News

Grants transforming health for Jackson County

Over $197,000 awarded to local nonprofits; additional applications sought by July 29

Medford, Ore. — Jackson County families are about to feel the positive effects of five newly funded programs designed to improve community health and wellness.

As part of the mission to provide health coverage to its Oregon Health Plan members, Jackson Care Connect recently granted over $197,000 to organizations seeking to help individuals take more responsibility for their health.

Chard harvest
 Grant funds ranging from $30,000 to $49,270 were awarded to five wellness programs
serving Medford, Butte Falls, Phoenix-Talent and Jackson County as a whole.

“We hope to empower communities to address their health needs with innovative ideas,” said Hannah Ancel, community engagement coordinator for Jackson Care Connect, one of the three Coordinated Care Organizations for Jackson County.

Ancel also says that applications are being accepted now for an additional round of grants from Jackson Care Connect. Those grants also will go to nonprofit organizations proposing innovative projects to promote wellness.

“The Jackson Care Connect Community Advisory Council, which choses grant recipients from a pool of applications, is made up of community volunteers who believe in a grassroots approach to improving health for everyone,” says Ancel.

According to Don Bruland, a member of the Community Advisory Council, 18 applications were submitted, making the selection process “a real challenge.”

“All the projects were worthy,” Bruland said. “We tried to choose programs that focused on health prevention. We are very interested in programs that addressed early interventions to help young people choose healthy life habits.”

One of the funded programs teaches students about healthy nutrition — literally from the ground up.

Growing and preparing healthy foods through Rogue Valley Farm to School’s “Digging Deeper” program will provide Jackson County school children a chance to work in the organization’s gardens. It also will include classroom lessons about nutrition, science, math and the environment.

According to Tracy Harding, RVF2S executive director, “Staff sees the impact of a single field trip to a farm or a visit to the school garden. We are extremely excited to be able to add 12 hands-on learning opportunities in the garden, classroom and farm through this funding.”

The Butte Falls Community School Partnership (BFCSP) will be using its funding to support the “Child and Youth Program”. It serves preschool through high school students and their families, to help students gain life and academic skills.

Peg Crowley, a BFCSP board member, expects a significant impact. “This grant will allow us to expand programs for children,” Crowley said. “It assures that services will be stabilized and our youth will have an opportunity to grow into productive citizens.”

An estimated 50 youth, 30 volunteers and 100 parents, grandparents and guardians will benefit from the support they will receive and skills they will learn, according to Crowley. “This funding will provide age-appropriate, adult-supervised and drug–free programs that support school readiness and achievement,” she says.

Three other funded programs will address recreation, arts integration and homeless youth programs:

  • The Phoenix-Talent School District is receiving a grant for “Healthy Connections,” a program of intramural recreation at the district’s three elementary schools.
  • The Maslow Project, which provides support services to homeless young people, will use its funding to hire a bilingual case manager for Latino youth and their families to access services and improve success in social and school activities.
  • LIFE Art, a nonprofit for youth at risk for suicide, or those affected by trauma, is being funded for its mentoring program. Individual and group mentoring, leadership opportunities and arts-based activities for at-risk youth will improve mental health and social supports.

The application deadline for new grants is July 29, with awards announced by September 15. Over $100,000 will be distributed between selected projects. Exact funding totals will be posted before the application deadline. More information may be found at www.jacksoncareconnect.org.





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