The grants will be awarded annually in December by a committee of seven representatives of Summit Health and the community.
Grant recipients will be selected through a two-step process among those who submit applications for specific projects addressing the purpose of the health partnership.
Rather than relying solely on the hospitals, the program encourages organizations and agencies in Franklin County to develop projects concentrating on the health and well-being of residents, Epstein said.
The grants will be used for projects like intervention programs for domestic violence victims, meal programs for school children and others focusing on prevention and early detection of health problems, Epstein said.
The partnership program is an initiative by Summit Health to bring more programs to the community in response to a recent state survey that showed people want more choice and control over their health care, Epstein said.
In fiscal 1997, which ended June 30, the number of patients admitted to Chambersburg Hospital rose to 9,686 from 9,353 the previous year, and the number of days patients were in the hospital rose to 51,204 from 50,685, according to the latest financial report.
Average length of stay for patients dropped slightly to 5.3 days in fiscal 1997 from 5.4 days the previous year, the report said.
Surgical cases numbered 7,695, a decrease from 7,874 in fiscal 1996, the report said.
There were 1,150 births at the hospital this fiscal year, a decrease from 1,163 last year, according to the report.
In fiscal 1997, Chambersburg Hospital showed total operating revenue rose to $80,353 from $71,729 the previous year and total operating expenses increased to $75,281 from $70,453, according to the annual report.
The surplus for the fiscal year totaled $5,072, compared to $1,276 for the previous year, the financial report said.
Investment in property, plant and equipment during the fiscal year totaled $5,559, the report said.
Two new members of the hospital's board of trustees, Julio Lecuona and Rebecca Dempsey, were appointed at Tuesday's meeting to replace outgoing members George Glen and James Nicklas.