The Health Foundation Awards $674,950 in Grants in the Third Quarter of 2021

Funded projects include caregiver respite program expansion, early childhood needs assessments, and perinatal depression prevention.

In the third quarter of 2021, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York awarded grants totaling $674,950 to organizations across western and central New York for projects that are enhancing the overall health and wellness of their communities. These programs include:

Grantmakers in Aging – Age-Friendly Communities Session ($10,000)

This grant is funding an October 14 panel session at Grantmakers in Aging’s annual conference. The State of Aging Study Session, “Integrating Smart Growth and Healthy Aging through Public/Private Partnerships,” will provide attendees with an overview of New York’s Health and Aging in All Policies initiative, how the Health Foundation’s investment in the effort supported its growth, and how other states are developing these initiatives. The Health Foundation is supporting this session to highlight successful public-private partnerships so that other foundations can learn from and potentially replicate the project and its success.

NY Funders Alliance Initiatives Fund – Liftoff WNY ($90,000)

Liftoff WNY is a collaborative project of a group of philanthropic funders and community stakeholders that works to address early childhood needs. Liftoff’s vision is that all children are school-ready, meeting their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones and are prepared to learn and succeed at their fullest potential.

Funding will support efforts by Liftoff WNY to implement a multi-year work plan to advance several advocacy and system development goals that will result in increased screening of young children for developmental milestones and a system that is better able to meet identified needs. In addition, Liftoff will work to increase community awareness of early childhood development and the importance of developmental screening. This work includes oversight of the next phase of Help Me Grow, and continued involvement in both regional and statewide efforts to coordinate and advance that program.

The Philanthropic Initiative – Western New York Caregiver Respite Program Expansion ($375,000)

To help our communities’ caregivers, in 2019 the Health Foundation partnered with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to launch the Communities Care Family Caregivers Respite Pilot Program. This program funds innovative, collaborative projects that are re-imagining respite and increasing community-based respite opportunities for family caregivers of older adults.

This 3.5-year pilot, led by The Philanthropic Initiative, originally launched in four Southern Tier counties in Western New York (WNY): Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Wyoming.  Based on the success of the pilot, this funding will support the expansion of the program to six additional WNY counties: Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, and Monroe. Through this expansion, which will include key modifications and enhancements based on pilot learnings, the number and variety of local, accessible respite alternatives will create opportunities for family caregivers to take a much-needed break, while building new, sustainable models for WNY and beyond.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center – HPV Vaccination in Rural Primary Care Settings ($10,000)

These funds will support efforts led by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish a Rural Health Equity Community Advisory Board (CAB) that will work with a network of community partners and primary care practices interested in addressing vaccine hesitancy in rural communities and testing promising cancer prevention interventions in community settings with community-based providers.

Development of the CAB is part of a larger effort to address increasing rates of cancers related to human papillomavirus in rural communities by working to increase rates of vaccination against HPV. This work is part of the Health Foundation’s ongoing efforts to improve health care access and outcomes in rural communities in the regions we serve.

SUNY Upstate Medical University – Thinking Healthy Plus ($169,950)

In an effort to prevent perinatal depression among at-risk pregnant people and new parents, SUNY Upstate Medical University and PEACE, Inc. will adapt and implement the Thinking Healthy Program. The program is delivered by paraprofessionals such as community health workers and peers, who work closely with the project team to ensure full-service support is available for program participants. In addition to supporting the paraprofessionals administering Thinking Healthy, the project team will adapt the program so that it can be administered via telehealth as well as in-person.

YWCA Jamestown – TEAM Project ($10,000)

Funds will support the YMCA’s TEAM (Teenage Education and Motherhood) Program, which provides education, counseling, and services to teen parents and their children. This grant will enable the program to screen the children of participants for milestones related to social-emotional development. Results will be used to support parents in helping to build social-emotional skills in themselves and their young children. Additional case management support will be provided to parents to ensure a healthy relationship between child and parent, and a safe nurturing environment for the whole family. This project aligns with the Health Foundation’s ongoing goal to ensure children and their parents have access to high-quality social-emotional learning support.

Other Community Support

Buffalo Center for Health Equity – American Rescue Plan Convenings ($10,000)

These funds supported the Buffalo Center for Health Equity’s advocacy efforts to ensure health equity goals were advanced in local distribution of American Rescue Plan funds. The grants of $8,000 and $2,000 supported the BCHE as they hosted a series of convenings with community leaders and the general public.  Input and feedback was gathered at the convenings on what initiatives are needed to help achieve health equity and how American Rescue Plan funds can be used to advance those goals. Organizers used the data collected to prepare a document of recommendations for elected officials to help inform decision making around these funds. The Health Foundation is proud to partner with the BCHE, African-American Health Equity Task Force, REACH Buffalo and several other partners leading this effort to help continue raising awareness of community needs.