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Foundation grants fund Colorado-focused health care and education reporting

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Feb. 8, 2011 - Building upon recent expansion of its news department, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) announced today it has received a grant from The Colorado Health Foundation to continue funding a health reporter position and grants from the Gates Family Foundation and The Piton Foundation to add a new education beat reporter to its staff. Eric Whitney currently serves as CPR's health reporter, and a new education reporter search is under way.

“These grants further CPR's ability to support its mission and provide more in-depth, localized coverage in the health and education areas that we believe is vitally important to Coloradans,” said Max Wycisk, CPR's president.

“During the past three years, we have witnessed increased awareness among Coloradans about local health and health care issues,” said Anne Warhover, president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation. “We believe our support of CPR's in-depth news coverage plays an important role in the conversation regarding public health.”

Since joining CPR in 2007, Health Reporter Eric Whitney has regularly reported on topics ranging from health care reform and regulatory oversight for doctors receiving compensation from pharmaceutical companies to developments in biomedical research and Colorado's evolving medical marijuana industry.

“Improving educational outcomes for children in Colorado is one of the highest priorities of the Gates Family Foundation,” said Thomas Gougeon, president of the Gates Family Foundation. “There is a significant need for better access to information regarding education topics, particularly the substantial issues associated with our public education system. We value CPR as a highly credible community institution that can address this issue effectively in Colorado.”

“Previous grants from the Gates Family Foundation supported theexpansion of CPR's local news coverage. We know these grants were put to good use for the benefit of thousands of people statewide, as demonstrated by CPR's timely, relevant local news reporting,” Gougeon added.

"The Piton Foundation is known for providing reliable and objective information long used by others in making policy, economic, planning, and programming decisions," said Terry Minger, Piton’s president and CEO. "This includes data about Denver neighborhoods and schools as well as Piton’s recent support for alternative news sources reporting on important community issues. We trust Colorado Public Radio and believe the expansion of CPR's insightful coverage will contribute significantly to the community's collective understanding of education issues in our state."

“These grants will advance the growing impact of our local news initiative, further establishing the community's faith in CPR as an integral source for in-depth, local news,” stated Wycisk.

In making the announcement about the grants, Wycisk emphasized that CPR's strict news code of ethics ensures that organizations or individuals that donate funds to support CPR do not exercise any editorial influence over any aspect of CPR's news coverage or programming.

The Colorado Health Foundation works to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation by increasing the number of Coloradans with health insurance, ensuring they have access to quality, coordinated care and encouraging healthy living. The Foundation invests in the community through grants and initiatives to health-related nonprofits that focus on these goals, as well as operating medical education programs to increase the health care workforce. The Foundation's assets of more than $1 billion include an investment portfolio as well as an ownership interest in Denver's HealthONE hospital system. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.

Gates Family Foundation invests in Colorado-based projects and organizations primarily through capital grants, which have meaningful impact and enhance the quality of life for those visiting, working and living in the state. The Foundation seeks to promote self-sufficiency, excellence and innovation in education, healthy lifestyles, community enrichment, connection to nature and stewardship of the state's natural inheritance. The Foundation's actions will remain consistent with the founders' intentions and the principles of citizenship, entrepreneurship and free enterprise. Learn more at www.gatesfamilyfoundation.org.

The Piton Foundation is a private, operating foundation established in 1976 by Denver oil man Sam Gary. The Foundation is supported principally by contributions from Gary-Williams Company and is considered the community investment division of the company. Piton's mission is to provide opportunities for children and their families to move from poverty and dependence to self reliance. Learn more at www.piton.org.

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides 24-hour, in-depth news and classical music to nearly 470,000 listeners each week (Source: Arbitron, Fall 2009). More than 90 percent of CPR's funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses, and foundations.

Colorado Public Radio In-Depth News: Denver 90.1 FM and 1340 AM, Boulder 1490 AM, Pueblo 1230 AM, Vail 89.9 FM, Grand Junction 89.5 FM, Montrose / Craig / Parachute 88.3 FM, Gunnison 88.5 FM, Ouray 91.5 FM, Meeker / Rangely 91.1 FM, and online at www.CPR.org.

Colorado Public Radio Classical Music: Denver 88.1 FM, Boulder 99.9 FM, Pueblo 91.9 FM, Colorado Springs 94.7 FM, Glenwood Springs 90.5
FM, Aspen 101.5 FM, Western Slope 103.3 FM, Dove Creek 88.7 FM,Gunnison 89.1 FM, Cortez 102.5 FM, Crystal River Valley / Old Snowmass 93.9 FM, Thomasville 93.7 FM, and online at www.CPR.org.