SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Janesville will accept proposals for community partnership grants again in 2018 after a successful inaugural year, said Angie Sullivan, community education specialist.

Community Action of Rock and Walworth Counties; a collaboration between HealthNet, ECHO and Youth2Youth 4 Change; and the Rock County Trail Coalition each received $5,000 grants in 2017.

Sullivan and members from partnering organizations spoke on the progress of 2017 grant programs at the hospital’s second annual Community Partnership Breakfast on Tuesday.

Grant projects were required to address one of St. Mary’s three health priorities: obesity, smoking cessation and fall prevention. Benefiting organizations had to have 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor.

The same guidelines will apply for 2018 grant proposals, Sullivan said. Up to four proposals will be awarded $5,000 each.

2017 grant money was used for:

Community Action’s Eat. Play. Grow. program

  • 145 hours of programming for at-risk youth
  • Nutrition classes for youth with assistance from UW-Extension
  • Exercise equipment for the organization’s training center gymnasium
  • After-school and summer programs to promote healthy lifestyles

HealthNet, ECHO and Youth2Youth 4 Change’s Freedom From Smoking program

  • Six low-income individuals stopped smoking
  • Medication and resources for those looking to quit smoking
  • Counseling and motivational interview training from HealthNet and Youth2Youth staff

Rock County trail maps from the Rock Trail Coalition and Rock County Public Health Department

  • Comprehensive maps of county trails printed and distributed across the county—5,000 in English and 1,500 in Spanish
  • Online access to trail maps made available

St. Mary’s health priorities were chosen in its 2016-18 community health needs assessment. The report provides an overview of health in the hospital’s service area and a strategy for positive health outcomes.

Beyond its grant program, St. Mary’s works to address health priorities through community outreach, Sullivan said.

“We are committed to improving the long-term health of the men, women and children who live, work and play in Rock County,” St. Mary’s President Ben Layman said in a news release. “Our community grant program is an extension of our mission to provide exceptional health care services by forging strong and lasting partnerships throughout our community.”

The breakfast came a day after the Janesville City Council approved funding for a downtown outdoor fitness court. SSM Health will donate $40,000 to the project in addition to city funds.

Janesville will be the first municipality in Rock County to have a free outdoor exercise facility, Sullivan said.

St. Mary’s also established a smoking cessation class and partnered with the Rock County Council on Aging to provide fall prevention classes, Sullivan said.The hospital will conduct a new assessment in 2018 to last through 2020, Sullivan said.

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