Foundation awards grants

Published 10:08 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Obici Healthcare Foundation on Tuesday announced the awarding of nearly $1.6 million in grants to 24 area nonprofit organizations working on improving the health of local residents.

The foundation also announced more than $1.9 million available in its next round of grants, for which concept papers are due next month.

“The Foundation Board of Directors and staff are excited by the quality of the programs being offered by this group of grantees committed to providing care in the Foundation’s service area,” Foundation Chairman George Birdsong said.

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Award amounts given in this round ranged from $15,000 to $450,000. The recipients were announced at a breakfast meeting at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn with about 100 in attendance.

The Obici Healthcare Foundation was created in 2006 with assets established through the estate of peanut magnate Amedeo Obici and funds from the merger of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital and Sentara Healthcare. Since its beginning, the foundation has provided more than $22 million in grants.

“Grants made by the Foundation continue Amedeo Obici’s legacy of improving the health status of people living in the service area,” said Gina Pitrone, Foundation Executive Director.  “Mr. Obici, the founder of Planters Peanuts, was successful in business and passionate about helping the people in Western Tidewater and Gates County, N.C.”

Grants are given in four priority areas — improved access to care, obesity prevention, chronic disease management and insuring more people.

Guest speakers at the grant announcement included Linda Wilkinson, executive director of the Virginia Association of Free Clinics, and Neal Graham, executive director of the Virginia Community Healthcare Association.

The two spoke about the changing role of the health care safety net with the coming implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do,” Wilkinson said. “The free clinics will still continue to be relevant in your communities. We don’t anticipate that our free clinics will look exactly like they do today on Jan. 1, 2014.”

The following is a listing of new grantees shown by organization names, award amounts and program descriptions.

  • American Diabetes Association — $21,000 to train ambassadors in high health-risk congregations to raise awareness of diabetes and stress the importance of early detection, disease management and reducing health risk factors.
  • Bon Secours Maryview Foundation — $112,500 for the Care-A-Van to provide free, mobile medical services to medically underserved patients in Western Tidewater.
  • Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia — $35,709 to provide life coaches in Sentara Obici Hospital’s emergency room to help uninsured or underinsured patients secure primary care services or other resources.
  • The Children’s Center — $40,000 to purchase a passenger van used to transport special needs children and for in-home therapy visits.
  • Cover 3 Foundation — $15,000 to support an after-school and summer feeding program for at-risk and low-income children.
  • Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia — $50,000 to provide food from the Foodbank’s Suffolk Mobile Pantry for diabetic clients.
  • ForKids Inc. — $25,000 to expand homeless prevention and permanent supportive housing programming in Western Tidewater and provide medical case management services.
  • ForKids Inc. — $56,250 to improve access to medical and mental health services for homeless families.
  • The Planning Council — $16,047 to coordinate the homeless continuum of care process, which includes the management of housing, health care and support services.
  • The Rensselaerville Institute — $75,000 to define, track, achieve, communicate and improve results over the life of the Healthy People/Healthy Suffolk initiative.
  • RX Partnership — $15,000 to provide free prescription medication and low-cost supplies to low-income, uninsured residents served by Western Tidewater Free Clinic.
  • Sentara Louise Obici Memorial Hospital — $56,250 to provide uninsured patients with case management services that improve self-care disease management skills.
  • Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater — $32,000 to increase the number of Western Tidewater children enrolled in FAMIS.
  • Suffolk Department of Social Services — $46,015 to increase the number of children and families enrolled in Medicaid and FAMIS.
  • Suffolk Family YMCA — $41,250 to increase cardiovascular fitness, physical strength and life skills for youth participating in an after-school jump rope program.
  • Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community — $24,225 to implement an individualized, comprehensive wellness care management program in Suffolk.
  • Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community — $43,800 to develop a Comprehensive Plan Encouraging Active Lifestyle for Suffolk citizens that includes community engagement, environmental change and measurable outcomes.
  • Suffolk Public Schools — $150,000            to develop and implement After-School Challenge Clubs focused on obesity prevention; and establish salad bars in cafeterias for better nutrition.
  • Suffolk Salvation Army Corps — $15,000 to provide low-income persons with improved access to their doctor’s office, hospitals and pharmacies.
  • Town of Smithfield — $25,000 to implement Smithfield’s community wellness initiative.
  • Virginia Diabetes Council — $23,800 to provide an evidence-based, self-management program for Type 2 diabetics and promote healthy dining choices and active lifestyles.
  • Virginia Legal Aid Society — $75,000 to help eligible, disabled clients obtain Medicaid and/or Medicare coverage.
  • Virginia Supportive Housing — $15,000 to provide medical and mental health services to disabled persons residing in permanent supportive housing.
  • Western Tidewater Community Services Board — $100,000 to establish Western Tidewater’s first outpatient medical detoxification program that provides daily testing, counseling, support and referral services to substance abusers.
  • Western Tidewater Free Clinic — $450,000 to provide operational support for medical care and chronic disease management of uninsured patients.
  • Western Tidewater Health District — $40,000 to provide underinsured and uninsured diabetes with one-on-one chronic disease case management services.