United Way announces investments to support healthy living in Summit County

Jun 9, 2015

United Way of Summit County announced today investments in 2015-2016 of more than $1 million in programs and initiatives that will enable more people in Summit County live healthier lives. United Way investments will help individuals and families learn healthy behaviors that prevent future problems and will provide access to dental, mental and physical health care services.

“Good health helps people maintain a good quality of life," said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. "Poor health impacts families’ economic situations and can keep children from doing well in school. By investing in good health for everyone, we can make Summit County a stronger, more productive community.”

A three-year cycle begins this year for United Way’s Community Impact Fund allocations awards in its Health Impact Area. The organization considered requests from the entire community and alignment with United Way’s investment priorities. The United Way investment review process looks for quality programming and results, integration of services, collaboration with other organizations and leverage through matching funds. As a result, programs that address four critical community issues received a significant part of the funding:

1.    Prevention of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in Summit County where about 54 percent of all 6 to 12-year-olds are obese. The issue must be tackled from every angle with children to avoid major health complications later in life like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Akron Area YMCA, CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) – To help children develop and sustain healthy diets and regular physical activity. The         CATCH curriculum will be incorporated into 71 after school and summer program sites, including select Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority sites. It is anticipated that 5,500 children will participate in 2015-2016, $77,500

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy – To establish mini farmers markets in low-income neighborhoods, $40,000

Let’s Grow Akron – To provide a community garden coordinator for neighborhoods in need of nutritional support, $40,000

United Disability Services, All-Star Training Club – To provide sports and fitness programs for young people with developmental disabilities, $25,000

Girls on the Run of Greater Summit – To deliver the “Healthy Girls” program for ages 8-14 in low-income communities, $10,000

Akron Inner City Soccer – To support after school and summer youth soccer programs, $10,000

Woodridge Recreation Association – To support student sports and recreation, $5,000

2.    Access to Dental Care

In Summit County, oral health remains our most significant healthcare issue. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions have a considerable impact on quality of life, including loss of self-esteem, decreased economic productivity and poor performance in school.

Open M – Free Clinic dental services, $20,000

Embracing Futures – Orthodontic care program, $15,000

Northern Ohio Hemophilia Foundation – Expansion of dental services in Summit County, $15,000

3.    Access to Mental Health Care

Greenleaf Family Center, Behavioral Health Services – To provide mental health counseling services for individuals and families; a significant majority from generational poverty, $240,000

Child Guidance & Family Solutions, Healthcare Integration – To integrate mental health care and medical care within pediatric practices, $135,000

Jewish Family Services of Akron, Counseling and Care Management – To help seniors maintain quality of life in their own homes and stay connected to the community through counseling and care management services, $60,000

Legacy III, Inc. – To provide housing and support for women recovering from substance abuse, $34,500

Greenleaf Family Center, Adolescent Suicide Prevention – To provide support and advocacy for young people dealing with mental health issues, $17,980

Asian Services in Action, Inc., Project Success – To address stress and isolation for refugee/ immigrant seniors and youth, $10,000

Community Health Center – To support integrated treatment of substance abuse and trauma, $2,625

4.    Access to Health Care for Low-Income Individuals and Families

Info Line Inc., MedAssist – To help low-income uninsured individuals secure essential prescription medications and apply for Medicaid and/or subsidized health insurance, $75,000

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio – To provide health care and family planning education, $50,000

Barberton Community Health Clinic – To provide health care services, diabetes management, medications and supplies, $20,000

Info Line, Inc., Lifeline – To provide personal emergency response services to frail seniors and persons with disabilities, $20,000


The following health programs also received Health allocations awards from United Way:

Victim Assistance Program, 24-Hour Crisis Response, $62,954

Stewart’s Caring Place, Cancer Support, $15,000

North Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, Patient Services, $10,000

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio,  First Aid, CPR, AED Training for Volunteers, $ 4,000                                             

In addition to investing in Health through its Community Impact Fund, United Way also invests in Education and Income. Investments in these impact areas for 2014-2015 will be announced later this year.

About United Way of Summit County
United Way of Summit County advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on Education, Income and Health because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We train a spotlight on critical issues, engage with private and public sector leaders and coordinate agendas with partners to leverage Collective Impact. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Summit County visit uwsummit.org.      

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