Letter from the Chair - Focus on Education

Robert S. Patyrak, M.D.

The San Angelo Health Foundation has been providing financial support to non-profit organizations since 1997.  Since its inception, over $39.5 million has been given to aid a wide variety of projects that enhance the quality of life for the people of the San Angelo area.  Though grants support a variety of worthy causes, the three largest areas of focus are health care, education and human services.

Last year I featured health care in my letter.  This year, I would like to focus my comments on education.  Education is at the heart of a healthy community.  It provides the cornerstone upon which individuals and societies build their lives and impact others.  My grandfather was a Polish immigrant with limited education when he came to this great country in the early 20th century.  He knew the importance of education and passed on that priority to his children and their offspring.  About education, he once said in his broken English, “If I give my son money he spend it; if I give him a car, he wreck it; but if I give him an education, he will have it for the rest of his life.”  The San Angelo Health Foundation (SAHF) recognizes the importance of this philosophy.  The Foundation has granted $8.7 million since its inception in the area of education.  This is the second largest sector of giving and amounts to 22% of grants made since 1997.

Of the 54 grants supporting education, I would like to spotlight four separate groups:  Angelo State University, Howard College, the Tom Green County Library and the San Angelo Area Foundation.  ASU has received sixteen separate grants from the Foundation totaling over $2.8 million.  These projects include the development of the Physical Therapy Master’s Degree program and significant support for the development of the College of Nursing and Allied Health.  Howard College has received over $2 million for support of such projects as operating room surgical technician training, expansion of the nurse training facilities at the St. John’s Campus and, just this past year, a $1 million grant toward a major expansion of classroom and student services’ space at their main campus.  The SAHF was proud to be a major supporter to the tune of $2.25 million toward the renovation of the beautiful new Stephens Central Library.  This facility is available to support education for all citizens.  Finally, the SAHF provided $800,000 in matching scholarship grants and seed money that helped the development of the San Angelo Area Foundation’s scholarship program.  From this small seed, the Area Foundation has grown to over $71 million supporting education and worthy projects in the Concho Valley.

In 2012 SAHF granted $2.3 million to twenty-two non-profit groups in the Concho Valley.  Our goal is to support a healthy community in perpetuity.  On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to encourage area non-profits to contact our foundation staff concerning funding for future community endeavors. 

Robert S. Patyrak, M.D., Chairman
Board of Trustees 2010 - 2013   


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