The Ottauquechee Health Foundation has long recognized that the definition of health goes beyond the absence of illness or injury. At its July 2009 board meeting, the Foundation trustees approved creation of a Health Promotion Grant Initiative within its organizational grant program. The initiative will focus community efforts on promoting “complete physical, mental and social well being,” as the Foundation, following the World Health Organization, defines health.
The Foundation has set aside $100,000 over the next three years for local health promotion grants. According to Meg Seely, OHF Board President, “this is an important step towards sending the message to the greater Woodstock community that we are here to support preventative health related initiatives.”
“While continuing to assist individuals with basic physical and oral health related expenses,” Seely noted, “the Foundation is excited to be able to further encourage and support mental, emotional and physical well being; preventative programs, such as physical activity or nutrition, for the greater community.”
The Initiative will require health promotion projects to demonstrate how they improve the health of the targeted population. Applicants for larger grants will be asked to identify and measure health outcomes. Further, every project will need to show matching funds, of at least 25 per cent, from other sources.
The Upper Valley Trails Alliance’s “Passport to Winter Fun!” is an example of a health promoting program already funded by OHF. This program encourages area students to participate in healthy activities during the winter months. Children fill out “passports” as they complete physical activity and receive incentive prizes along the way. For more information on this program, check out www.uvtrails.org