Our Healthy Lifestyles priority area has been renamed Healthy Eating, Active Living to better clarify our funding interests. We are interested in supporting projects and strategies that prevent or manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. We also want to emphasize that we are interested in efforts that encourage and support behavior change. We know that it is not enough to have access.
Our former Healthy Equity priority area has been renamed Thriving Neighborhoods. In reviewing our grants in this area over the past eight years, the majority of the grants awarded addressed the social determinants of health and broad community issues related to health and healthcare access.
We aimed to avoid exchanging one academic term for another — health equity for social determinants of health. So we decided to simplify it. This new priority area name speaks to improving neighborhood conditions — our external environment — so that everyone has the ability to achieve their full potential.
We will still maintain our emphasis on improving the accessibility, affordability, and quality of health and health care. Our foundation has a long history of focusing on this and it’s at the core of who we are. In addition, we have further clarified the other community conditions that are imperative to good health; these include access to reliable transportation, stable and safe housing, social connections, to name a few.
Our new Mental Health and Addiction priority area reflects the deeply complex issues surrounding substance use disorder and mental health. Addressing these issues head on, we hope to see positive changes for generations to come. In the mental health arena, we are interested in the area of health promotion and prevention. Related to addiction, we are interested in the areas of prevention, early intervention, and recovery support.
Through our conversations with our community partners and observations in our grantmaking, we recognize the need for an intense focus on coordination, collaboration, and partnerships because of the complex nature of the issues we are addressing.
Our hope is that there will be a sense of urgency to respond to these issues in a collaborative way. Our priority areas are interconnected with one another: they strengthen, overlap, and reinforce each other. Our hope is that personal relationships and connections will be strengthened through this work.
“The Mid-Ohio Valley has a positive culture of helping each other in need and through this work, I hope it will be strengthened even further,” states Executive Director Renee Steffen. “I am very excited to see what we can do together!”
For more information on the three priority areas, click here.