HealthFirst grants go to 12 local organizations, projects


HealthFirst board member Dr. Michael Newman, middle, awards a grant check to the Clinton County Health Department’s Diabetes and Wellness Coordinator Laura Knisley, right, and student intern Megan Borton, for the Clinton County Diabetes and Community Wellness Program.

HealthFirst board member Dr. Michael Newman, middle, awards a grant check to the Clinton County Health Department’s Diabetes and Wellness Coordinator Laura Knisley, right, and student intern Megan Borton, for the Clinton County Diabetes and Community Wellness Program.


John Hamilton | News Journal

The Clinton County Youth Council with the $5,000 grant check awarded to them from HealthFirst Clinton County.


John Hamilton | News Journal

WILMINGTON — HealthFirst for Clinton County recently awarded grant funds to 12 local organizations for health-related projects which promote the good health of residents in Clinton County through education, innovation, and patient care support.

Organizations benefitting from HealthFirst’s May grant cycle include the Clinton County Diabetes and Community Wellness Program, Clinton County Trails Coalition, Clinton County Youth Council, Clinton-Massie Local School District, Energize Clinton County, Health Alliance of Clinton County, Little Hearts Big Smiles, Mental Health America, Ohio’s Community Care Hospice, Wilmington Parks and Recreation, Clinton County Common Pleas Court, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2018, HealthFirst for Clinton County restructured its grant process in order to award grants on a more scheduled basis. “HealthFirst has made the change to engage in focused, directed funding in an organized and systematic process,” chairperson Pat King said of the changes.

Eric Guindon, Executive Director of the Clinton County Youth Council, will be using grant monies for the organization’s Bike Share Clinton County project.

The goal of the project is to increase access to transportation and exercise by providing bicycles and educational opportunities to Clinton County youth and community members. HealthFirst funds will help provide 20 bicycles to at-risk youth in grades 6-12 attending CCYC programming and 15 bicycles and a docking station for use at Clinton County Homeless Shelter for residents to use to attend job interviews.

Funds will also help establish a bicycle maintenance/work station at the youth center, where educational workshops and clinics on bicycle maintenance and safety can be hosted.

The Clinton County Diabetes and Community Wellness program provides important public health information to the community about the risk of diabetes and encourages the adoption of healthful behaviors and practices.

Laura Knisley, the coordinator of the program, works with organizations such as the Clinton County Family and Children First Council and the Clinton County Health District to provide prediabetes awareness and screening throughout the county. Participants in the program receive an A1C blood test, diabetes risk evaluation, blood pressure screening, and education.

Since December 2010, HealthFirst has awarded more than $750,000 to numerous community organizations. HealthFirst also operates the Patient Medication Assistance Program (PMAP) in a collaboration with the Clinton County Commissioners and the Clinton County Health District. PMAP helps area residents apply for free and/or reduced cost medications from major drug-makers

HealthFirst for Clinton County will be offering its next grant cycle in December 2018, with more details to be announced at a later time.

HealthFirst board member Dr. Michael Newman, middle, awards a grant check to the Clinton County Health Department’s Diabetes and Wellness Coordinator Laura Knisley, right, and student intern Megan Borton, for the Clinton County Diabetes and Community Wellness Program.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/08/web1_DSC_0189.jpgHealthFirst board member Dr. Michael Newman, middle, awards a grant check to the Clinton County Health Department’s Diabetes and Wellness Coordinator Laura Knisley, right, and student intern Megan Borton, for the Clinton County Diabetes and Community Wellness Program. John Hamilton | News Journal

The Clinton County Youth Council with the $5,000 grant check awarded to them from HealthFirst Clinton County.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/08/web1_DSC_0191.jpgThe Clinton County Youth Council with the $5,000 grant check awarded to them from HealthFirst Clinton County. John Hamilton | News Journal