2008 Community Health Interactive Mini-Grant Award Recipients
Following April's Community Health Interactive, local collaborations were eligible to apply for mini-grants to fund projects to improve community health. This mini-grant program was supported by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice.  More than a dozen applications were received and a committee of community reviewers allocated a total of $6,000 to 8 local projects. The projects receiving funding are summarized below.
Name of Project Laurel Civic's Spring Into Summer Event
Description A festive event in Laurel will help residents “Spring into Summer” with health in mind. On June 18th, from 3 pm – 7pm, a variety of community organizations will gather at the Laurel Community Center for Spring Into Summer – an event which will include healthy cooking demonstrations and tastings, education about local heath and wellness opportunities, health screenings and much more.  The funds would be used to purchase five (5) Relion Auth-Inflate Digital Blood Pressure Monitors for residents identified with chronic high blood pressure; to purchase food for healthy cooking demonstrations as well as to encourage healthy eating of fruits and vegetables; to print flyers and promotional materials and to purchase incentives that will encourage active, healthy lifestyles.
Collaborative Partners Laurel Civic Association, Community Pharmacy of Sarasota County, Sarasota County Health Department, University of Florida/IFAS, Community AIDS Network, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation

Name of Project Empowering Young Men of Color to Optimal Wellness
Description On Feb 28, 2009 a day long youth summit targeting 8th grade African males will take place in Sarasota County. Funding from this mini-grant will support sessions on health which will encourage participants to adopt active, healthy lifestyles and increase knowledge about illnesses that appear in an alarming rate in the African American community. The "Power to End Stroke" campaign of the American Heart Association will be part of the health sessions. Organizers also plan to provide the participants with information on health care options available in the County.
Collaborative Partners Multicultural Health Institute, American Heart Association, Manasota Pan Hellenic Council, Truvine Missionary Baptist Church, Children First, Inc.

Name of Project Community Grow Boxes in North Port
Description Mini-grant seed money will help this project grow – literally! 15 Earth-Grow Boxes will be purchased for the Health and Human Services Campus scheduled to be opened on Pan American Drive in North Port in September 2008.  Each of the five partnership agencies will promote and supervise their own boxes and develop a schedule for preparation, planting, tending and reaping seasonally appropriate vegetables.  The intent is to promote healthy eating at a low cost through client participation.  Residents receiving services from the five partnership agencies will be the recipients of the project benefits.
Collaborative Partners Children First, City of North Port Social Services, Children First in North Port, Jewish Family Services, First Step and North Port CHAT

Name of Project Get Sarasota County Insured
Description Get Sarasota County Insured is a workgroup dedicated to educating the public about affordable health insurance options for individuals and small businesses, as well as low-cost healthcare options for Sarasota County.  Mini-grant funds will be used to support a large community Health Care Access Expo in Sarasota next Spring. The collaborative partners involved in Get Sarasota County Insured will also continue to organize small educational forums throughout the community as they have done since 2007.
Collaborative Partners Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, Senior Consulting Services, Sarasota County Health Department, Breton Benefits, Early Learning Coalition, Healthcare Sarasota, and CHIP

Name of Project Health and Education Expo
Description In an effort to enhance community awareness among African American and Hispanic residents in North Sarasota, a Health and Education Expo was hosted by the Newtown Community Service Coalition in May, 2008.  Funds were used to assist with printing costs, provide food and drinks, and obtain permits to block of streets and provide a stage and sound system from the city.
Collaborative Partners Agency members of the Newtown Community Services Coalition which include Children First, Goodwill, YMCA HIPPY-Operation Graduation, First Step, Senior Friendship Center, Genesis Health, Newtown Redevelopment, and Newtown Wellness

Name of Project Healthy Living Program Enhancements
Description The T-Rec Coalition of Sarasota County provides monthly recreational opportunities for teens and adults with disabilities. The Coalition is building an aspect of healthy living into each of these events by providing healthy snacks and exercise opportunities. Funds will be used at two large upcoming events: the National Therapeutic Recreation Week Celebration in July and the Disability Awareness Expo in October. In addition to the healthy snacks, giveaways, and healthy living materials given to participants, there will also be healthy food demonstrations and Tai Chi classes.
Collaborative Partners Special Athlete Boosters Inc.  T-REC (Therapeutic Recreation) Coalition of Sarasota County.  Members include: Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Special Olympics, Loveland Center, UCP (United Cerebral Palsy); Easter Seals, Community Haven for Adults & Children with Disabilities, Boys & Girls Club, and CASL

Name of Project Pizza Garden in Orange Blossom Community Garden
Description Pizza anyone? The Orange Blossom Community Garden will open in the Newtown community on July 1, 2008.  Mini-grant funds will be used to establish an organic Community "pizza garden" and conduct pizza-making demonstrations for neighborhood members in order to introduce the community to environmentally-friendly practices, encourage healthy eating habits, and establish a long-term and productive relationship between the garden and the surrounding neighborhood.
Collaborative Partners Orange Blossom Community Garden, Amaryllis Park Neighborhood Association, Inc.; Sarasota Garden Club's Community Garden Committee; North Sarasota Neighborhood Assoc.

Name of Project Community Pharmacy’s Spring Into Summer
Description Though the Community Pharmacy of Sarasota provides free prescription medicines to qualified uninsured and under-insured residents, some pharmaceutical companies still charge co-pays or administrative fees ranging from $20 to $40 dollars per prescription. Some clients are unable to pay the fees and instead go without their prescriptions.

A collaboration between the Community Pharmacy of Sarasota County and the Laurel Civic Association will help improve access.   Laurel Civic Association serves a large percentage of uninsured, underinsured and working poor. The two organizations will follow a referral system and help clients with a one-time payment. After trained volunteer advocates at the Pharmacy qualify clients for the program, Laurel Civic will distribute vouchers to cover pharmaceutical company co-pays or other administrative fees. Mini-grant funds will be used to cover the cost of these vouchers.
Collaborative Partners Community Pharmacy of Sarasota County & Laurel Civic Association


Community Health Improvement Partnership
PO Box 2658, Sarasota FL  34230-2658
p 941.861.2969  .  f  941.861.2991  .  info@chip4health.com