COLUMBIA, Md. — Continuing its long history of supporting community organizations working to improve health and wellness in Howard County, Md., the Horizon Foundation awarded almost $1.2 million in grants in 2015.
“We want Howard County to be the healthiest county in the nation and our valued partnerships with community organizations help us achieve that goal,” said Foundation President and CEO Nikki Highsmith Vernick.
Each of the large grants was awarded to organizations serving Howard County in 2015. The awarded grants support Horizon’s strategic priority areas of increasing access to healthcare and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Highlighted grants include:
Gilchrist Hospice Care was awarded $75,000 for its Support Our Elders Howard County program, which provides a nurse practitioner, case manager, and primary care physician for homebound patients. Desired results will include improved comfort, management of chronic diseases and reduced visits to the hospital and emergency department.
Horizon has awarded $92,000 to Healthy Howard, Inc. for its Rising Risk Population Health initiative, by exploring ways to scale their Community Care Teams program and by adding a bilingual volunteer coordinator to train and supervise volunteers that will address social needs of hospitalized congregation members.
Howard County Community College will receive $166,691 for implementation of a Medical Interpreter Certificate program. The program will help non- and limited-English speaking residents increase access to healthcare by building a workforce of certified medical interpreters.
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will receive $100,000 to completely revamp the food and nutrition program in three pilot schools by promoting healthful eating, providing fresh fruits and vegetables, creating innovative menus and recipes, and improving the appeal and nutritional content of school lunches. In addition, HCPSS will receive $50,000 in planning grant funds to explore opportunities for students to participate in a broad range of physical activity during after school activities.
Horizon awarded $75,000 to People Acting Together in Howard (PATH) for a Youth and Community Health Campaign that will focus on gathering feedback from 2,000 residents to identify new community health issues and develop a public policy agenda in Howard County. PATH will also work to change internal health habits of its members.
The Way Station, Inc. received $73,000 to launch its Howard County Rapid Access Pilot Program, which is designed to provide adults with access to urgent, outpatient mental health services within 24-48 hours. These adults are in need of immediate access to short-term, psychiatric, problem-focused intervention and care.
Additional organizations and programs supported through the Foundation’s grants included Foreign-born Informational and Referral Network (FIRN) Inc.’s Promotores de Salud program; the Healthy Play program, sponsored by Fusion Partnerships and Ellicott City Soccer Club; and American Academy of Pediatricians – Maryland Chapter’s Practice Transformation in Prevention of Childhood Obesity in Howard County program.