Foundation awards grants

Published 10:42 pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Obici Healthcare Foundation on Thursday announced the awarding of $1.4 million in grants to 15 nonprofit organizations serving Suffolk, Western Tidewater and Gates County, N.C.

“The Foundation board of directors and staff are excited by the quality of the programs being offered by this group of grantees who are committed to providing care in the Foundation’s service area,” said George Y. Birdsong, foundation chairman.

The grants target four priority areas: chronic disease management, improving access to basic health care, obesity prevention and insuring more people.


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The grants were announced at a breakfast at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. The foundation also announced its next round of grants, which will total nearly $1.6 million. Concept papers are due this month for the new round.

In addition, an upcoming special round of grants exclusively for organizations serving Suffolk was announced. The special grants will be given to programs supporting the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community’s “Healthy People, Healthy Suffolk” initiative, which itself received Thursday’s second-biggest grant.

“We are very excited, and we’re looking forward to working with the community to implement this plan,” said Jaya Tiwari, executive director of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.

The Healthy People, Healthy Suffolk plan is a 10-year comprehensive plan to improve obesity prevention and other health factors in Suffolk.

The Obici Healthcare Foundation was created in 2006 with assets from Planters Peanuts founder Amedeo Obici’s estate and funds from the merger of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital and Sentara Healthcare. The foundation has given more than $20 million in grant funding since its inception.

The keynote speaker at the breakfast was Jill Hanken, a staff attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center. She encouraged planning and collaboration among the many nonprofit organizations present as they adapt to the changes brought by the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s still going to be uninsured people,” she said, although not nearly as many as before. “I think it behooves all of us to be getting prepared. We all have a lot of work to do.”

Also speaking about adapting to change were Thaler McCormick of ForKids Inc. and John Skirven of Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia. They led a panel discussion on how nonprofits can adapt to the shifting economy, funding streams, client needs and other changes.

The full list of grantees is below.

Chronic Disease Management

  • Albemarle Regional Health Services — $25,000 for the Gates County Comprehensive Diabetes Plan
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School — $137,000 to improve survival in Western Tidewater diabetics
  • James L. Camp Jr. Family YMCA — $10,000 for an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant portable pool lift for aquatic therapy
  • Peninsula Institute for Community Health — $250,000 for the Main Street Physicians Access Project
  • Western Tidewater Community Services Board — $40,830 for an intellectual disabilities licensed practical nurse
  • Western Tidewater Community Services Board — $43,680 for an outpatient medical detox program and safety services

Improving Access to Basic Health Care

  • Voices for Kids CASA Program — $42,935 to expand advocacy for children with medical and mental health needs
  • Western Tidewater Community Services Board — $150,000 for child and adolescent psychiatry and counseling
  • Western Tidewater Health District — $23,109 for Saving Smiles: A Dental Health Promotion Project
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School — $56,250 to expand EVMS care for Western Tidewater underserved patients
  • Isle of Wight Christian Outreach Program — $15,500 for a dental program
  • Suffolk Meals on Wheels — $76,835 to fund meal delivery to senior citizens
  • The Up Center — $126,717 for trauma informed care

Obesity Prevention

  • Nansemond-Suffolk Academy — $27,515 for Kid-to-Kid: Let’s Get Healthy
  • Norfolk State University — $20,000 for We Can! Be Healthy for Life!
  • The Planning Council — $85,159 for obesity assessment and prevention within child care settings
  • Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community — $186,100 to implement Healthy People, Healthy Suffolk

Insure More People

  • Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia — $75,010 for the Medication and Care Access Resource Program