RMH Foundation awards community grants

The RMH Foundation has awarded four grants totaling more than $33,000 to community organizations and RMH departments.

According to Stephanie Pence, chair of the RMH Foundation’s Community Outreach Committee, this is the first round of grants awarded under the Foundation’s revised policy that encourages partnership between RMH departments and community non-profit organizations.

“The Foundation has made grants available to the community for many years,” Pence said. “Our donors expressed the desire for hospital services to partner with area organizations to meet local health needs. The Foundation revised its policies and procedures to better carry out the wishes of our donors. We’re delighted that four hospital departments and 11 community organizations are involved with the grants we’ve made available.”

The grants awarded include:

· Chronic Diabetes Management Program ($10,920). Partners are RMH and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic.

The diagnosis of diabetes is one of the major co-morbidities in the Free Clinic patient population, affecting more than 160 of nearly 1,100 uninsured patients (15 percent). The Free Clinic will promote chronic care self-management and self-sufficiency by providing education for these patients, helping them understand their illness, adjust to the changes needed in order to manage it, and reduce the impact of chronic disease on their lives.

· Let’s CHAT (Create Health Activities Together) Pilot Program ($14,869). Partners are Morrison-Bruce Center, First Step, Elkton Area United Services, Women and Girls Health Coalition, JMU-RMH Collaborative, Healthy Community Council and the RMH Women’s Center.

The RMH Women’s Center and the Women and Girl’s Health Coalition will offer the Let’s CHAT (Create Health Activities Together) Pilot Program to adult community members and children ages 3 to 5. The purpose of this intervention project is to determine the effectiveness of using a comprehensive approach (physical activity, nutrition education and social support) to prevent, identify and manage chronic disease, as well as empower community members to be more knowledgeable of the variables that impact their health and personal risk for chronic diseases.

· 1K-5K-8K Trauma Trot cross country run ($5,000). Partners include Safe Kids Central Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, Transition Multisports and the RMH Emergency Department.

In 2011, the RMH Emergency Department treated more than 1,100 pediatric patients for injuries involving the head or face. With this initiative, bicycle helmets will be distributed to children who are treated in the Emergency Department for either an illness or injury or who arrive in the Emergency Department as visitors of other patients. The Trauma Trot 1K-5K-8K cross country run and injury prevention awareness event will be hosted by the Emergency Department staff June 16 to raise funds and community awareness.

· “Heads Up”–A Sports Concussion Program ($2,687). Partners are RMH Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, RMH Rehab Services, RMH/ATC Collaborative and the JMU-RMH Collaborative.

This grant will allow training for a plan to begin the development and implementation of a comprehensive concussion awareness program in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

The RMH Foundation will consider a second round of community grants this fall. RMH Departments or organizations interested in applying may contact the RMH Foundation office at 540-564-5955, or go online at supportRMH.org. The deadline for grant applications is August 15, 2012.


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