EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Over the past five years, Mayo Clinic Health System has awarded nearly $1 million in grant money to nonprofits in northwest Wisconsin to help improve the health of communities in the region.
“Core to our mission as a nonprofit health care provider is reinvesting into the health of our communities,” says Richard Helmers, M.D., regional vice president, Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. “While improving the health of the populations we serve is core to our work at Mayo Clinic Health System, we also are keenly aware we cannot do it alone, which is why supporting other community organizations is crucial.”
“The Hometown Health Grant Program represents Mayo Clinic Health System’s continued commitment to investing in our communities as we work together to enrich the well-being of all who live in northwest Wisconsin,” says Sara Carstens, R.N., director of Community Engagement and Wellness. “These grants champion innovation in overall community health, and the goals of selected grant recipients closely align with Mayo Clinic Health System’s commitment to addressing community health assessment priorities in the areas of mental health, obesity, chronic disease, substance use and alcohol misuse.”
New or existing programs in Barron, Buffalo, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Pierce, St. Croix and Trempealeau counties were invited to apply. Recipients recently named to receive a total of $155,000 in grant money are:
- Benjamin’s House Emergency Shelter: Rapid Rehousing Project, $25,000
Unstable housing circumstances, including homelessness, are critical social determinants of adult and child health. This program provides rental assistance and case management for homeless families with the goal of moving them into permanent housing.
- Bloomer/New Auburn Food Pantry: Food is Medicine, $10,000
This innovative program will offer pantry visitors with chronic diseases the chance to participate in a pilot program receiving healthy food boxes customized to their health condition.
- Boyceville School District: Coaching Trauma-Informed Resilience, $20,000
This program involves a trauma-informed curriculum. It addresses the development of stress resilience by incorporating mindfulness and self-regulation activities in the school. Funding will build the capacity of internal coaches and teachers, and help them expand collaboration with Mondovi schools.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Chippewa Valley: Summer Brain Gain Programming, $15,000
Members of the Boys & Girls Club receive programming focused on building academic skills over the summer break while promoting social-emotional skills that build positive mental health.
- Feed My People: Healthy Meal Kit Program, $20,000
Focusing on food-insecure individuals across northwest-central Wisconsin, Feed My People is working to improve community health by increasing access to nutritious food. This project helps people learn how to assemble healthy meals for their household with simple ingredients and recipes.
- Girls on the Run of the Chippewa Valley: Program Grown Initiative, $5,000
Girls on the Run is a program for girls between the ages of 8 and 13 that teaches life skills through positive mentoring, lessons and running. Support of this effort brings the Girls on the Run program to five new rural schools and will provide financial assistance to girls in need.
- Hope Gospel Mission: Renewed Hope Program for Women and Children, $25,000
This rehabilitation program helps with addiction, academics, finances, life skills, mental health, nutrition/fitness, spirituality and vocational needs, as well as assisting with the development of healthy support networks and parenting skills.
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County: Pop-up Pantries, $10,000
Lack of access to healthy, affordable foods contributes to obesity and chronic disease. This program offers pop-up food distribution pantries in rural areas providing easier access to nutritious food for low-income residents.
- West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission: Improve Student Health through Walking and Biking to School, $25,000
Walking and biking are easy ways to live a healthy lifestyle. The Safe Routes to School project will benefit school districts in Altoona, Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire with the aim of increasing the number of students using active transportation to get to school.
The 2020 grant application process will open in January.
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Press ContactKristin Everett