In the Community

Since 1982, Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation’s focus has been on creating a healthier community. Today, our vision is to be the healthiest region in Washington State, and we work hand-in-hand with community volunteers and leaders to find solutions to our region’s healthcare issues that move us forward to our vision. The hot meals home delivery program is our latest step toward a healthier community.

Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation began as community members gathering to financially support our small-town hospital. For three decades, the Foundation has offered unwavering support for the hospital, helping to build an emergency room in the 1980s and more recently contributing more than $600,000 in the building of a new hospital.

In the 1990s, the Foundation began broadening its focus to the greater community’s healthcare needs and organized Community Health Summits to provide an avenue for identifying healthcare issues. The findings resulted in the formation of Rainier Foothills Community Network Coalition, which currently oversees four initiatives working on community healthcare issues in the areas of youth substance abuse, violence prevention, mental health and hunger.

On an annual budget of $300,000, we provide a broad spectrum of services aimed at creating healthy communities. In 2012, we began running a Care Van service that takes anyone in our area to health-related appointments, five days a week. We collaboratively work with Enumclaw Youth and Family Services to bring a dental van to our rural area monthly. We provide grants for organizations like the White River School District to provide students a health curriculum and to the hospital to continue prenatal classes, cholesterol screenings and free mammograms. We also partner with the Enumclaw School District to provide a book bundle to each baby born at the hospital to encourage reading and nurturing.

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During the past 30 years, RFWF has donated more than $4 million to support healthcare services for all residents in the foothills communities of Enumclaw, Buckley, Black Diamond and the smaller nearby communities of northeast Pierce County and southeast King County.

It’s all done through the generous donations of our community, the hard work of our 16-member Board of Trustees, and the dedication of our staff, which includes an executive director, a part-time administrative assistant, a Care Van driver and a Youth Substance Abuse Coordinator, and Mental Health Community Resource Coordinator.

We are a bedroom community, which recently saw its lumber mill and logging industry pull up stakes and its dairy industry dwindle to a handful of working farms. We are blessed this community is filled with people who rally around a cause and dig deep in their hearts to make things happen. Reaching out to homebound seniors, underprivileged children, struggling families is one example where the community rallies a diverse group of leaders to collaborate and focuses on an important issue that needs to be solved.