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Western Reserve Health Foundation Announces $101,900 in Grants

(Youngstown, Ohio) – The Western Reserve Health Foundation today announced grants of $101,900 to 6 local health and wellness initiatives including Neil Kennedy Recovery Center and Goodwill Industries of Youngstown.

“We are pleased to support a broad range of health-related programs with this round of grants,” said Phillip Dennison, chairman of the foundation and principal at Packer Thomas & Co. “For the first time, applicants could direct their request to the issue-specific areas that align with specialized areas the Foundation supports.”

Neil Kennedy Recovery Center supports patients in recovery

A grant of $20,000 to the Neil Kennedy Recovery Center will help support patients with mindfulness yoga classes and a wellness garden. The programs are designed to develop greater self-confidence and self-reliance to help these patients continue their recovery outside of treatment.

The yoga classes will relate yoga to recovery, and will be taught by professional instructors trained in 12-step yoga. The classes will be taught in the outdoor wellness garden. The wellness garden is designed to help patients connect to and find peace in nature. The patients will build and cultivate the garden, using their creativity to make it a reflection of the people that use it.

Goodwill Industries encourages eye screening

The foundation approved $23,000 for Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries’ Vision Screening Program for at-risk children. The grant will allow the program to purchase new computerized testing equipment. The screenings, which take place at community events and health fairs, look for amblyopia, or lazy eye, among 3 to 5 year-old children. Currently, the program is using standardized screening instruments that have several drawbacks. Children that are unable to identify shapes cannot correctly respond during the assessment. The results are also interpreted by the screener and recorded manually which increases the possibility of inaccuracy. In addition, the current testing time is 5 minutes per child.

This new equipment will help overcome these obstacles. Since no response from the child is needed, it is effective for non-verbal, non-compliant and developmentally challenged children. The equipment has a very low number of inconclusive results, with much faster testing time. In addition, the equipment is effective for children that are afraid of ocular glasses, unable to identify shapes and those with other barriers.

 Other grants support the reduction of infant mortality, physical activity and nutrition, and more:

  • Youngstown State University, $27,900 for their health disparities partnership with Midlothian Free Health Clinic.
  • Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, $15,000 for the Safe Routes to School Program to hire a coordinator to lead the educational piece of the project.
  • Akron Children’s Hospital, $10,000 for a Pediatric Cancer Family Support Fund that will help families of pediatric cancer patients with urgent expenses.
  • Akron Children’s Hospital, $6,000 for their Safe Sleep Program to support the Safe Sleep Summit, provide Safe Sleep Kits to families with newborns as well as expand training to area day cares, pediatricians, family practitioners and community agencies that serve low-income families and minority populations.

The Western Reserve Health Foundation, with more than $13 million in assets, receives donations and awards grants that promote health-related needs in Mahoning County. The Foundation was established in the 1980s as the fundraising arm of the Western Reserve Care System. In 2012, the Foundation enlarged its mission to support healthcare needs countywide and became an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, which awards grants for a broad range of local programs and provides management services to nearly 100 local funds.