Some local nonprofits can now provide a boost to their programming, thanks to more than $600,000 in grant funding awarded by the Hamilton County Health Department to bridge the gap in health care needs.
The funding was allocated for those organizations that focus on issues including maternal and child health, chronic disease prevention, and clinical care.
For recipient Breathe Easy Hamilton County, the award of $61,476 will go a long way to keep youth from picking up a common bad habit, according to the organization’s executive director, Stacy Collins. According to the CDC, 90 percent of all tobacco users start before the age of 18.
Collins said the grant will help the organization extend programming beyond what is available with state funds.
“With this gift, we can reestablish education for school staff and parents, support for National Days of Action, such as Red Ribbon Week, and most importantly, help area schools create their in-house club for students wishing to promote and advocate a tobacco-free life to their peers,” Collins said.
Breathe Easy Hamilton County runs the Hamilton County Vape-Free Schools Taskforce. The organization is also working on several current projects, including a point-of-sale audit with the Indiana Tobacco Control Department and CounterTools, a public health agency dedicated to helping communities become healthier.
The audit will survey 150 retail locations in search of tobacco advertisements that could appeal to children, as well as check that those retailers are in compliance with mandated placement of corrective statements near tobacco products.
Those interested in joining the Tobacco-Free Alliance or Vape-Free Schools Taskforce can contact Collins at [email protected].
Breathe Easy Hamilton County is sponsored by the Good Samaritan Network and funded through the Indiana Department of Health Tobacco Prevention Cessation. Its mission, to create tobacco-free communities through education, advocacy, and promotion of tobacco-free living and to eliminate tobacco use and related diseases by helping adults and youth quit, preventing youth from starting and decreasing exposure to secondhand smoke.
Additional grant recipients include:
- Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs – $17,400
- Heart and Soul Clinic – $24,000
- HOPE Family Care Center – $44,100
- Noblesville Fire Department (EMS Division) – $8,210
- Partnership for a Healthy Hamilton County, Inc. (A Healthier Hamilton County) – $16,900
- Prevail, Inc. – $32,491
- YMCA of Greater Indianapolis – $46,440.00
Trinity Free Clinic was the biggest award recipient with $386,898 in funding, which will help provide partial dentures, bridges, and soon, full dentures and denture repair for low-income seniors and veterans in Hamilton County.
The grants will be the first funded through the state’s Health First Indiana program created by Senate Enrolled Act 4. The new legislation will invest $225 million in public health over the next two years.