UNC Health Southeastern receives Creating New Economies Fund grant

·3 min read

May 21—LUMBERTON — A $13,000 grant will be used to increase awareness and expand health literacy programming in Robeson County.

UNC Health Southeastern received the Creating New Economies Fund grant from The Conservation Fund's Resourceful Communities program. The grant will be administered by Healthy Robeson.

"Healthy Robeson and UNC Health Southeastern's Community Health Services value our partnerships with local faith-based organizations in our efforts to influence the health of our community," said Cathy Hunt, UNC Health Southeastern grant facilitator.

The focus of the local grant is to align efforts and maximize community resources and response that provide access to learning and educational opportunities. This enables residents to locate, understand and use health information and services to prevent health issues, protect overall health, and diminish comorbid conditions.

Highlighted among these efforts is the Mobile Community Resource Hub, conducted monthly, in partnership with PowerPoint Church.

"Each hub is designed to provide underserved communities with vaccine distribution, equity of access to healthy/nutritious food and healthy recipes, health screenings/testing for chronic disease conditions, and general health literacy information/education designed around monthly health observances," Hunt said.

Healthy Robeson seeks to enhance and expand the MCRH model by continuing its partnership with PowerPoint Church and adding new partnerships with Hyde Park Baptist and Chestnut Street United Methodist Churches. Hubs will continue to be conducted once a month, at each church site, benefiting about 175 people or more. Each event will provide patrons with resources for healthy/fresh foods, education on healthy cooking, community health navigators, screenings for chronic disease, and health literacy information.

"Expanding this outreach to include additional locations and churches will increase our capacity to impact previously under and unserved populations and will affect a broader community response," Hunt said.

Resourceful Communities has awarded 48 grants so far this year, totaling $872,825, to support innovative community projects. The regrant program is funded with generous support from private foundations across North Carolina, including the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Dogwood Health Trust, The Duke Endowment and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Founded in 1998, Healthy Robeson is a collaborative group embodying local agencies such as health care, human service, education, clergy, business, and the community at large with a mission to improve population health in Robeson County. Its programming focuses on Evidence-Based Interventions and Policy, Infrastructure, and Organizational change designed to impact and educate underserved and historically marginalized populations. Programming reaches into all sectors of the local community with a concentration on localities/individuals experiencing social or material disadvantage. Healthy Robeson currently centers its efforts on issues pertaining to chronic disease, obesity, physical activity, food insecurity, and other indicators of poor health with an emphasis on mitigating adverse health outcomes, including the consequences of COVID-19. The organization's person-centered approach, to include a shared vision and agenda, forms a cornerstone of support that makes it possible for the coalition to reach beyond the capacity of any individual member organization to go to the public where they live, work, play, and pray to change attitudes, beliefs, and/or social norms and expand the capacity and coordination of available supportive services.

Established in 1991, Resourceful Communities supports a network of grassroots organizations, faith-based groups and resource partners with an effective combination of capacity building, direct investment, and facilitated networking to connect stakeholders with otherwise hard-to-reach resources. Resourceful Communities' approach integrates environmental stewardship, social justice and community economic development. Resourceful Communities is part of The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit established in 1985 to protect working lands and promote economic development. TCF has protected more than eight million acres nationwide, including more than 250,000 acres in North Carolina.

Go online to www.resourcefulcommunities.org or www.conservationfund.org to learn more.