Five local health organizations receive grants

·3 min read

Jan. 21—Five local organizations received year-end grants from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation that will allow them to expand programs and construct new buildings.

The foundation announced via a media release Jan. 20 it awarded more than 450 year-end 2021 grants totaling $140 million to support organizations and programs addressing the health-related needs of low-income residents and underserved communities across New York state in 2022. This is in addition to $20 million in funding authorized for emergency COVID-19 programs earlier in 2021.

Helios Care was awarded $200,000 to continue its Choices Program. Helios Care President/CEO Dan Ayres said the Choices program is an in-home palliative care treatment for people suffering symptoms of chronic illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, cancer or those receiving dialysis. He said during an interview last month that the grant will pay for the program, which has 54 patients, this year.

The Choices program was recently selected as a Silver Winner in The John A. Hartford Foundation Tipping Point Challenge, a national competition focused on the submission of innovative initiatives that have made — or will make — positive, breakthrough change in the care of the serious illness.

Bassett Medical Center has received $125,000. Gabrielle Argo, interim network manager, marketing and communications at Bassett Healthcare Network, said: "The funds will help further establish Bassett's Parental Support Program that combines family mental and emotional health with traditional pediatric care."

Argo said the program will expand the Healthy Steps Program, which offers parents with very young children an array of services, including well-child checkups, screenings, information about child growth and development, and check-ins with a counselor, that Bassett started in 2017.

"Mother Cabrini's funds will help expand these services to Oneonta as well as Cooperstown, plus open up this support program to families of all pediatric patients, not just infants and toddlers," Argo said.

In addition to helping organizations that provide healthcare services, the foundation awarded grants to organizations that increase availability of nutritious food in food deserts. The three other local grants address this issue.

The Food Bank of Central New York, which serves Chenango County received $175,000 for direct distribution of nutritious food. The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY-Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, which serves Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties received $100,000 to help build a new warehouse. The Rural Health Network of South Central New York, which serves Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties, received $150,000 for its local foods for health — improving food security and health in SCNY program.

In spring 2021, the foundation invited organizations from across the state to apply for funding through an open process, receiving over 1,500 letters of interest, both from returning grantees and new organizations, the release said. Approximately half of the grants were for $250,000 or more. For approximately 45% of funded programs, the foundation is the largest private funder.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_VickyK on Twitter.