St. Luke’s Health Initiatives changes name to Vitalyst Health Foundation

To better represent its role as a catalyst for change and champion for the vitality of Arizonans, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives announced that it is changing its name to Vitalyst Health Foundation.

The name change follows more than a year of research, development and collaboration among stakeholders, key partners, staff as well as current and former trustees.

The process produced the new name after research confirmed that the St. Luke’s Health Initiatives name did not accurately reflect the depth and breadth of the foundation’s work, creating associations that were not only inaccurate, but often times, confusing.

“For nearly two decades, our philanthropic work grew and evolved around the broad areas of health, while our name – and what it was perceived to represent – did not,” Board Chair Gary Volkenant said.

St. Luke’s Health Initiatives was originally established following the sale of the St. Luke’s Hospital System to a for-profit corporation in 1996. Since then, it has been an independent, non-partisan, non-religious public foundation that has invested more than $100 million in Arizona as a catalyst of key health initiatives – ranging from statewide health policy to the local development of
community gardens.

“As we have responded to the needs of the communities we serve, the extent of our health improvement work has expanded greatly – so much so that our grant-making and health-care system work represents only a portion of what we do today,” president and CEO Suzanne Pfister said.

The foundation’s four main areas of focus will remain – increasing access to health care and coverage, promoting healthy community design, building community capacity, and stimulating innovation and collaboration.

“Dynamic and healthy communities are based on civic participation that inspires change,” Mr. Volkenant said. “Vitalyst Health Foundation transforms policies and systems by convening insightful community collaborators with compelling ideas and taking risks to make that change happen.”

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