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Obici Healthcare Foundation awards $2.2 million

The Obici Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors awarded $2.2 million in grants to nine organizations.

“The Obici Healthcare Foundation is pleased to award these grants in amounts ranging from $25,000 to $787,184 to local nonprofits that provide health care services to residents living in our service area,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Annette Beuchler. “Grant funds under our Access to Care and Prevention priority areas will be used to support our mission of improving the health status of the people living in Western Tidewater.”

The Obici Healthcare Foundation is a private foundation established in 2006 from the sale of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital to Sentara Healthcare. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $55.7 million in grant funding.

Two Maternal Child Health grants will be used to offer home visitation services.

Western Tidewater Health District was awarded $787,184 in a three-year grant for the operating expenses of the Nurse-Family Partnership program. NFP nurses, through their visiting program, provide first-time moms the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy and competent care for their children. The Foundation will also work with NFP to identify advocacy training.

“The Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally recognized, evidence-based home visitation model which utilizes specially trained nurses regularly visiting young, first-time moms-to-be, starting early in the pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday,” said Dr. Todd Wagner, director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Western Tidewater District. “NFP has been funded, in part, for the past seven years by a generous grant from the Obici Healthcare Foundation specifically for operational support within the Western Tidewater Health District. Funding from the Foundation will help ensure that the NFP program is responsive to the needs of the local community, and further expand our ability to reach more families in our region. WTHD thanks Obici Healthcare Foundation for its sustained support of the NFP program.”

The Children’s Center was awarded $419,072 in a three-year grant to improve the quality of its Early Head Start program, expand the number of home visiting spots and grow their capacity to better measure impact across Early Head Start and the home visiting program.

“We are excited to work with our collaboration partners and Obici Healthcare Foundation to expand opportunities for home visiting and support for maternal mental health in our community,” said Dr. Anne Bruehl, licensed clinical psychologist and health director at the Children’s Center. The Children’s Center was also awarded a $50,000 Healthy Behaviors Grant to fund a playground for Early Head Start Extended Duration Expansion.

Safety Net grants to improve access to health care for uninsured, underinsured and medically underserved populations were awarded to Eastern Virginia Medical School and Blakey Weaver Counseling Center.

EVMS was awarded $84,640 to provide primary and endocrinology care at Western Tidewater Free Clinic. The project will provide an attending physician, resident and medical/professional students to assist the clinic in treating extremely complicated patients. The clinic is a health home for uninsured, underinsured and underserved adults in Western Tidewater.

“We are honored to partner with the Obici Healthcare Foundation to improve access to quality, specialized care and to reduce health care inequities,” said Dr. Richard V. Homan, EVMS president and provost, and dean of the School of Medicine. “Together, we will provide the tools needed to empower patients to improve their health and the health of their community in Western Tidewater.”

A new grantee, Blakey Weaver Counseling Center, was awarded $25,000 for a Trauma Supportive Schools Program with a planning grant to identify resources to strengthen the organization’s goal of creating a school-based program to focus on trauma informed, trauma sensitive and supportive school environment in Southampton County.

“Blakey Weaver Counseling Center Inc. is grateful for the funding providing by the Obici Healthcare Foundation,” Dr. Kawanna Ward-Hill said. “The $25K planning grant will allow Blakey Weaver Counseling Center Inc. to adequately plan for trauma informed, trauma sensitive, and trauma supportive services at Southampton County Public Schools.”

Grants were also given to fund projects that encourage healthy behaviors.

Boys & Girls Club was awarded a $25,000 planning grant to enhance its current Healthy Lifestyle Club and to expand the program’s reach into the community. The staff will work with partners to facilitate focus groups in the service area’s middle and high schools with a goal of reaching and better serving youth in grades K-12 and their families in Suffolk and Franklin.

Reggie Carter, service director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia said, “We are extremely honored, thankful and excited to be partnering once again with Obici Healthcare Foundation with their generous award to help us continue to fulfill our mission of impacting the lives of youth in our communities. We will work hard to honor the Foundation’s legacy as we will reach even more youth and help them to build a healthy mind, body and soul.“

Smart Beginnings Southeast was awarded a $25,000 planning grant for its Sussex Surry Early Childhood Collaborative. These partners will determine feasible strategies to address childhood food insecurity.  The group will work with No Kid Hungry to identify and hire a consultant to determine the best course of action and next steps.

“Thanks to the Obici Foundation, this grant will allow Smart Beginnings Southeast to continue our work with the Sussex Surry Food Insecurity Collaborative to create strategies to ensure healthy food access for children birth to 5 and their families,” said Alison Noble, director of Smart Beginnings Southeast.

Paul D. Camp Community College was awarded $50,000 to perform a feasibility study to consider the potential of repurposing the Army National Guard Amory for community use in Franklin.

The Suffolk Family YMCA has entered a partnership with Suffolk Public Schools, Lake Prince Woods Retirement Community, Cover 3 and PlayWorks to create a program to serve 800 children who participate in the YMCA’s Before and After School program. The children will learn about physical activity, nutrition and other healthy lifestyle choices. Awarded $300,000, this program will enhance healthy behaviors and is to expand into Franklin before the end of the three-year grant term.

“The Suffolk Family YMCA is thrilled to partner with the Suffolk Public Schools, the Cover3 Foundation, PlayWorks, and Lake Prince Woods,” said Katie Burgus, district vice president. “We are thankful to the Obici Healthcare Foundation for awarding us this grant, which will improve the overall health and wellness of our community’s children.”

Two Healthy Behaviors grants were awarded to Suffolk Public Schools: A three-year grant of $300,000 will fund the Healthy Happy Productive Staff Wellness Initiative, a holistic wellness program for the schools’ bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers. In addition, the district was awarded a $50,000 grant to fund Booker T. Washington Inclusive Play Spaces, an inclusive play space for a student population of 73.5-percent free and reduced lunch recipients. The new playground will be modernized to meet the needs of all students in Pre-K through 5 and for after-school play for the public.

“We are incredibly thankful to receive Healthy Spaces grants from the Foundation for adding an inclusive playground for our students and to offer a Wellness Program to more staff,” said Anne McCoy, K-12 HPE curriculum and employee wellness specialist.

Suffolk Public Schools further received grant monies in the Foundation’s Early Childhood Education initiative. This $90,000 Early Childhood Education grant is for the Learning Enrichment for Academic Progress program, which will provide remediation and enrichment opportunities for 500 students across 11 elementary schools. This summer program has been shown to increase a student’s performance in both reading and math. The grant includes a planning opportunity to address kindergarten readiness and registration to a population of eligible kindergarten-aged students who have had limited childcare experience.

“We are tremendously grateful for the generosity and support of the Obici Healthcare Foundation,” said Tomika Doleman of Suffolk Public Schools. “The Foundation’s support of programs and initiatives like school playgrounds, the summer LEAP program, and the Early Childhood STREAMin3 curriculum is having a far-reaching impact on students throughout our division. We are connected in service to this community, and their partnership demonstrates that we can achieve so much for children and families when we work together. On behalf of our students and families, we express our heartfelt gratitude to the Foundation for their amazing support and partnership.”