Investment includes research, polls, community outreach and education
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky invested more than $1.3 million in 2014 on community programs, polling and policy initiatives designed to inform policymakers and promote better health and health care access in Kentucky. Among these investments were grants to community-based organizations, healthcare providers, universities and health advocacy groups across the Commonwealth.
“Our strategies to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians are built on investment at the local and state levels,” said Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Foundation funding supports innovative approaches to reducing health risks and promoting health equity, helping local organizations working to make Kentucky healthier.”
The Foundation’s 2012-2017 strategic plan supports 6 communities developing and implementing effective strategies to help today’s school-age children grow up healthier than their parents, with a five year $3 million commitment. Three of these Investing in Kentucky’s Future (IKF) grantees received funds to implement the targeted business plans they developed: Clinton County School District ($158,361), Fitness for Life Around Grant County ($182,033) and Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness ($161,850).
The strategic plan also supports a Promoting Responsive Health Policy (PRHP) Initiative. PHRP supports a multi-year study of the state’s transition to Medicaid Managed Care and the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), an annual survey of what Kentuckians think about key health-related issues. In addition, PRHP supports Kentucky Voices for Health, Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Youth Advocates and the Center for Smoke-Free Policy at University of Kentucky, and the newly-formed Kentucky Population Health Institute, which is focused on strengthening local public health.
2014 marked the final year of investment in various innovations in health care delivery that were launched through the Foundation’s Kentucky Healthy Futures Initiative (KHFI). KHFI matched a $3 million federal investment from the Social Innovation Fund with $3 million in Foundation funds, to launch and nurse-managed clinics, telemedicine, mobile health services, care navigation and an activities center. KHFI projects have improved the quality of life for more than 20,000 Kentuckians and provided training for more than 250 providers. KHFI projects reach underserved populations in more than 90 of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
Foundation investments were also designed to inform conversations about health and improve Kentucky health literacy. Health programming on Kentucky Educational Television, newspaper health stories from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at University of Kentucky, and the Next Louisville: Community Health project at WFPL-FM public radio in Louisville are examples. Support was also provided for maintenance and operation of the Foundation’s local health data website: www.kentuckyhealthfacts.org.
Several groups, including the Kentucky Public Health Association, Kentucky YMCA Youth Organization, Kentucky Psychological Association, Bluegrass Community Foundation and Health Watch USA received conference support grants to help host health policy and equity conferences, seminars, and symposiums.