Monday, November 11, 2013 - Healthy Community Fund Awards $230,545 in Grants

West Bend, Wis.–The Healthy Community Fund has awarded $230,545 in grants to 11 area non-profit organizations. Representatives of recipient organizations will attend an Award Breakfast at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph's Hospital at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, to receive their funding.

Background

The Healthy Community Fund was created in 2008 through St. Joseph’s Community Foundation to support community programs or projects throughout Washington County that will positively affect the health and wellness of those living and working within this area. The goal of this fund is to bring together non-profit organizations and resources that will support healthy lifestyle choices as well as provide support for programs committed to the promotion of health and wellness.

The agencies selected to receive funding this year include Albrecht Free Clinic, Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Casa Guadalupe Education Center, Family Center of Washington County, Family Promise of Washington County, Friends of Abused Families, Healthy People Project, The Threshold, Kettle Moraine YMCA, West Bend Professional Fire Fighters Charities, and Youth and Family Project.

The fund allows St. Joseph’s Hospital and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Community Physicians to support the communities they serve with initiatives that will promote healthier lifestyles. Oversight for the fund is provided by a committee of individuals from local communities as well as St. Joseph’s Hospital and Community Physicians. The fund is administered through St. Joseph’s Community Foundation.

For more information about the Healthy Community Fund, eligible organizations or how to apply for funding, go to healthycommunityfund.com.

Summaries of recipient organization projects

Albrecht Free Clinic – Chronic Care Program

The Chronic Care Program provides critical medical treatment and education to patients living with chronic conditions. Funding will support the cost of off-site services that Albrecht Free Clinic provides, including medications, visits to specialty providers, and dental and oral surgery. Albrecht Free Clinic services continue to be the community’s safety net for the underserved and those experiencing economic challenges and the inability to afford health care. This program is important to Washington County because without these medical services not only is the patient’s health and well-being at risk, but proper management of illnesses reduces the likelihood of emergency department visits and/or hospitalization, not to mention  overall health care costs. Amount awarded: $50,000.

Boys & Girls Club of Washington County – Healthy Choices Initiative

The Boys & Girls Club serves youth ages 6-17 years in Washington County and promotes character-building experiences for children through social, educational and recreational experiences. With the change in the economy and the increasing risk that youth are facing with childhood obesity, the goal of this project is to improve the health and wellness of youth through proper nutrition, education and a positive influence regarding diet and exercise. Funding will provide 10,290 meals for youth in the summer program at four of the five program sites and 68,672 healthy snacks to all program sites during the school year. This program is important to the at-risk youth throughout Washington County and will help to improve their health and provide education regarding proper nutrition. Amount awarded: $37,157.

Casa Guadalupe Education Center – Latino Healthy Lifestyle Choices Project

Casa Guadalupe is the only bilingual and bi-cultural community-based non-profit organization serving Spanish speaking residents in Washington County. Latinos living in Washington County are the most likely group to not have a regular source of health care, resulting in low health literacy that affects the overall health of the community. Funding will provide two bilingual Living Well health series geared toward adults with chronic health conditions and provide four cooking demonstrations that will highlight healthier cooking and ways to avoid the risk of diabetes. A portion of the funds will provide taxi vouchers for those who lack transportation, since this is a barrier for them to participate in their health due to socio-economic factors including low income. Amount awarded: $10,000 

Family Center of Washington County – Nurturing Parenting Programs

The Family Center has focused on strengthening and supporting families in Washington County for more than 20 years. Programming helps parents and caregivers foster nurturing relationships with their children in the early years and to continue to strengthen their bond into the teen years. Fund support will help the Nurturing Parenting Program launch the Developing Nurturing Skills in Schools pilot program at two schools in 2014 as well as expand the other Nurturing Parenting Programs. This program will be increased from two 16-week sessions to three next year and will offer some courses in Spanish. The skills and education provided through these programs helps children grow into teens with a solid, nurturing foundation to equip them to meet the challenges of adolescence and eventually adulthood and the parenting of their own children. Amount awarded: $10,500.

Family Promise of Washington County – Interfaith Hospitality Network

Family Promise’s mission is to provide resources and services that empower homeless families, helping clients identifying actions to achieve self-sufficiency and move them into permanent housing within 59 days. The Interfaith Hospitality Network includes overnight shelter and meals provided through a network of Family Promise congregations throughout the county; a Day Center that is available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for case management, laundry facilities and showers; and case plans in which every participant works with a case manager to develop a plan that includes access to area resources, life skills education and job and housing searches. The funding will support direct program costs of case management, transportation and day center daily operations. Family Promise provides a critical link between the emergency housing system and community-based social service, educational and health care organizations that bring about neighborhood integration and family self-determination. Amount awarded: $20,000.

Friends of Abused Families – Art Therapy Program

Friends of Abused Families has provided more than 30 years of service to Washington County, empowering and providing safety to those affected by domestic and sexual violence through support services and prevention education. Funding will support the Art Therapy Program, which helps FAF victims and their children reach their full potential in a non-violent environment and break the cycle of violence for future generations. It is available to children age 5-12 years, with program components including therapy sessions, support group sessions and family therapy sessions. It encourages children to explore a variety of art materials and projects to express and communicate thoughts, fears and experiences. It provides a safe, structured, caring environment for expressions of past trauma and allows for the teaching of positive communication skills and non-violent conflict management methods. Amount awarded: $15,000.

Healthy People Project of Washington County – School Nutrition Project Phase II

The Healthy People Project of Washington County coalition was formed in 2006 to address and improve the health status of Washington County residents as it relates to nutrition and physical activity. Funds will be used to implement the second phase of the School Nutrition Program and build on the improvements that participating schools made last year. Some districts are in need of additional equipment to assist with the preparation and storage of fresh produce more efficiently. Funds will also allow food service directors to enhance their programs to provide healthy snacks in vending machines, grab-n-go options and nutrition education to all students, not just those taking hot lunch. Amount awarded: $31,190. 

Kettle Moraine YMCA – Diabetes Prevention Program

The Kettle Moraine YMCA focuses on providing accessible programming to all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay. The evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program targets adults who are overweight with pre-diabetes. It engages participants in a group lifestyle intervention to help them avoid the onset or devastating effects of diabetes. Funding will offset the per-participant cost of $175, so participants of the program pay $30. Funding will make the program more affordable for those in need, since ability to pay was identified as a barrier to participation and significantly reduced program participation when the full cost was charged to participants. Amount awarded: $14,418.

The Threshold – Get Energized II Program

The Threshold has providing rehabilitation services for children and adults with developmental and other disabilities for 50 years. The Get Energized II Program will allow three stationary bikes to be purchased so all adults who are ambulatory can easily sit and pedal. Two bikes will be added to the Senior Day Program and one will be added to Prevocational Services at the LVS Center, to increase clients’ motivation and ability to exercise. Current bikes are used daily, with clients often waiting to get on the bikes. Amount awarded: $2,280.

West Bend Professional Fire Fighters Charities

The West Bend Professional Fire Fighters Charities was established in 1999 as a vehicle to help firefighters in need. Since then, it has expanded to assist local organizations and families who are in need of financial support. Funding will assist local firefighters by providing new fitness equipment at each of the three West Bend fire stations. Current equipment was either purchased through a grant or was donated and many pieces are at least 10 years old. The health and fitness of the 50 West Bend firefighters not only benefits the individual firefighters but indirectly benefits those they care for and the community as a whole. Professional firefighters work 24-hour shifts, so it is important to have fitness equipment onsite at the fire stations to maintain their fitness regimen. Amount awarded: $20,000.

Youth and Family Project – Runaway and Homeless Youth Project

The Youth and Family Project provides support, guidance and understanding to help people in need realize their individual goals of independence and personal well-being and for them to achieve a safe, stable living environment. In 2012, 174 students in school districts throughout Washington County were identified as homeless. The Runaway and Homeless Project provides early intervention and prevention programs through outreach, advocacy, counseling and emergency shelter for at risk, runaway or homeless youth. This program works with school districts to identify at-risk youth and provide counseling to prevent runaway behavior and ensure that youth reside in a safe and stable living environment even after being discharged from the program. Funding will allow for the expansion of these services to include every school district in Washington County.  Amount awarded; $20,000.

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital, founded in 1930 by local doctors, community leaders and the Sisters of the Divine Savior, is a full-service hospital serving residents of West Bend and Washington County. St. Joseph’s Hospital, specializing in women’s health and birthing services, cancer care, surgical procedures and rehabilitation services, is part of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health care network, which also includes Froedtert Hospital, MilwaukeeCommunity Memorial Hospital, Menomonee Falls; and more than 30 primary and specialty care health centers and clinics.