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Grants for community health projects awarded

Oct. 11, 2018, 9:00 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Community Health Improvement Team announced five recipients of a new pilot grant program to support innovative health improvement projects in Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson Counties.

The team oversees VUMC’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and Implementation Strategy (IS) process to identify health needs and build partnerships that address the CHNA needs and promote health and well-being in the community. In August 2016, in partnership with the community, VUMC identified and adopted four needs:

  • Access to care and coordination of care
  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Social determinants of health
  • Wellness and disease prevention.

A Request for Proposals solicited applications from organizations that addressed one or more of the CHNA priority areas listed above. A committee of both academic and community reviewers evaluated 22 applications; five were selected to receive up to $7,500 to carry out their work over a 12-month period.

VUMC CHNA Pilot Grant recipients are:

  • Gentry’s Education Foundation and the Williamson County Health Department for their “Peaceful Playground” initiative to address obesity and encourage physical activity in the school setting.
  • Medical Foundation of Nashville and the Nashville Academy of Medicine for their work expanding access to specialty care for low-income, uninsured patients in Rutherford County.
  • Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee for their project training first responders to address mental health emergencies and make appropriate referrals in Rutherford County.
  • Siloam Health Center for the creation of a Community Health Worker program to improve health among immigrant and refugee communities in Davidson County.
  • Tennessee Justice Center for their initiative to increase enrollment in public health insurance programs by engaging children and teens in Davidson County.

“This is a great opportunity to support two innovative projects in Rutherford County that are aiming to make long-lasting change,” said Dana Garrett, director of the Rutherford County Health Department.  “I’m looking forward to seeing what these organizations do.”

“This pilot grant program strengthens our community partnerships and commitments with an explicit goal of addressing our CHNA priorities and improving the health of those who live in our communities,” said Robert Dittus, MD, VUMC’s Executive Vice President for Public Health and Health Care, director of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health and the Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine.

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