The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Community Transformation Grant program will make seven sub-award grants worth $95,000 to community groups in Southeast Alaska interested in improving the health of their communities.
A total of 15 applications from various community groups around the region were submitted by the Oct. 19 deadline. A seven-member review board comprised of SEARHC, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services and rural community representatives completed the difficult task of reviewing and scoring the applications.
“All of the applicants had great ideas and clearly wanted to improve the health of their communities,” SEARHC Community Transformation Grant Program Manager Martha Pearson said.
According to the funding objectives, projects should be population based and have a well-planned strategy to address at least one of the three focus issues — tobacco-free living; active living and healthy eating; and high-impact quality clinical and other preventive services to prevent and control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Sub-award grants ranging from $5,000 to $24,750 were available. The applications that showed definite links to sustainable organizational practices, such as school curricula and institutional meal guidelines, were scored the highest.
The SEARHC Community Transformation Grant sub-award winners for Fiscal Year 2013 are:
• Alaska Breastfeeding Coalition will expand education about worksite breastfeeding initiatives in Juneau and the region.
• Takshanuk Watershed Council will develop ways to increase access to local produce and seafood in Haines by developing community awareness and sourcing local foods for institutional meals.
• The Craig School District will develop its school nutrition curricula around fruits and vegetables while strengthening the local school garden.
• Petersburg Mental Health Services and Sitka Local Foods Network will engage their local communities in extensive community planning around food and health needs (these are two separate projects doing similar work).
• Brave Heart Volunteers will take the lead on connecting health and human service related organizations in Sitka to most efficiently meet community needs.
• The Wrangell School District will develop a new school nutrition practice that requires scratch-cooked, healthier meals for students.
The next round of applications for Fiscal Year 2014 will be solicited in the late summer 2013. If funding allows, SEARHC expects to offer the chance to apply for sub-awards every year until 2016. For more information, contact Martha Pearson at 966-8783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.