Those agencies are OH’s community partners, who help the health system address regional health concerns, said Greg Strahan, OH president and CEO. The health system’s grants will fund programs to feed aging and impoverished residents, help people quit smoking, promote physical activity and healthy eating, and achieve many other positive health outcomes.
OH is only one organization and, as such, has limited reach, Strahan said.
“The people who can help us the most are these partners in the community,” he said. “We’re putting money at the source — with people who are in the community making a difference every day.”
Since 2009, OH has given more than $6.1 million to area nonprofits through the Community Health Investment Grants.
Last year, Tri-State Food Bank received $6,768 to start a mobile pantry pilot program.
“They exceeded what they thought was imaginable,” Debbie Zuerner Johnson, OH director of community engagement, told the crowd gathered at OH Regional Hospital Tuesday.
In this grant cycle, the food bank, which serves eight western Kentucky counties, received $20,000, said Glenn Roberts, Tri-State’s executive director.
“(Last year’s grant) was a pilot project to see how well it would work, and it works,” Roberts said.
With the OH grant, the pilot program served 2,487 people from 807 households in Daviess, Hopkins and McLean counties. In all, the program distributed 40,626 pounds of food.
It focused on delivering fresh produce and other items to “food deserts,” or areas where no grocery stores exist or residents have limited access.
The OH grant is the mobile pantry’s first major grant, which allows the food bank to plan and map out ways to distribute food in western Kentucky on a regular basis.
“And this (grant) lends credibility to this program,” Roberts said.
Puzzle Pieces is set to receive a $9,000 OH grant this year for healthy snacks and equipment that promotes physical activity. It is the sixth year Puzzle Pieces has received an OH grant.
Fellow recipient New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services will receive a $20,000 grant for its Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing program, which is a form of psychotherapy.
OH grants help nonprofits provide improved health-care options, said Terri Crowe, victim advocate for New Beginnings.
“It’s an invaluable resource that helps us do things we otherwise could not,” Crowe said.
A list of grant award amounts was not available from Owensboro Health.
Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, [email protected]