One grant writer can have a powerful effect on an entire community

2016MLA-OR-GrantWriter-VeggieRxProgramAt Providence, we want to create healthier communities in all the places we serve. And we believe the best way to improve community health is by working with likeminded people and organizations.

But while there is no shortage of groups and individuals who want to accomplish this goal, there often is a shortage of funds to turn dreams into reality. One of the 2016 Mission Leadership Award nominees set out to change that.

In Hood River, Ore., caregivers from the local Providence hospital met with other community leaders to discuss the area’s health needs and possible solutions. Then Providence provided funds to hire a grant writer, whose job was to write grant proposals for projects that address the identified needs. Over 24 months, the writer submitted more than 75 proposals, which resulted in securing grants totaling more than $1.75 million, more than 10 times the costs of the grant writer in that same period.

The funds from these grants will support a school-based health center, training for community health workers, a “Veggie Rx” program, a chronic disease management program, colon cancer research, children’s dental services and much more.

As an added benefit, the grant-writing program created better relationships and more effective collaboration among all the participants. It also has enabled these community partners to dream big and create a shared vision of what a healthy community will look like, along with a plan to make the vision a reality.