$500,000 Annual Investment is Extension of Centura’s Commitment to Advance Health Equity with Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation
Centura Health, the region’s health care leader, and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson announced a partnership that will make a meaningful impact on the lives of many in our communities for years to come.
In a celebration event, Centura Health President & CEO Peter D. Banko announced Centura will partner with Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation to contribute $500,000 annually to local and regional non-profit organizations. Centura and the Foundation will select grant recipients among non-profits that share our passions for health equity, education, food security, social justice, support for children and youth, and more.
Centura has been on an evolving, intentional journey toward diversity, equity, and inclusion that started in 2019. The partnership with Wilson adds an exciting step to propel us toward our vision of whole person care for every community, every neighborhood, and every life. The partnership is an extension of Centura’s ongoing commitment to advance health equity, following its recent announcement that a record 61 organizations received funds through the $5 million Centura Health Equity & Advancement Fund in 2022.
“Our Mission for 140 years has called us to do far more than provide high-performing whole person care within the four walls of our facilities. It calls us to go to those people and places where suffering is most acute – with social justice, health equity, food security, and mental health – and build a home there. Today, I am excited to partner with two incredible people who share this commitment,” said Peter D. Banko, President & CEO of Centura Health. “Russell and Ciara live with purpose and lead with love, and we look forward to partnering with them in many incredible ways to extend the healing ministry of Christ to every community, every neighborhood, and every life.”
“Ciara and I have learned since moving here that Colorado is a place where people take care of one another and take great pride in their communities,” Wilson said. “I’m grateful that I can use this opportunity to join with Centura to give back and support individuals and groups making a difference. Together, Centura Health and our Why Not You Foundation will help many more organizations improve and change lives.”
During a July 25, 2022, celebration, Centura and the Why Not You Foundation awarded $100,000 to our first grant recipient. With locations locally in Aurora and Denver and ten years of service to our community, College Track equips more than 550 Denver-area students confronting systemic barriers to earn a bachelor’s degree. The program provides financial resource training, peer and adult mentoring, social-emotional support, internship onboarding, and more to lay the foundation for students to succeed in careers where people of color have been traditionally underrepresented.
Following the celebration, Wilson visited with patients and caregivers to share words of encouragement, sign footballs and take photos.
Wilson, a 10-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl champion who begins his Denver football career this season, is widely known for his many charitable contributions. Through the Why Not You Foundation, Russell and Ciara, in partnership with corporate sponsors, have raised over $10 million for pediatric cancer research and created initiatives to support children’s health and education while fighting poverty. Wilson is the 2022 recipient of the Bart Starr Award, given each year to the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. He also was selected as the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, the league’s most prestigious honor.