Western Reserve Health Foundation Awards $142K in Grants

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Western Reserve Health Foundation today announced grants of more than $142,000 to eight local health and wellness initiatives, including the Youngstown YMCA’s diabetes prevention program and a renovation of the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic.

“We are pleased to support a broad range of health-related programs with this round of grants,” said Phillip Dennison, chairman of the foundation and principal at Packer Thomas.  “All of these initiatives aim toward important community health priorities.”

The foundation approved $36,000 for the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, a year-long series of training and exercise sessions for adults at risk for diabetes. Taught by trained lifestyle coaches, the program’s 16 weekly and eight monthly sessions encourage healthier eating, weight loss and increased physical activity, and are based on content developed by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

The program usually costs $429 per person, but the grant will enable the YMCA to reduce or waive the fee for qualifying low-income participants. The Y hopes to have 100 low-income adults enrolled in the program in the upcoming year. Grant funds will be used to hire and train lifestyle coaches, buy supplies and promote the program to potential enrollees. The WRHF grant represents almost half of the program’s budget.

A $30,000 grant for the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic is one of several that will support the renovation of its primary facility on Rush Boulevard on Youngstown’s South Side.

The project includes reworking interior space to improve traffic flows, relocating some work functions for better productivity and adding new furniture and flooring to create a better environment for clients and staff. Plans call for construction to start this month and conclude next year. The grant funds are in addition to $25,000 the foundation approved previously for the renovation work.

In its grant application, the clinic said activity in the 48-year-old building has increased sharply in recent years with increases in addictions, particularly to heroin and other opioids.

The foundation also approved grants for these local organizations for health-related initiatives:

  • Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, $22,991 to double the buying power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds spent at local farmers markets.
  • Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio, $16,000 to expand adaptive basketball and softball programs to local adults.
  • D&E Counseling, $15,000 to develop a best practice model and business plan for to integrate physical behavioral services for children, adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions.
  • American Heart Association, $10,000 for CPR training in local public and parochial schools.
  • Antonine Sisters Adult Day Care, $7,500 for transporting participating adults to and from the North Jackson center.
  • Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries, $5,000 to screen pre-school students for vision problems.

The Western Reserve Health Foundation, with more than $13 million in assets, receives donations and awards grants that promote health-related needs in Mahoning County. The foundation was established in the 1980s as the fundraising arm of the former 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.

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