[caption id="attachment_82448" align="alignnone" width="500"] Live bidding during Auction Napa Valley in May 2013. (image credit: Jason Tinacci)[/caption]

ST. HELENA -- Napa Valley Vintners on Thursday said it is distributing to local charities the first $3 million in proceeds from $16.9 million raised during the 33rd annual Auction Napa Valley event in late May.

The disbursements are the first of seven categories of funding and are in the trade group's two long-term strategic priority areas of community health and children's education in Napa County. Unrestricted grants in this first round from 2013 proceeds are $1.5 million to Community Health Clinic Ole, $500,000 each to Queen of the Valley Medical Center and St. Helena Hospital, $286,750 to Children's Health Initiative, $150,000 to Planned Parenthood and $57,000 to Pediatric Dental Initiative Surgery Center.

To date, the vintner association has invested more than $120 million in auction proceeds in community Napa County nonprofits.

"Since 1981, the NVV has set the standard for a single industry taking care of those in need in its own community," said Linda Reiff, president and chief executive officer of Napa Valley Vintners. "We are grateful for the opportunity to continue our leadership role and ensure that we invest the proceeds from Auction Napa Valley strategically to create the most significant, long-term, positive impact possible."

The grant to Community Health Clinic Ole also funds ancillary services Healthy Moms & Babies and Sister Ann Dental Clinic. Clinic Ole is a federally qualified health center and the only nonprofit clinic in the county providing primary and preventative medical and behavioral health care for a wide range of residents with low incomes or have inadequate insurance.

Services are charged on a sliding-fee scale based on federal poverty guidelines. In addition to the main clinic in the Napa Valley Vintners Community Health Center in Napa, the organization operates clinics in St. Helena and Calistoga, provides weekly clinics at Napa's two homeless shelters and oversees a clinic for students at Napa Valley College.

Clinic Ole serves more than 25,000 county residents annually, including more than 7,000 children.

Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a full-service nonprofit hospital located in Napa, serving 37,000-plus local residents annually. Its CARE Network program is designed to manage chronic disease to reduce the acute medical, psychosocial and economic self-sufficiency needs of low-income patients lacking sufficient insurance coverage.

Other preventative programs provided at low or no cost include cardiac rehabilitation, a cancer wellness program, its mobile van, its Healthy for Life childhood obesity program and immunization of appropriate hospital patients for pneumonia and influenza.

St. Helena Hospital is a full-service nonprofit hospital located near St. Helena and treats 22,300 local residents annually. It employs multifaceted approaches to prevention and early intervention for patients and the community, offering programs designed to help patients adopt and sustain a healthy lifestyle; promoting and offering screenings for early detection of disease and wellness; providing appropriate interventions; and community education on a number of health-related topics.

Children’s Health Initiative in Napa County secures affordable health insurance for low-income children, connects them with all needed health care resources and provides followup services to help keep children insured. Since 2005, 13,000 Napa County children have been enrolled in health insurance through the program.

"Because of the investment and partnership of the Napa Valley Vintners, the Children's Health Initiative is able to make sure that all children in Napa County have access to affordable comprehensive health insurance and health, dental, vision and mental health care," noted Mark Diel, the organization's chief executive officer.

The trade association has been a key funder of the initiative since its inception and is the most significant private-sector supporter, he said.

Pediatric Dental Initiative Surgery Center is the only nonprofit pediatric dental surgery center in the U.S. dedicated to using general anesthesia while treating low-income children with severe tooth decay. The center also promotes oral health through preventative education.

Tooth decay is one of the nation's most prevalent childhood health epidemics, according to the organization. In the last year, the center served more than 200 children in the county.

Planned Parenthood provides health education care to low-income populations, including disease prevention and avoid unintended pregnancies. The organization treats more than 10,500 county residents a year.