SANTA ROSA --  The foundation of St. Joseph Health System, which operates Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals, has awarded five local nonprofits more than $300,000.

The funding is part of the organization's wellness and prevention initiative grants in areas of the state where St. Joseph Health System has facilities.

Recipients this year include Redwood Empire Food Bank, PDI Surgery Center and Drug Abuse Alternatives Center.  Two St. Joseph Health System--Sonoma County community benefit programs -- House Calls and the Mommy and Me – Smiles for Two dental program -- round out the five grant recipients.  The grant disbursement is as follows:

Redwood Empire Food Bank received $93,500 for its Megan Furth Harvest Pantry program to provide weekly food assistance and nutrition education to very low-income families with children ages 0-5 at nine locations in Sonoma County.

PDI Surgery Center in Windsor received $74,250. It provides oral surgery to people from throughout Northern California, including children from low-income families as well as children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Drug Abuse Alternatives Center received $34,544 to assist its perinatal day treatment therapy support program. It offers a range of treatment programs and services at more than 15 locations throughout Sonoma County.

House Calls, one of the St. Joseph's Community Benefit programs, received a $49,140 grant for case management.  The program provides primary medical care to frail elders in their home.  Eligible seniors include those who have limited access to care due to impaired mobility, cognitive impairment with a medical condition, limited financial resources, lack of health insurance or who are under-insured.

The health system's Sonoma County Dental Clinics and Programs received $50,000 for the Mommy and Me--Smiles for Two program in which pregnant women receive oral health and nutrition education for themselves and their babies, dental exams, periodontal therapy, and a pass for their baby’s first dental visit.

“The Megan Furth Harvest Pantry provides nutrition education and healthy food to parents and their young children who are threatened by iron deficient anemia, the negative consequences of which will last a lifetime,” said David Goodman, executive director of Redwood Empire Food Bank.  “St. Joseph Health System understands the seriousness of anemia, and provides a level of support that will make a real difference in the future of the children we help.”

The funds are part of the 10 percent net income that St. Joseph Health System--Sonoma County contributes to foundation each year. That, in turn, goes back into the local community to address underlying health conditions through educations and preventive care, according to the health system.

“At St. Joseph Health System we believe we have a social responsibility and a moral obligation to respond to the needs of lower-income families and individuals served by our hospitals,” said Jo Sandersfeld, vice president of Mission Integration at St. Joseph Health System--Sonoma County.  “The programs and initiatives selected this year are exemplary and share this common purpose of caring for others and working to improve the quality of life of those most in need.  We are proud and honored to collaborate with and support these organizations.”

The St. Joseph Health System Foundation was established in 1986.  A total of $2 million in 36 grants have been awarded this year to programs throughout California, according to the health system.