Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation accepting grant applications

The new beginning for the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation, a public charity is underway, and the announcement of its grant application is now online. The Foundation is pleased to accept grant applications for proposals to improve the health and wellbeing of our Highlands Cashiers and surrounding communities online HERE. The grant application submittal deadline is June 15 for the first grant cycle.

Since February 1, 2019, the Foundation has been immersed in establishing policies, procedures and new offices at the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands. Driven by its commitment to donors and local communities, the grant-making process has been established with concentration on transparent and due diligence procedures through every step. “We are grateful for legal and research guidance from Dogwood Health Trust and especially pleased with the dedicated work of our Programs and Grants Committee over the past two months, led by Board member Stephanie Edwards,” said Dr. Walter Clark, Foundation Chair.

The committee, comprised of four board members and three community advisory members, spent numerous hours studying needs assessment data, health impact factors and conducting listening engagements with 25 organizations across the plateau. The process resulted in a fully vetted, prioritized list of focus areas that have significant potential for fulfilling the Foundation’s purpose to improve the health and wellbeing of our Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding communities. The information provided extraordinary insight and specific examples of challenges and barriers to healthful living and wellbeing throughout our surrounding communities.

But the learning process has not ended. The Foundation plans to continue these listening sessions in order to deepen and broaden its knowledge throughout the six-county region. Organizations are encouraged to submit grant applications whether or not they have participated in a listening engagement to date.

“Our Committee members and Foundation Directors plan to continue learning about health and wellbeing conditions as well as creative, innovative solutions for improving our communities,” said Stephanie Edwards, Chair of the Programs and Grants Committee.

Using the basis of “Social Determinants of Health,” the areas for funding initiatives have been determined by evidence-based concepts. “Social Determinants of Health” is the phrase used to define areas that have proven influence on people’s physical health and mental wellbeing. The five common domains include: 1) Health and Healthcare, 2) Education, 3) Economic Stability, 4) Social and Community Context, and 5) Neighborhood and Built Environment.

“What this means is that good health and wellbeing is about more than health care and the absence of illness,” said Dr. Clark. “When communities work together to improve physical, mental, spiritual and social wellbeing, we all benefit. We believe in investing in areas that offer constructive solutions for healthful and productive lives.”

The following focus areas include initiatives for a healthy, safe and thriving community, setting the stage for happiness. The Foundation encourages proposals for projects and initiatives that keep our communities strong and vibrant, particularly programs that are involved in proactive collaborative partnerships. Grant applications are welcome from organizations working in these focus areas:

Education Initiatives: The attainment of education is one of the highest factors in predicting good health. We welcome proposals to advance technologies for academic enrichment, reduce k12 absenteeism, improve student access to health and counselor professionals; teacher development and retention, early childhood learning, and literacy improvement for all ages.

Access to Healthcare: Given our mountainous terrain and population demographics, access to care plays a vital role in supporting healthy and strong communities. We welcome proposals that involve emergency services and public transportation, indigent care, behavioral health, physician recruitment and retention.

Community Vitality: There are numerus opportunities for manifesting healthful mountain living. We welcome proposals for community initiatives to promote healthy, active lifestyles, community health screenings, increase broadband access and support substance abuse prevention programs.

Economic Stability: Affordable housing initiatives and food insecurity are among the most critical needs to be addressed for a sustainable workforce.

For more information, interested applicants may attend a grant workshop on May 22, at Cashiers/Glenville Recreation Center, 12-2 p.m.; or May 28, Hudson Library in Highlands, 12:30-2:30pm; to RSVP, please contact r.oakley@hchealthfnd.org.

For general information about Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation and access to the online grant application please visit our website or email info@hchealthfnd.org.

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