and $100 million in community investment, we have focused on practices that optimize our performance and improve our capacity to meet our mission. Doing so has not only grown our endowment, but catalyzed health and well-being in our communities.
Our past defines us. Our present focuses us. Our future drives us. From Rev. Atwood then to Vitalyst Health Foundation now, we have never stopped asking the question of how to improve health. That question has never ceased to provide compelling new avenues to explore.
Hear from our community partner, Pam Betz, about our journey: