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Dignity Health Foundation East Valley Receives Fiesta Bowl Charities Grant to Help Support its Sports Medicine Program

 2021 is the second consecutive year Dignity Health has received funds from Fiesta Bowl Charities

(CHANDLER, Ariz. – May 28, 2021) – While facing unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dignity Health Foundation East Valley received a $50,000 grant from Fiesta Bowl Charities that will immediately support the organization’s sports medicine program.

This funding is critical for the Dignity Health East Valley Sports Medicine Program which supports student athletes with athletic training teams at 14 high schools and seven junior highs in the Gilbert, Chandler and Queen Creek school districts. With the Fiesta Bowl Charities generosity, the health care organization will be able to purchase needed equipment carts and ice machines for a handful of the high schools that participate in the program. 

“We are extremely grateful for Fiesta Bowl Charities’ generous support of our Sports Medicine program,” says Suzie Squires, MS, AT, ATC, athletic training supervisor for the Dignity Health East Valley Sports Medicine Program. “This grant will enable us to acquire much-needed equipment to ensure that our athletic trainers can quickly respond to patient needs with the resources they require, and further elevate the level of care provided to student-athletes in our schools. With last year’s grant we were able to purchase new AEDs and Sideline Medical Tents for a number of high schools in the program. Fiesta Bowl’s commitment to youth, sports, and education in Arizona is evident in its support for programs like ours that serve students, athletic programs, and schools in our community.”

Dignity Health Foundation East Valley was among 44 nonprofit organizations across the state of Arizona that benefitted from Fiesta Bowl Charities grant funding in the 2020-21 season. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl and various community events throughout the year, Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted $16 million in charitable giving the last five years alone.

“We are committed to enhancing the lives of Arizonans, and by supporting Dignity Health Foundation East Valley and their amazing grassroots efforts, we are collectively making a meaningful difference,” said Patrick Barkley, Chair of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “Giving back to the Arizona community has been core to the Fiesta Bowl mission since we were founded 50 years ago, from our Board of Directors to Yellow Jacket Committee, volunteers and staff.”

The Dignity Health East Valley Sports Medicine Program is a comprehensive, community-based program focusing on athletic training, sports injury care management, sport performance, nutrition, injury care, heat-related issues and concussion management. It offers Division I collegiate athletics level of care, with oversight provided by Dignity Health and the school districts’ athletic departments. Clinical oversight is provided by OrthoArizona board-certified orthopedic surgeons, while the initial point of care is led by athletic trainers on the field, court and in their training facilities. These trainers are employed by Dignity Health and sponsored by OrthoArizona, Arizona Spine and Joint Hospital, and United Surgical Partners, Inc. (USPI). Barrow Neurological Institute also offers expertise in the areas of concussions and traumatic brain injuries. In particular, Dr. Javier Cárdenas and Dr. Kareem Shaarawy, both experts in the field, have been instrumental in helping develop the program and will continue to guide its expansion. 

“The last year has been incredibly challenging for us all and that is why it is very important that the Fiesta Bowl still deliver these necessary funds to Dignity Health Foundation East Valley,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy. “The heroes are nonprofits like Dignity Health Foundation East Valley across Arizona who use these funds to improve people’s lives, right where they need it. We are part of this community and it’s our mission to give back to the community.” 


Quick facts about Fiesta Bowl Charities:

  • $5.5 million given in charitable giving for 2020-21 season
  • 44 nonprofits benefit from Fiesta Bowl Charities’ grant cycle in 2020-21
  • $16 million in charitable giving over last five years
  • $21 million in charitable giving over last 10 years
  • $3.7 million granted through Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers in program’s first five years
  • Fiesta Bowl gives more in annual charitable giving than any college bowl organization
  • More than 1 million people served in 2020-21
  • 3,723,570 meals served in 2020-21
  • 50,000 PPE face masks distributed in 2020-21


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ABOUT Dignity Health in Arizona

Dignity Health in Arizona includes five outstanding hospitals – Chandler Regional Medical Center, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, which includes Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center and Arizona General Hospital. From this foundation, Dignity Health in Arizona has expanded into a comprehensive health care system, which includes imaging centers, clinics, specialty hospitals, urgent cares, insurance providers, an accountable care organization and other clinical partnerships. The Dignity Health Medical Group includes more than 40 practices and covers a wide range of specialties. Dignity Health in Arizona is part of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health care systems. For more information, please visit


Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans during and outside of college football bowl season. As a nonprofit organization, it is driven by its vision for the importance of community outreach and service. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl and its year-round events, such as the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, corporate partnerships and numerous community events throughout the year, the organization provides charitable giving to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that serve communities through youth, sports and education. Learn more at and @Fiesta_Bowl on Twitter and Instagram.

Publish date: 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Media Contact

Sara Patterson, External Communications Manager

p: (602) 406-3312

[email protected]