$111K in grants to promote healthy living in Springfield

A total of 21 Clark and Champaign county health and wellness programs received more than $111,000 in grants from the Community Health Foundation.

Nonprofit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Rocking Horse Center and Planned Parenthood received grants ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 for programs related to healthy living, reproductive health, mental and emotional health and safety net services.

A nonprofit organization is eligible for a grant if it serves residents in Clark or Champaign County and is classified as a federal or state nonprofit organization, foundation Program Coordinator Joan Elder said.

“This is our third year making grants to nonprofits,” she said. “Every organization has to reapply for each year’s grant.”

The goal of the grants has been to improve the health services provided to Clark and Champaign County residents. The grants were distributed to programs with the most need, she said.

“A first concern was reproductive services,” Elder said. “We want to make sure people have access to affordable health care.”

President Linda Shaffer of Big Brothers Big Sisters said the grant money helps kids lead active and healthy lifestyles.

The money sends kids to its Camp Oty’Okwa. The camp fosters healthy eating habits and staying active with numerous outdoor activities such as hiking.

“We’re teaching them that hiking is something … enjoyable and good for you,” Shaffer said. “The camp is a nurturing and safe environment.”

The grant money allows Shaffer to take about 74 students ages 8 to 14 to the year-round camp.

“Before, I was driving them down myself,” Shaffer said. “This is a much better opportunity for the students.”

At the Rocking Horse Center, the grant money will help supply a flu vaccine initiative. That program gives patients without health insurance flu immunizations due to the increase in the illness throughout the country, Rocking Horse Community Outreach Coordinator Kim Bishop Gnau said.

“The initiative is designed to help with chronic disease management by preventing influenza within the adult population,” Rocking Horse Director of Nursing Teresa Hockett said. “All of the funding went to buy vaccines and purchased approximately 444 doses.”

The center also seeks to educate the public on the dangers, symptoms and prevention methods of the flu.

Planned Parenthood was awarded $5,000 for the Springfield Health Center Relocation Project. The project seeks to relocate the office to a more easily accessible location for Springfield patients.

“At this time, we’re looking into it but no specific plans have been made,” director of communications with southwest Ohio Planned Parenthood Danielle Craig said.

Elder believes that these grants will help Clark and Champaign County residents significantly.

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