2018 Healthcare Foundation of Wilson Grant Recipients

Barton College has received a two-year grant of $426,000 to expand a wellness program that utilizes a functional and integrative medicine approach to prevent and reduce obesity in employees, students and the greater Wilson community, with a focus on at-risk individuals. The personalized systems-oriented model will address underlying causes of disease and empower participants to take an active role in their own health in order to make lasting health changes. Allied health students will receive training as part of the program, which will focus on modifiable lifestyle factors that impact obesity, including nutrition, exercise and physical activity, sleep and relaxation, stress management, and relationships.

Boy Scouts of America East Carolina Council has been awarded $25,375 to expand existing substance abuse and obesity prevention efforts to help youth in the greater Wilson area. Funding will support challenges to increase physical activity and improve eating habits. Additionally grant support will help provide a STEM multicultural outreach program and education about the dangers of misuse of over-the-counter medications and illegal drug use. Project leaders will track information, participation and progress of youth in the grant-supported programs.

Love A Sea Turtle has received $10,000 to support the continuation of FAN (Fitness and Nutrition) Camp for students at The SPOT and an additional Open Water Scuba certification camp. The camp models engage youth in hands-on learning, team building skills, and healthy nature-based and STEM-focused activities such as swimming, snorkeling, a try-scuba diving program, water quality testing, nutrition scavenger hikes and cooking demonstrations.

Mental Health America of Eastern Carolina will receive $35,000 to expand a previously funded Peer Navigator program in Wilson County. This program provides a supportive environment so patients who suffer from substance use are less likely to return to hospitals, emergency rooms or jails. The continued funding will support a focus on increasing the number of patients who receive services, more outreach to the community, and the addition of STD prevention education.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Wilson has been awarded $9,897 to implement a program to help provide a culture of wellness that will encourage children and teens to make healthy decisions. Grant funds will support a program to increase daily physical fitness activities and nutrition knowledge along with hands-on education about how vegetables are grown via a tower garden. The program will focus on prevention and an increased understanding of emotional well-being, which impacts both the mindset and behaviors of youth.

Imagination Station will receive $25,000 to support a program that will expand use of the Body-ology philosophy and equipment that was funded by a previous grant. The museum is providing access and programming for participants in the SPOT’s MOVE program, and the grant will expand family access with the development of a fitness club. Fit club members will receive a Bodystat analysis, monthly meetings with a personal trainer, special times for use of equipment, and family-friendly health and wellness programs.

The SPOT received $30,000 to continue Triple Play the SPOT Way for all members and parents with the addition of the national program BORN TO MOVE. The focus is to help decrease the BMI of female students. Building on the success of a STEM program that was funded in 2016, the SPOT will increase the program to additional participants and increase parent engagement in family fitness events. Events will include a cycling challenge with fun team building activities, family game days, a treadmill race and other creative opportunities for families to play and learn together with an emphasis on healthy behaviors and choices.

Wilson County 4-H has received $5,000 to fund middle school and high school youth to study and learn about health disparities research at a UNC School System University. Following the observations, the 4-H youth will conduct their own research in low-income communities in the Wilson area as they attempt to help bridge the gap between low-income families and healthy living. They will create and lead health and fitness classes for low-income residents while developing a fitness app for community members to use to improve their health. The app will also connect to healthy resources with information about health education, nutritious foods, at-home fitness, and affordable transportation to access healthier foods.

Wilson County Department of Social Services has been awarded $150,000 to implement phase three of a countywide Eat Smart Move More plan. Grant funding will support a focus on healthy eating; programming to emphasize key behaviors, including eating more fruits and vegetables, consuming right-sized portions, and eating at home more. Community education on nutritious, healthy meal planning will be provided to target populations with participant recruitment from current wellness sites. Incentives for meeting weight loss goals will be provided along with a systemic community strategy to raise awareness through an advertising campaign.

Wilson County Health Department has received continued funding of $5,000 to provide syringe exchange kits for the Wilson County Syringe Exchange Program. The focus of the grant project is to develop relationships with participants in order to provide encouragement and assistance with entering a rehabilitation program. Funding will also support testing for participants and the prevention of syringe reuse to help reduce diseases associated with substance abuse. The City of Wilson Police and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department will also be project partners with the Wilson County Health Department.

Wilson County Health Department has received a grant for $30,000 to help provide counseling for clients in need of follow-up support after substance abuse detox. Services will be provided by a licensed clinical social worker who will assist patients with getting the counseling and support needed to live a drug-free life. In addition to counseling, the provider will connect clients to needed community resources.

Wilson County Health Department has been awarded $175,000 to continue operations of the school-based health center at Forest Hills Middle School and expand to an additional site at Beddingfield High School. Using telemedicine and a shared provider, services will be provided five days a week at both facilities. Wrap around services such as health education, nutrition, and social work counseling will be available with a focus on prevention and life-changing choices. This project is in collaboration with Wilson County Schools and Wilson County Department of Social Services.

Wilson County Partnership for Children will receive $75,000 to continue support of the Wilson County Healthy Children Initiative to increase the number of children starting kindergarten at a healthy weight. The objective is to provide on-site physical education activities to children enrolled in local child care facilities in Wilson County with the goal of preventing obesity and/or controlling weight gain levels.

Wilson County Schools will receive $44,000 to provide vegetable/salad bars for students at the three traditional high schools, Wilson Academy of Applied Technology, and Speight Middle School. After receiving their entree and fruit in the food service line, students will have the opportunity to choose healthy salad bar and vegetable options to encourage healthy changes in eating habits.

Wilson County Schools received $7,500 to support the continued coordination of MATCH Wellness, (Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose Health), which was implemented in Wilson in 2016. This program has been proven to be a successful school-based childhood obesity intervention. The program empowers students to make healthy choices for eating and physical activity through lessons and activities taught in Healthful Living, Science, Math, Language Arts and Social Studies.

To support the Hope Alliance initiative, the City of Wilson Police Department will receive $7,500 in funding support via a grant to Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition. This initiative connects opioid and heroin addicts to vital resources. Grant funding will specifically support the coordinated assistance of substance users who seek help through the police department. The project is a direct response to Wilson’s opioid/drug issue and is designed to reduce barriers to treatment and detox. Grant funding will assist with application fees for facility placement, detox services, treatment services, and transportation support as needed.

Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition will receive $25,000 for continued funding of Wilson’s RC3 (Recovery Concepts Community Center) to provide support for Wilson citizens who suffer from substance use disorders. The center focuses on helping young adults, ages 18 to 24, address substance use, maintain their recovery, increase employment, and improve their quality of life. Grant funding will support the addition of peer support via a warm line and a program for continued and higher education in partnership with local colleges.

Since 2016, Healthcare Foundation of Wilson has invested more than $4 million in responsive grants alone.