Williamsburg Health Foundation gifts more than $3.6 million to local organizations

Staff writer

Williamsburg Health Foundation will give more than $3.6 million in grants to health organizations in Williamsburg.

On Monday, the Board of Trustees approved this year’s first round of grants. Since its founding in 1996, the foundation has granted more than $85.5 million in the Williamsburg area.

“Our goal and our funding process is always to strengthen the nonprofits in our community, to help them function in a manner that will improve the health in the Greater Williamsburg area,” said Carol Sale, president and CEO.

The money, given in strategic areas, seeks to increase opportunities for health, improve access to health care and strengthen organizations the foundation supports.

More than $1.4 million will go toward programs for children, such as the School Health Initiative Project, grants to Child Development Resources and the Child Health Initiative.

The School Health Initiative Program was given the largest grant of $670,000.

The Child Health Initiative started in Williamsburg and expanded to James City County last year. With help from the City of Williamsburg, Child Development Resources, and Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, the program meets the health needs of multiple generations of one family at a time.

“You can’t just treat the parents or the children — it really needs to be a two-generational approach,” Sale said. “So the focus of that initiative is to work with those families that social services identifies as they’re trying to work through the challenges they are facing.”

The foundation also supports easy access to health care and local safety net clinics such as Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center, Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic, Lackey Clinic and Angels of Mercy Clinic.

More than $2 million in grants went to support the healthcare needs of vulnerable members of the community in medical, dental, behavioral and oral health services and prescription medications.

To strengthen the agencies that influence health in the area, the foundation will partner with an online platform called Catchafire, which helps 100 health-related organizations with projects such as visual brand identity, compensation surveys, budgeting, employee handbooks and grant writing.

“What they’ve done is created this wonderful marketplace of volunteers. Local agencies can access somebody who’s an expert in the field,” said Allison Brody, director of community resource development and engagement. “It leverages technology and all of our advanced communications to expand volunteer resources available to nonprofits.”

Funded with proceeds from the partnership between Sentara Healthcare and the former Williamsburg Community Hospital, the Williamsburg Health Foundation has a vision of individuals making healthy choices with health opportunities for all.

The board encourages the community to support local nonprofit organizations and make healthy choices.

“For many years this community and its donors donated money to help the nonprofit hospital and the donor intent was to improve the health of the community,” Brody said. “When hospital legacy foundations are formed it’s also honoring the intent of all of those donors and those volunteers who worked many hours to raise money for the hospital.”

Want to learn more?

For information about Williamsburg Health Foundation grants and how to apply, visit williamsburghealthfoundation.org.

This story has been updated as of June 5, 2019.

Martin can be reached at (757)-243-3685, by email at sararose.martin@vagazette.com or on Twitter at @SaraRoseMartin.

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