by Jayne Pope, RN, CEO, Create Healthy
The end of the year is a time of giving, celebration, and reflection. For all of us at Create Healthy, it’s also an opportunity to thank our community for your support as we embarked on a new and exciting journey to support health and wellness in the region.
Create Healthy came to be with an extraordinary promise and responsibility: to channel the assets from the sale of Hill Country Memorial Hospital into programs and services that significantly advance our community’s health and wellness.
That’s a broad mission.
To ensure that we target those assets to areas of greatest opportunity, we turned to those who know our region best: the people who live and work here. From our volunteer board of directors and advisory councils to multiple discussions with business, civic, faith, and nonprofit leaders and a community-wide summit, we received invaluable feedback and insight into establishing our funding priorities. The four advisory councils — covering grants, impact, scholarships, and investments — have met, selected their chairs, and established a meeting cadence for 2024. They are off and running and extremely passionate about Create Healthy’s mission and their opportunity to shape the work.
To date, we have donated more than $2.4 million to local organizations to support their work. These include the capital campaign for the Little Hearts Child Development Center, the FISD “clear the list” campaign, Hill Country Community Needs Council, the Grace Center, the Boys and Girls Club, and many more.
That work will continue into next year and beyond.
In 2024, we will also develop a grants program to support work in four identified priority areas: mental health, childcare, healthy living, and health education. These grants will support existing and new initiatives that will have a measurable, demonstrated impact and plan for long-term sustainability.
2023 was also a year of growth and increased impact for the Stevens Wellness Center and the Thrift Shop & Boutique, both entities under the Create Healthy umbrella. The Wellness Center’s membership increased 116 percent, meaning more Hill Country residents are investing in their long-term health and well-being. The Thrift Shop & Boutique also welcomed more customers, indicating that we are meeting a need for local access to high-quality, lower-priced furniture, clothing, and seasonal items.
With 2023 as our foundation, Create Healthy is positioned for even greater success and impact in 2024. We invite everyone in our community to learn more about our work at CreateHealthy.org. We welcome your involvement, and we look forward to what we will accomplish. Together.