Coalition receives $1.16 million Harvest grant

November 5, 2010

The Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness has been awarded a one-year, $1,166,000 grant from The Harvest Foundation.

The funds will expand the Med Assist program and provide medical services for an increasing number of uninsured, unemployed adults through the Free Clinic in Martinsville and Bassett Family Practice, according to a Harvest news release.

Funds also will support the Healthy Community Initiative, with a focus on imbedding healthy lifestyle programs into the community, the release stated.

"The coalition has become recognized in the community as a working solution to the problem of access to health care by those most in need,” said Barbara Jackman, executive director of the Coalition for Health and Wellness.

“Bassett Family Practice now serves 3,025 patients, the Free Clinic serves 495 patients, and the Med Assist program helps 2,000 patients access much-needed medication. And, over 4,000 residents (young and old) have taken advantage of our healthy lifestyle programs,” she said.

“In the areas of prevention and access to care,” said Nancy Cox, Harvest Foundation senior program officer, “the Coalition for Health and Wellness has become known for its innovative and successful programs that meet the health and health care needs of our community. This grant helps keep the momentum going.”

Harvest recently completed a community health assessment through a consultant and then convened a group of community leaders to share that information, Cox said. Those leaders were from the schools, medical community, coalition, United Way and other areas, she said.

Those people will meet again to help determine future directions for health care in the community, of which the coalition is a part, Cox said. The elderly, substance abuse and other areas could be included, she said.

“We are looking at everything to determine what we need to focus on in the future,” Cox said. “The coalition would be a major player in that,” but efforts could include things in which the coalition is not currently involved.

The grant announced Thursday is a bridge grant to fund the coalition between the end of its previous Harvest grant and completion of the assessment, she said. The bridge grant will run from Jan. 2 to Dec. 31, 2011.

This is the fifth grant Harvest has awarded to the coalition. In December 2003, Harvest gave it $22,000 to operate the Free Clinic for a year and help with financial reporting and board development. In August 2004, the coalition received $296,289 over one year to be shared with other groups and launch the Healthy Community Initiative for after-school programs and support the Partnership for Access and Service Expansion Program to serve the uninsured and needy.

In March 2005, the coalition received $4,560,783 over five years to launch an initiative to improve access to health care for the uninsured and to provide health education and wellness programs for the Martinsville region. That is the grant that will expire, and its mission will be covered by the bridge grant.

In August 2005, the coalition received $39,960 over three years for use of a Ridgeway medical office building to provide health education and case management services.

Harvest was created in 2002 from more than $163 million in proceeds from the sale of Memorial Health Systems. It invests those funds and uses the money for health, education and community vitality initiatives in the Henry County-Martinsville area.


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