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Hospital foundation awards $350,000 in grants

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ROCKY MOUNT — The Nash UNC Health Care Foundation recently awarded grants, amounting to a total of $347,784, to eight community organizations to support their efforts to promote community wellbeing and education.

During the foundation’s annual luncheon, Stacy Jesso, the chief development officer and foundation vice president, introduced each community organization and honored its work.

“Today we celebrate these organizations for the work they have put toward bettering the health, wellbeing and education of our community members. Without their efforts and their passion for others, we wouldn’t have the community we have today,” said Jesso.

The eight organizations include the Area L Area Health Education Center, Boys and Girls Club, Down East Partnership for Children, Edgecombe County Health Department, Foundation Builders Academy, Nash Community College, Nash County EMS and Harrison Family YMCA.

The Area L AHEC was awarded $41,000 for its project, “Building Capacity for Greater Health: Trauma-informed, Resiliency-Focused.”

“This project aims to increase knowledge and awareness of trauma. Trauma impacts the brain and body, and manifests over time. ‘Building Capacity for Greater Health’ offers strategies for building resilience, coping and healing” said Jesso.

The Boys and Girls Club was awarded $15,000 for the program Triple Play Plus.

“Triple Play Plus is a health and wellness initiative that challenges youth to become healthy and active by learning new ways to manage stress, maintain healthy fitness levels and form positive relationships with peers,” Jesso explained.

The Down East Partnership for Children was awarded $20,000 for its Food for Thought program.

“The Food for Thought program works in collaboration with Edgecombe and Nash County public schools to provide educational support over the summer and provide nutritional meals for food-insecure children. Studies show that no child can fully achieve their potential without the fundamentals of reading and a healthy nutritional lifestyle,” Jesso said.

The Edgecombe County Health Department received a $40,000 grant for its Community Health Worker Initiative.

“With the goal of decreasing the number of individuals at risk for heart disease, the Community Health Worker Initiative is designed to increase awareness and knowledge of heart health by providing twelve heart health education sessions to those who were recommended by their primary care providers,” said Jesso.

The Foundation Builders Academy was awarded $10,000 for Outdoor Learning Environment.

“The Outdoor Learning Environment’s current outdoor area is a space where children can explore and learn about nature in an outdoor setting. With this grant, enhancements to this learning environment will include play equipment, a dedicated area for sensory play, landscaping and spaces for education and community-building. Optimal nutrition in early childhood not only supports growth and development to the child’s full potential, it can initiate and reinforce healthy eating habits that contribute to overall health and well-being,” said Jesso.

Nash Community College was awarded $57,000 toward its health sciences program.

“The grant will fund technology equipment and software upgrades to support extensive e-resources including interactive teaching strategies, simulated testing, classroom, lab and simulation equipment,” said Jesso.

Nash County EMS received $150,000 to go toward the community paramedic program.

“The community paramedic program provides home visits, medication reconciliation, disease and discharge education, resource alignment and substance abuse interventions in hopes to prevent hospital readmission and emergency department visits,” Jesso said.

The Rocky Mount YMCA was awarded $14,784 toward its Enhance-Fitness program.

“Enhance-Fitness is the YMCA’s low-cost program developed specifically for older adults and tailored for those with arthritis. The sessions offer low-impact cardio, dynamic/static balance work, strength training and stretching,” Jesso said. “The YMCA will expand this program to residents of Covenant Homes.”

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