For Immediate Release
Contact: Cassandra Stalzer, 907-334-0520

Anchorage, Alaska –  The Rasmuson Foundation Board of Directors announces that $13.5 million has been awarded to Alaska nonprofits in grants and initiatives to improve the quality of life in the state. The largest award announced was for Southcentral Foundation, which will receive $3 million for the start-up of the Nuka Institute. The Nuka Institute  will provide training and technical assistance to health providers in the adoption of the Nuka model of care, which has proven to improve health outcomes at lower cost. The award will be used to develop the Institute facility and curricula.

“Southcentral Foundation is responding to tremendous demand for training on the healthcare system it pioneered,” said Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation president. “Like the Dental Health Aid Therapist program, Nuka is an example of Alaska innovation that can be replicated around the state and country to solve one of the biggest challenges of our time: improving health while containing costs.”

The award is part of the Foundation’s Tier 2 grant program, which provides grants of more than $25,000 for capital projects, projects of strategic importance or of an innovative nature, or the expansion or start-up of programs that address issues of broad community or statewide significance. The Board of Directors considers Tier 2 grants at its biannual meetings. Letters of inquiry are required and accepted year-round.

Other Tier 2 grants awarded at the Board’s June 26 meeting are (organized by region):

Bering Strait

  • The City of Nome will use $1.3 million on construction of the Beringia Center of Culture and Science, which will be located in the new Richard Foster Building with the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum and the public library.
  • Norton Sound Health Corporation will use a grant of $173,524 to renovate health clinics in Shishmaref and Wales.



  • Kodiak Area Native Association received a grant of $750,000 to build a new clinic in Kodiak that will both improve access to behavioral health services and better serve veterans and dependents of active duty military.


  • Great Land Trust will use $135,000 for a four-mile educational trail, trailhead and interpretive kiosks on the northern edge of the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge.

Prince William Sound

  • Alaska SeaLife Center will use $140,490 to support long-term sustainability by supporting research, marketing, and volunteer activities, and improving energy efficiency.


  • Alaska Pacific University will receive $500,000 over two years for strategies to grow enrollment and improve financial sustainability.
  • Anchorage Museum will use $495,000 to support Polar Lab, a multi-discipline, multi-year programming initiative addressing various facets of the Arctic.
  • Anchorage Sports Association is receiving $158,000 for a multi-purpose building at Chuck Albrecht Softball Complex.
  • Bean’s Cafe will use $203,644 to remodel the social services office area, and the main floor entrance and receiving area.
  • Friends of Eagle River Nature Center will apply $100,000 to remodel the existing Nature Center building and add a new trail maintenance shop.
  • Alaska State Fair will use a grant supplement of $50,000 to expand the number of covered pavilions.



  • Alaska Humanities Forum will use a grant of $50,000 to complete a documentary about Clem Tillion.
  • Blood Bank of Alaska will purchase Hemoflow equipment with a grant of $112,166. The Hemoflow device monitors blood quantity being drawn and agitates the blood to prevent clotting.
  • Rural Alaska Community Action Program is receiving $300,000 to repair and improve eight Head Start centers around the state over the next three years.

Yukon Kuskokwim

Foundation Initiatives

  • Rasmuson Foundation will match up to $2 million in state funds approved by the legislature and governor in the last session for deferred maintenance at domestic violence shelters. The Alaska Community Foundation will manage the fund.
  • United Way of Anchorage will disburse $1 million for Safety Net Assistance grants through the statewide Emergency Food and Shelter Program network.
  • The Foundation’s Sabbatical Program will use $107,500 for a program review and celebration of its 10th year.

Special Awards

The Board of Directors visited Interior communities as part of its three-day meeting and made two special Tier 1 awards. Tier 1 grants support projects up to $25,000.

  • The City of Galena will receive $25,000 to reconstruct a baseball field destroyed by last year’s floods.
  • The Tanana District 4H Club will receive $25,000 in general support in recognition of their leadership in efforts to decrease youth suicide. A video of their presentation at last year’s Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is here.

About the Foundation

Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband “E.A.” Rasmuson. Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.