GHS’s $80M grants program gets a start date and a name

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Last summer, the Greenville Health System (GHS) announced that over the next 20 years they will fund programs that aim to make the county’s population healthier. At the time, GHS didn’t have a start date or an official name for the program. Now we do: Healthy Greenville 2036 and it launches in September, with letters of intent due May 15.

The first of Healthy Greenville’s initial $4 million in grants will go to the organizations that have the best ideas of how to fix the county’s worst health problems.

“We do not have a pre-determined number of grants, and these are open to any nonprofit serving Greenville County,” said Lisa Stevens, chair of the Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees. “Our recommendation is there is a minimum request of $250,000, which they can spread over two to three years.”

The board overseeing the requests for funding has decided to distribute the money based on the county’s top priorities in health. An example of a grant application could involve a program that will help county residents stop smoking. Another one might address premature births and low birth weight babies by helping pregnant young women improve their eating and exercising habits, Stevens suggests.

“We want Greenville to be the healthiest county in America. That’s our goal, a big goal,” Stevens said. “We look at this as a rare opportunity in funding projects that would impact public health.”

Organizations applying for funds will need to show what they plan to do that will help move the needle on the county’s overall health.

GHS is donating a total of $80 million over 20 years to 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations, healthcare providers, academic institutions, coalitions or collaboratives , and government agencies. Programs must directly benefit Greenville County residents through health-related care, health research, or health-education initiatives.

For information about how to apply, visit ghs.org/healthygreenville2036. —Melinda Young

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