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Grants Awarded to Address School-Based Healthcare in Appalachian Ohio

FAO Awarded Nearly $50,000 in Grants with Support from UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio

Nelsonville, OH – There are significant opportunities to address medical barriers for children in Appalachia by aligning healthcare to the ecosystem of support in community-based settings, including schools and after-school programs. That’s why the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund, through its Health and Human Services Pillar of Prosperity, and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio have awarded nearly $50,000 in grants to organizations focused on school-based healthcare.

“Through this UnitedHealthcare partnership, we are grateful to be able to support projects that work to address such essential needs,” said Cara Dingus Brook, FAO president and CEO. “It is an honor to support those who are overcoming barriers to children’s medical care in Appalachian Ohio.”

Nonprofit organizations that applied for the Appalachian Ohio School-Based Healthcare grants submitted projects that discussed and analyzed data trends specific to the health of Appalachian youth and highlighted opportunities to empower local communities.

FAO and UnitedHealthcare awarded nine grants to organizations that adhered to the grant criteria. The 2022 School-Based Healthcare Grant recipients are:

· Adena Health Systems received a grant to support the Adena School-Based Wellness Program. Funding will purchase telehealth equipment to implement this program across Ross County, including at the Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center.

· Columbiana County Educational Services Center and the CASH Coalition of Columbiana County received funding to support the Escape Vape project. This project focuses on vape prevention programs to educate students on the effects of vaping and nicotine use among young people.

· Hopewell Health Centers received funding to support an Integrated School Health Clinic for the Nelsonville-York School District. The funding will purchase equipment for the school-based health center in Nelsonville-York schools.

· Impact Prevention received funding to support the YEA Healthy Behaviors Initiative in Lawrence County. This project addresses food insecurity and rates of obesity through partnerships with local organizations serving the school-aged population.

· Logan-Hocking School District received funding to support the Logan-Hocking and Hocking Valley Community Hospital School-Based Rural Health Clinic. The funding will address student and staff health needs in the Logan-Hocking School District.

· Ohio Hills Health Services received funding to support the Mental Health First Aid for Students project. This project serves Belmont County. Funding will implement mental health first aid resources among students in Union Local schools.

· Pickaway-Ross Joint Vocation School District received funding to support its Health and Wellness Clinic. Funding will implement school-based healthcare with relevant equipment.

· United Way of Greater Cincinnati received funding to support the Healthy Start Summer Program in Clermont and Brown counties. Funding will ensure access to health and wellness programming for students entering school. This project also will support students who intersect with early intervention or developmental disability services.

· West Union Elementary School received funding to support the Dragon’s Den project serving Adams County. The funding will provide dental hygiene products, such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, for students.

FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund seeks to address disparities through its Health & Human Services Pillar of Prosperity, one of five areas essential to generating and sustaining transformative change in Appalachian Ohio.

“At UnitedHealthcare, it is our goal to drive meaningful change in the communities we serve and that’s why we are honored to partner with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to support nine organizations working every day to increase access to care,” said Dr. Srinivas Merugu, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio. “This work will be critical in helping the children of Appalachia receive the supports, services, and education needed to live healthier lives.”

The grants are part of an ongoing collaboration between FAO and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio. The two organizations previously hosted the Appalachian School-Based Virtual Panel Discussion, an online event focused on data analytics, including population health data, to promote a broader discussion and drive long-term solutions for the issues impacting children in Appalachia. To access the data presented in the Appalachian Ohio School-Based Healthcare Virtual Panel Discussion and to learn more about each grantee, visit

To learn more about the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and opportunities to give, grow and create with FAO, visit or contact or 740-753-1111.

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit and follow FAO on Facebook and Instagram.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.5 million physicians and care professionals, and 7,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @UHC on Twitter.