GREENVILLE, SC (August 29, 2017) – The Greenville Health Authority (GHA) Board of Trustees on Tuesday announced the first grant recipients of its landmark $80 million 20-year pledge to help make Greenville County the healthiest county in America by 2036.
The initial nine grants amount to $12.4 million and range from one- to five-year pay-outs. Grants target chronic issues like diabetes, mental illness and obesity but also address immediate needs like standardizing high-quality training for fire-fighter first responders across Greenville County and even adding life-saving defibrillators to hundreds of deputy patrol cars.
“We knew our Healthy Greenville initiative would significantly improve Greenville County’s health over the next 20 years,” said Lisa Stevens, chair of the Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees. “But how fantastic is it that we can work toward that long-range goal while also taking concrete steps that could literally save lives within months.”
First-year grant recipients include the following:
- $2.55 million over four years to a coalition led by Greenville County EMS to provide standardized training and equipment for the first time in this community for approximately 900 fire-fighter/first responders countywide and to add life-saving automatic external defibrillators to 266 deputy patrol cars. Coalition members include Greenville Health System’s (GHS) department of emergency medicine, the Greenville County Fire Chief’s Association, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and GHS Health Sciences Center.
- $2.52 million over five years to a coalition led by Clemson’s public health sciences department to bolster diabetes prevention and management services in Greenville County, where almost 10 percent of the population has diabetes. Services will be offered in client homes but potentially at locations like the GHS Life Center, Phillis Wheatley Association Center and Clemson’s cooperative extension office in Greenville County. Collaborators include GHS, Clemson’s cooperative extension service, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, the S.C. Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging and the American Diabetes Association. (This grant combines two applications submitted by Clemson University and GHS.)
- $3.38 million over five years to a coalition led by GHS that will create a streamlined comprehensive health initiative that serves Greenville County’s highest-need children. The program would provide students with health education as well as nutritional and physical activity opportunities and psychological support. The project will focus on West Greenville. Elementary schools will be targeted, as will Greenville middle schools like Berea, Tanglewood and Lakeview, as well as Greenville Early College. Part of the program’s mission would be to build resiliency in children exposed to adverse childhood events. Shorthanded as ACE’s, the traumas include abuse and neglect. Research shows that trauma in childhood can rewire how the brain develops, potentially making the now adult more subject to chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders. Coalition members include the United Way of Greenville County, SHARE Head Start and Greenville County School District. This grant combines two applications submitted by the United Way and GHS.
- $2.06 million over four years to a coalition, led by the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation, that will provide scholarships to 10 medical students specially trained in areas such as lifestyle medicine or in addiction or substance misuse. Other coalition members include FAVOR (Faces and Voices of Recovery) Greenville and Greenville Technical College’s Culinary Institute, which will offer training in healthy nutrition and even meal planning.
- Approximately $661,200 over three years to a coalition led by Upstate Fatherhood Coalition to strengthen efforts to assist non-custodial fathers and potentially help them connect more strongly with their own children. Coalition members include the S.C. Center for Fathers and Families, Above All Healthy Lifestyle, Fleet Feet Sports, Greenville Family Partnership and American Lung Association.
- $588,800 over five years to a coalition led by Little Steps that will provide for more individualized case management for young families. Coalition members include Greenville County First Steps and United Way of Greenville County.
- $410,000 over two years to the Clemson University School of Nursing to expand primary care access by providing 10 scholarships for nurse practitioners from diverse or under-represented groups. GHS is a partner in that effort.
- $270,000 over three years to a coalition led by Greenville County First Steps to expand access to childcare scholarships. Coalition members include the GHS Nurse-Family Partnership and Little Steps. More than 400 scholarships will be offered through the initiative.
- $250,000 in seed money to a coalition led by Gateway House Inc. to expand mental health services in Greenville County. The Gateway project would include a new facility offering rehabilitative support services for adults living with mental illness. Future coalition members may include the Clemson University School of Nursing, Mary Black School of Nursing and K180 Fitness, which would provide support to a proposed accompanying health and wellness center.
Nearly 130 organizations submitted letters of intent to initiate the consideration process during the 2017 grant cycle. Of those, 19 were invited to submit full grant applications, with nine being approved for grants.
All told, those nine projects will harness the expertise of 33 organizations or partnering groups. They’re also expected to create 21 new jobs across the lives of the grants and strengthen workforce development through the enhanced job training for nearly 1,200 positions.
“We asked for bold initiatives and are thrilled that the community responded with these incredible proposals,” said Stevens. “We continue to believe that implementation of these programs could touch every life in Greenville County, which has been our goal from the beginning. This is day one of a 20-year journey of change.”
The innovative initiative will fund approximately $4 million in grants each year for the next 20 years for targeted projects into health-related care, research and education that improves the health of Greenville County residents. The areas targeted by the GHA board in the first year included access to health care, mental health, social determinants and healthy eating/exercise as a prevention for many chronic diseases. These areas were chosen because they were identified as top concerns in the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment.
The GHA board will release a request for proposals for the next round of proposed grants by Oct. 9. The deadline for potential grantees to submit letters of intent is Nov. 14.
The Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees is the operating name for what was previously named the Greenville Health System (GHS) Board of Trustees. The name changed as part of a governance shift which moved the health system from a public, not-for-profit entity to a private, not-for-profit entity.
To learn more about Healthy Greenville 2036, visit ghs.org/healthygreenville.