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First Breath Families Program to Begin Thanks to New Grant

 Helping Dane County Be Healthy

The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation is excited to announce the creation of our First Breath Families program thanks to Dean & St. Mary’s ‘Helping Dane County to be Healthy’ grant program designed to benefit the overall health of area communities. The WWHF is one of four organizations selected to be a part of the new program.

Community Health Priorities

Grant recipients will partner with Dean Clinic & St. Mary’s Hospital on at least one of three identified community health priorities. These health priorities were identified using community health data and feedback collected by the Healthy Dane Collaborative as part of a health needs assessment that is conducted every three years:

  • Mental Health, particularly focusing on reducing Dane County’s suicide rate
  • Chronic Disease, particularly hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • Maternal Child Health, which improves the lives and health of mothers and children in various ways

Grant Recipients

A review panel of six SSM Health members (representing the clinics, hospital, Dean Health Plan and St. Mary’s Foundation) and three members of the community reviewed 24 proposals. Following are the groups that were selected, their annual grant amounts, and a description of the programs they will provide:

  • Second Harvest Food Bank, $45,000. Funding will benefit the Diabetes Wellness Program, a nine-month effort that will help at least 200 people better control their disease. The program includes distribution of food boxes especially packaged for those coping with diabetes. Second Harvest plans to expand the program into Rock and Sauk counties during the program’s second and third year of operation.
  • Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, $45,000. The grant will support an in-home smoking cessation program for pregnant women – that will continue six months after they deliver their babies – as well as provide services for adults in their support networks. This program will also be available to Rock and Sauk counties in its second and third year.
  • Catholic Charities, $30,000. Focusing on youth suicide prevention in Wisconsin, the grant will fund a program to bring mental health services to rural school age children in Deerfield and Marshall. The program is modeled after a current program in the Madison schools that has had significant success.
  • Rebalanced Life Wellness Association, $30,000. By funding mentorship and education, the grant will help high-risk African American men increase physical activity, learn about healthy eating and nutrition, and promote volunteerism and social support.

“We know that  improving the health of our communities takes the help of many,” says Damond Boatwright, Regional President of Hospital Operations. “We are proud to partner with these organizations and are excited to see the difference we can make together.”

Supporting Women and their Families

With the support of this grant, countless women and families in Wisconsin will receive benefits of smoking cessation counseling. We greatly appreciate being chosen as 1 of 4 recipients to participate in ‘Helping Dane County to be Healthy’ which aligns with our mission to help women and their families reach their healthiest potential.

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