Photography by Rett Peek | Shot on location at The Hornibrook Mansion The Empress of Little Rock
Gus Vratsinas, a board member of Arkansas Community Health & Education Foundation, summarizes it best. “Our name says it all” and the priority is health and education. Its history tells the same story. The foundation was established in 1995 through a merger of Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Little Rock and St. Vincent Home Health Care (now CHI St. Vincent Health at Home.) Instead of granting a single gift to one nonprofit organization with the funds from that acquisition, the board of directors elected to create a lasting gift to the community by establishing the foundation to support many nonprofit organizations year after year.
Arkansas Community Health & Education Foundation independently awards grants to a variety of organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of Arkansans through education and home health services. Funding has aided instruction for health care personnel, preventative disease and wellness initiatives, development of innovative solutions for home health, health care transportation, as well as complimentary medical management to financially disadvantaged individuals. Presbyterian Village, Immerse Arkansas, Hope Rises, Stewpot, Arkansas Foodbank, Centers for Youth & Families are only a few recipients of ACHEF’s diligent work to change lives for the better in Arkansas.
The board members – Dr. Joe Bates, Susan Blair, Gus Blass III, Ralph Cothan, Dan Cowling III, Stephen Leek, Clarice Miller, Linda Norton, Gus Vratsinas, and the late Senator Jim Argue – live with a sincere passion and commitment to the foundation’s purpose and mission as well as 24 years of service. Through careful financial management, they continue to provide significant annual grants while increasing the principal balance from the initial proceeds of the sale to CHI St. Vincent. This discerning mindset has positioned the foundation for long-term support of innovative programs and services to improve the health and wellness of all Arkansans no matter where they are, who they are or what opportunities they’ve achieved.
Ralph Cotham, Susan Blair, Gus Vratsinas