Cooley Dickinson Announces Healthy Communities Grant Awardees

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital has awarded $46,325 to 13 applicants whose mission is to improve community health.

The hospital’s Healthy Communities Committee, a subcommittee of the hospital’s board of trustees, reviewed 100 grant applications from Pioneer Valley residents and organizations. The grantees include:

Best Buddies: Grant funds will be used to support the Northampton High School chapter of Best Buddies, a group of students who mentor community members with intellectual disabilities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Northamp-ton: As a matching grant from the Mass. Service Alliance, the Healthy Communi-ties Grant will help to provide more mentors for the children who are currently on the waiting list for a mentor.
Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, West-hampton: Involves recruiting and training 11 new owner/therapy dog teams. With the increased number of owner/dogs teams, the group will be able to service an additional 5,720 patients.

Community Action, Hampshire/ Franklin counties: Creation of a project in Northampton to help implement peer sexual health education for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth. This program will work alongside the Generation Q project, already in progress, which is a social and support group. This group for GLBTQ youth meets weekly.

Community Partners, Amherst: Community Partners will create an online map titled ‘Where to Go for Help’ that will be used by uninsured or interested residents of the upper Pioneer Valley. The map will offer specific information about all the health access programs available to local residents, as well as links to information explaining the new health care reform options.

Easthampton After School Program: The grant funds the continuation of an afterschool program, which works in five- to seven-week sessions. It was first funded by Northampton Area Pediatrics to help emphasize the importance of active minds, healthy bodies, and fun learning.

Family Outreach, Amherst: A workshop will be conducted for parents of early teens to help the teens transition into adolescence. There will be both Spanish and English classes. While this will help teens transition, it will also help parents understand the transition.

Easthampton Family Center: The EFC will offer free workshops and activities based on teaching young children healthy eating habits. There will be cooking demonstrations, monthly herb gardening projects, and other activities.
Florence Heights: This program will help to create a summer camp and, potentially, an afterschool program for at-risk youth living in the Florence Heights section of Northampton.

Gateway Regional High School, Middlefield: Two students will show the film An Inconvenient Truth at their school, as well as cover the cost of transporting recycling containers (donated by UMass) to their high school. Funds will cover the cost of transportation and the cost of copyright expenses for the film.

Lyons 33-Y Eye Mobile, Deerfield: This program will help to fund the purchase of specialized pieces of equipment for an Eye Mobile, whose purpose is to provide free health screenings with state-of-the-art vision and hearing equipment.

The Center for New Americans, Northampton: A three-phase program between the CNA and local health care professionals that deals with the challenges posed by cultural and linguistic barriers to patients, families, doctors, and hospitals.

SPIFFY (Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth): SPIFFY is a coalition of health and human services providers, schools, state agencies, and parents working together to initiate and sustain prevention and intervention efforts in Hampshire County. This project will support a three-day training for 12 practitioners to become certified in the Guiding Good Choices parenting curriculum. It is anticipated that over 250 parents will participate in Guiding Good Choices.