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Sue Ann Says: Community Health Grants

Sue Ann Says: Non-Profits Use WWHF Grants to Support Women’s Health

The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF) is committed to providing crucial health education to women throughout the state of Wisconsin.  Knowing that WWHF can’t do the work alone, WWHF provides the Lisa A. Cudahy Community Health Grants to outstanding non-profit organizations to allow them to deliver health educational programs to Wisconsin women. I am so thrilled to reveal that as of February 2013, WWHF has awarded $160,969 in community health grants and scholarships to promote women’s health. This month I want to share with you some exceptional work that is being done by the recipients of the 2013 Lisa A. Cudahy Community Health Grants.

Two Non-Profits Take a Stand to End Domestic Violence

The first grant is being implemented by The Indianhead Community Action Agency for their program called Creating Community Awareness about Domestic Violence. The agency developed and distributed a brochure about the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) program which provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence. Through the LAV program, attorneys help women find community services that assist with housing options, utility assistance, and food. Training was given to In-home-visitors focusing on domestic violence awareness, signs of abuse, and how domestic violence impacts children.

Kris Porter, the Executive Director & LAV Coordinator, described how LAV was able to support a woman who was in a violent relationship.

            A disabled mother who lived in a rural community was in a highly violent relationship with an abuser who had been previously charged and convicted of domestic battery.  The mother did not have access to resources in this rural community.

Because she was disabled, it was difficult for her to seek assistance.  After a long night of drinking, the abuser took her and their 8 month old baby hostage, along with two other individuals in the trailer house that they owned together.  The police and SWAT team were called. He was finally arrested.  During the incident, the abuser held a knife to my client’s throat and a gun to her head.  My client decided that it was time to leave the relationship.  She sought legal representation through the shelter, and I was able to assist her in getting sole legal and physical custody of her child. 

The second grant with a focus on domestic violence, child abuse and youth violence was awarded to the Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth Incorporated.  A strong collaboration was developed between several county justice systems, the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and Marquette University’s Law School to provide advocacy, restorative practices, youth leadership and intervention program to clients.

Mental Health Initiatives Reach Out to Wisconsin Women

Two grant recipients are supporting mental health issues in Wisconsin.

M & S Clinical Services of Milwaukee organized a one day mini conference to help reduce the stigma of mental illness in the African American Community with its grant monies. Local professionals were trained to provide education and resources to encourage families and individuals to openly discuss mental illness.

Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA) based in Milwaukee is targeting the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse. Various educational services can now be accessed and an anonymous mental health screening is available to allow online users to assess their risk for mental health disorders.

Cancer Support Groups Benefit Wisconsin Women

Stillwaters Cancer Support Services in Waukesha used its grant monies to form the Making Sense of Life After Cancer Support Group.
Their free group is open to citizens who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer. Discussions are led by a licensed counselor and center on nutrition, exercise, body image, stress reduction and fear of recurrence.

Support for Wisconsin Families Struggling with Diabetes

The grant funding the United Community Center, Inc. of Milwaukee is supporting the dissemination of a video program titled Dulce Secretos (Sweet Secrets) about a multigenerational family struggling with diabetes. Dulce Secretos premiered on Telenovela in May, 2013.

Finding Homes for Wisconsin’s Homeless Citizens

Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter, Inc. of Reedsburg put its grant money to work with the Hands on 5-step Program. The program works with clients to set goals to find a home. The clients learn job hunting, budgeting, health, and nutrition skills. The program provides access to assistance programs and the first month’s rent.

Cardiovascular Exercise Helps Smokers Quit

Milwaukee’s Meta House Inc. assisted staff and clients with smoking cessation. They integrated a cardiovascular exercise component to their Tobacco Cessation Project. Carla Myers of Meta House shared this information.  A client, who uses the treadmill two to three times a week, said the exercise is a big part of her recovery from substance abuse, and it has helped tremendously in aiding her to quit smoking. “It’s a good way to start the day,” she said. “I feel better for the day if I do this.”

These Wisconsin non-profits provide a significant role in the health of Wisconsin Women. WWHF is proud to support their efforts and programs.

Because it all begins with a healthy woman…

Sue Ann Thompson is founder and president of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to help Wisconsin women and their families reach their healthiest potential. WWHF provides programs and conducts forums that focus on education, prevention, and early detection; connects individuals to health resources; produces and distributes the most up-to-date health education and resource materials; and, awards grants and scholarships to women health researchers and related community non-profits. To learn more, visit wwhf.org or call 1-800-448-5148.

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