Endowment aims to fund healthcare initiatives in Flagler County

A generous endowment from a local doctor guarantees Flagler Cares, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving uninsured and under-insured individuals by connecting them to resources and services, will make a dramatic impact over the next 10 years in the lives of Flagler County residents in need, according to a media release.

The endowment, established by Dr. Stephen Bickel, the Flagler County medical director and a founding board member of Flagler Cares, will be the seed money for the Flagler Catalyst Fund, which will expand existing programs and fund new ones that will support increased access to health insurance, behavioral health, mental health, substance use programs, housing assistance and more.

“Real change happens in Flagler County. This is the most amazing opportunity to be able to implement important programs,” said Carrie Garnett Baird, CEO of Flagler Cares, in the release.

Investments from the Flagler Catalyst Fund will focus on grants for significant multi-year projects, labeled Innovation Grants, and smaller single-year capacity-building grants, labeled Growth Grants, to address critical needs and service gaps.

The large multi-year grants will be awarded to fund well-developed concepts. The budget for these Innovation Grants for 2022-2023 is $250,000.

The one-time capacity-building grants will come with technical assistance from Flagler Cares’ staff to support smaller organizations and new programs. The goal is to increase the capacity of Flagler County organizations, as well as encourage organizations outside the county to bring services into Flagler. The initial budget for the Growth Grants is $50,000.

Flagler Cares will cover all costs associated with administering and evaluating these grants. Any additional donations from individuals or businesses to the Flagler Catalyst Fund will be awarded in total to local organizations.

“I believe in the mission. I believe in the people. I’m working with some of the brightest people in Flagler County,” said Bickel, in the release. “I want to have an impact on Flagler County. We are really jazzed about the things Flagler Cares will be able to do.”

The endowment will also fund administration and infrastructure costs for Flagler Cares for the next 10 years.

For more information or to apply for a grant from the Flagler Catalyst Fund, visit www.flaglercares.org.

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