Health Care

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Western Reserve Health Foundation Awards $170,900

January 28, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A $100,000 grant from the Western Reserve Health Foundation will help the Mahoning County Juvenile Court launch a new program to identify and recommend treatment for drug and mental health issues in the families of young offenders.

In addition, a foundation grant of $70,900 will support the county Board of Health’s new “Centering Pregnancy” program, which will help groups of at-risk pregnant women choose health-promoting behaviors and teach those to their infants.

“Programs like these are important, but public resources for them are limited,” said Phillip Dennison, chairman of the foundation and principal at Packer Thomas & Co. “These are great opportunities for the Western Reserve Health Foundation to step in with seed money to establish new initiatives.”

In the juvenile court, the foundation’s support will provide funding for a new licensed chemical dependency counselor to be hired this year.

The specially trained counselor will screen, recommend treatment for and follow up with family members of delinquent young people in order to improve their chances for successful rehabilitation. The court hopes to screen more than 1,000 family members this year for substance abuse and depression resulting in treatment.

The grant requires the court to monitor and report on the results of the screening, referral and follow-up activities involving family members, Dennison said.

“By addressing drug use and mental health issues in families, we can be more effective in supporting successful rehabilitation of young people,” said Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick.

The grant for the Centering Pregnancy program will help lay the foundation for the effort, which will involve regular group meetings among expectant mothers, assessments and regular interaction with an OB-GYN specialist and other elements.

Plans for this year include hiring and training a program coordinator, recruiting a local OB-GYN, renovating office space, visiting successful Centering Pregnancy sites and working with the Centering Health Care Institute, the Boston-based organization that helps launch such programs.

The service to local, at-risk mothers would start early next year.

“This group-oriented approach has shown proven results in other communities,” said Mahoning County Health Commissioner Patricia M. Sweeney. “We are confident it will make an impact on the tragically high infant death rate in our community.”

The foundation also announced two other grants:

  • $20,000 for Access Health Mahoning Valley, which arranges care for those without health insurance. The grant will help Access hire a case manager to assist uninsured adults.
  • $5,000 for Meridian Community Care’s Panda Leaders Club, through which students meet to discuss and promote responsible decisions about drug/alcohol use, violence, teen pregnancy and other issues.

The Western Reserve Health Foundation receives donations and awards grants that promote health-related needs in Mahoning County. As of June 30, the foundation had more than $13 million in assets. The foundation was established in the 1980s as the fundraising arm of the Western Reserve Care System. In 2012, the foundation enlarged its mission to support healthcare needs countywide and became an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, which awards grants for a broad range of local programs and provides management services to nearly 100 local funds.

SOURCE: Western Reserve Health Foundation.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.