The Reliant Medical Group Foundation has distributed more than $125,000 through its latest round of community grants in an effort improve the health and wellbeing of Central and Metro West Massachusetts residents and Reliant Medical Group patients. The primary focus for the Foundation has been battling childhood obesity for several years, and with this latest round of grants, the Let’s Go! program has gained much of the new funding offered. Let’s Go! is offered locally by the YMCA of Central Massachusetts in collaboration with Reliant Pediatrics among other local agencies, including United Way of Central Massachusetts, which will work to maximize existing efforts and train newcomers adopting the fitness and nutrition model.
The grants allow the Foundation to connect the generosity of its community to sustainable efforts that target childhood obesity, increase access to care, fill insurance gaps for Reliant patients, and encourage healthy living for all. Community grants are awarded to non-profit organizations within Reliant Medical Group’s service area to help improve the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and Metro West regions of Massachusetts.
“Once again, our employees and donors have generously stepped up to help us provide financial support to some critically important programs in our service area,” said Kelsa Zereski, director of philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “We’re particularly proud to support Let’s Go! and similar programs that will help make the combined efforts to battle childhood obesity and encourage wellness even more successful in the near future.”
Since its grant-making program was refocused in 2008, Reliant Foundation has funded programs at 56 local charities, impacting more than 54,000 individual lives annually. With this latest round of giving, 13 local organizations received funding from the Foundation:
- Abby’s House – Health and Wellness Advocacy Program at one of Worcester’s most vital shelters for homeless women and children
- Auburn Youth & Family Services – Mission Nutrition for after-school and summer youth programs
- Dismas House – Dismas Urban Family Community Supported Agriculture Pilot Project
- Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA – Unmask your SuperHERO, a program that explores the science behind superhero powers and encourages girls to discover the superhero traits within themselves and the women around them
- Growing Places – a gardening and health/wellness education program for low-income families in North Central Mass
- Pernet Family Services – expansion of youth services with a program focused on reducing obesity among Worcester’s inner city youth through outdoor activities and youth development
- Regional Environmental Council, Inc. – the YouthGROW program, a year-round urban agriculture and youth employment program
- Seven Hills Foundation – continuation of Healthy Hills nutrition, health and cooking program that educates children and adults with disabilities and their caretakers about the importance of healthy living
- United Way of Central Mass. – funding to bring together all local organizations using the Let’s Go! model and to train the trainers of newcomers to the program
- Visitation House – health and life skills classes for pregnant women and new mothers in crisis
- YouthConnect Summer – Summer programming collaboration among youth-serving agencies for low-income youth ages 11-15
- YMCA of Central Massachusetts – Collaboration between Reliant pediatricians, nutrition staff and two YMCA sites helping children and families battle obesity using the “Let’s Go! 5210” nutrition and exercise program model
- YWCA – Support for the Get Health NOW program, including Let’s Go!
In addition, funds awarded to departments within the nonprofit Reliant Medical Group underwrite patient support projects such as funding new books for young children to promote early literacy through the Reach Out and Read program, providing new equipment and expanding hours of the Bariatric Boot Camp; providing free transportation to medical appointments for elderly and low-income patients who otherwise would not have access to care; providing Continuous Glucose Monitoring equipment and supplies for the Endocrinology Department; and installing automated doors for physically challenged patients at Reliant’s Auburn and Leominster sites.
Finally, grants were made through the Foundation’s Oncology Fund to support A Little Easier Recovery’s Jacki® Program, and to the Spiritual Wellness Fund to support complementary and alternative care to all patients battling cancer at the St. Vincent Cancer and Wellness Center.
The next deadline to apply for community grants is September 11, 2015. Guidelines and application information can be found at www.reliantfoundation.org.