WILMINGTON — $640,000.
That’s how much money HealthFirst for Clinton County has contributed, more or less under the radar, to healthy charitable causes in the area since 2011, when all of its $3.2 million in endowments, restricted and unrestricted funds were consolidated within the Clinton County Foundation.
The additional significance of that move six years ago is that the original fund has actually grown by nearly a half a million dollars to $3.7 million, insuring that HealthFirst’s efforts to positively impact individual and organizational health and wellness in Clinton County will continue for years to come.
“Through conscientious and judicious control of its fund, HealthFirst has made an impressive impact on the Clinton County community while preserving its assets,” said Jan Blohm, executive director of the Clinton County Foundation. “Its board should be proud of the value they have brought to our community and be aware of the economic impact HealthFirst has made.”
HealthFirst originated as the Clinton Memorial Hospital Foundation in the early 1990s and became an independent, volunteer board-driven community foundation in December of 2010 upon the sale of Clinton Memorial Hospital to a for-profit entity.
Its most visible ongoing community service is the Patient Medication Assistance Program, which is operated by lone employee Jane Vandervort and volunteers at the Clinton County Annex, 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington.
Another impactful health service is the Clinton County Diabetes and Wellness Program, a HealthFirst partnership with the Clinton County Health Department and Clinton County Commissioners.
HealthFirst also hosts the You-Turn Recovery Docket Fund, which serves to support participants and program needs of the drug docket within Clinton County Common Pleas Court.
In 2015, HealthFirst collaborated with Clinton Memorial Hospital, the Clinton County Health Department, and Mental Health Services of Warren and Clinton County to conduct the first comprehensive community health needs assessment in more than a decade. It has proven to be an excellent resource for area organizations and grant writers and can be found on the HealthFirst web site at www.healthfirst-cc-oh.org.
Over the years, HealthFirst has financially supported a number of organizations and causes, including Stepping Stones Ranch, the Clinton County Homeless Shelter, patients at Clinton Memorial Hospital, the Health Alliance of Clinton County, United Way of Clinton County, Honor Flight, Leadership Clinton, Harvest of Gold, Wilmington City Parks and Recreation, the American Legion Bus Project, the Business Advisory Council, WALH radio, the Blanchester Recreation Center Project, and the local chambers of commerce.
For the first time in several years recently, HealthFirst reorganized its board and added three new board members. Pat King is the new chairperson, Andrew McCoy is the new vice-chair, Pam Bauer is the new secretary, and Scott Holmer retained the post of treasurer.
King, a retired registered nurse with more than three decades of experience in community health at CMH, has several goals and plans for HealthFirst. Among them include adopting a budget for frequent grantees such as some of those mentioned above; a quarterly meeting with the Clinton County Commissioners and other bodies to seek potential partnerships; and to create a simple funding application to assure consistent information when making funding decisions.
McCoy is an assistant prosecuting attorney for Clinton County; Bauer is the health commissioner for Clinton County; and Holmer is business development officer for First State Bank.
New board members are Jeff Drapalik, Dr. Mike Newman and Kelsey Swindler. Former chairman Dana Dunn is now an emeritus member but will continue to focus on communication/media/internet relations for HealthFirst.
Dr. Newman is a semi-retired general surgeon who also serves as the medical advisor to the You-Turn Recover Docket; Swindler is coordinator for marketing/communications at CMH Regional Health System; and Drapalik retired from a career in finance/operations side for non-profit healthcare organizations. Dunn is the former director of CMH public relations and the CMH Foundation who is now the part-time coordinator for the You-Turn Drug Docket and a freelance journalist/blogger (DunnWrites).
For more information about HealthFirst, go to www.healthfirst-cc-oh.org, like it on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.