2015 Phase I Grant Recipients

The Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee has selected 26 area organizations to receive more than $240,000 in grants as a part of the 2015 Trinity Health Initiatives Phase I awards.  These 26 grants will be used to plan community health-related projects that will compete for implementation grants later this year.  Over 70 proposals were received from regional nonprofits and they were ranked on impact and merit by the Trinity board.  Issues addressed include access to medical care, healthy life choices, mental health and addiction recovery and family strengthening.  These groups will use the Phase I funding to research and plan details for project operations and sustainability culminating in a proposal for consideration of Phase II implementation funds.

This year both large organization and small organization grants are being awarded.  Twelve Phase I large grants and fourteen small grants will go to nonprofits across the community. This year’s recipients and their projects include:

2015 Small Grant Recipients and Trinity Board Members

2015 Small Grant Recipients and Trinity Board Members

              2015 Phase I Small Grant Awards (up to $5,000) 

A-1 Learning ConnectionsSMART Institute Healthy Living

Artistic SpectrumAutism Site Knoxville: A Community Support

Bethany Christian ServicesSafe Families for Children

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TennesseeMentor 2.0

Connect MinistriesThe Family Intervention, Restoration and Mentoring (FIRM) Project

Feeding the OrphansMan Up @ Zion – “An Empowerment Camp for Knoxville’s Fatherless”

Girl Talk, Inc. – Expanding Our Voice – Expanding Our Impact

Hope of East Tennessee, Inc.Transitioning to Recovery

New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy CenterPractice for Traumatized Children

Open Doors TennesseeStrengthening Marriages for Those with Children with Disabilities

Our Daily Bread of Tennessee, Inc. – Taking Root: Planting the Seeds for Health

Seymour United Methodist ChurchRecovery at Seymour

The First Tee of Greater KnoxvilleThe First Tee National School Program

True Purpose MinistriesProviding True Purpose in Our Community


2015 Large Grant Recipients and Trinity Board Members

2015 Large Grant Recipients and Trinity Board Members

             2015 Phase I Large Grant Awards (up to $15,000)

Cherokee Health SystemsMedical Respite Program for Homeless in Knoxville/Knox Co.

Community Action for Affordable NeighborhoodsFamily Development Intake Center

East Tennessee Human Resource Agency on Aging & Disability Medication Synchronization

Knox Area Rescue MinistriesRapid Mental Health Services for Our Most Vulnerable & Forgotten

Knoxville Habitat for HumanityHabitat Homes Provide Veteran Families Hope

Knoxville Academy of Medicine FoundationReducing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Pellissippi State Community College FoundationNew Insight: Ophthalmic Technician Training

Tennessee Clean Water NetworkBringing Tap Back to High School

Thrive LonsdaleLonsdale Fellows

United Way of Greater KnoxvillePay for Success Knoxville

University of Tennessee Medical CenterGynecologic Cancer Education and Screening Program

YMCA of East TennesseeAlzheimer’s and Dementia Wellness Program

These Phase I grants have a duration of three months and will be used for planning purposes to determine partnerships for implementation.  These grant winners will present a Phase II implementation proposal in September and be eligible for up to $150,000 of approximately $750,000 in project resources to be granted later this year.

To find out more about the 2015 Phase I SMALL Grant Recipients, click below:

  1. Healthy Life Choices

    Organization:  A-1 Learning Connections

    Project Title:   SMART Institute Healthy Living

    A 1 SMART Institute currently serves 110 Austin East HS/Vine Middle students in NE Knoxville with strong academic improvements each year. However, physical fitness, nutrition, healthy life choices are ongoing needs. Surveys show that students with better grades have healthier physical fitness behaviors than students with lower grades. Since the majority of students are African American living in the diabetes belt of America, they are 25% more likely to develop diabetes. Demographics: African American (83%), Caucasian (15%), 88% of students in poverty. The schools have the lowest academic performance, lowest graduation rate, and highest dropout rate. Nearly half of household annual incomes are under $35,000 and 10% under $10,000. A 1’s zip code has the lowest rate of adult educational attainment in all of Knox County: 30% have less than a high school education. Phase I will support planning for additional time to A 1’s current schedule (Phase II). A 1 operates 2 hours after-school with 100 students/day, including 20-30 minutes/day of physical fitness). Funding will allow students to participate in 60 minutes/day of consistent, intentionally-scheduled cardiovascular, muscle, and bone-strengthening activities; daily healthy eating activities. Impact: Healthier life choices will result in better grades, staying in school, on-time graduation, increased lifetime health. Outcome: Students will increase their GPA by a minimum of 1 point for at least 90% of students from spring 2015 to spring 2016. (See measurable objectives below.) Collaborators: Austin East/Vine, UT Extension Office, and UT Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, Sports, Sustainability from fundraising, business partnerships, and grants.

    A- Learning Connections

    Laschinki Emerson, A-1 Learning Connections








    Organization:   Girl Talk, Inc.

    Project Title:    Expanding Our Voice-Expanding Our Impact

    Girl Talk, Inc. has been serving girls, helping them build confidence, self-esteem and make positive life choices.  Since its inception, Girl Talk has served over 100 girls in Knox County.  Girl Talk uses a faith based strategy to support each girl’s spiritual, emotional, physical and educational development.  A key component of Girl Talk is our Community Schools program. This is a partnership which has been formed between Girl Talk, Inc. and Great Schools Partnership’s Knox County Community Schools Initiatives. Through Community Schools, partners work together using public school facilities as a hub to benefit students, families and the surrounding community. Girl Talk, Inc. recruits young adults and women to mentor the girls at our community schools program which is held after school, using the established Girl Talk curriculum. Girl Talk will provide curriculum-based group mentoring to girls during the after-school program. We also invite professional mentors from our She-Pro-Series Network, to come inspire and empower our girls by sharing their personal and professional challenges & successes and imparting career development strategies.  Currently this program is held at Norwood Elementary and Sarah Moore Green Elementary.  Expansion has been limited because the program lacks a comprehensive volunteer delivery model and structure. Girl Talk will use the Trinity Phase I grant to develop and pilot a volunteer delivery model which would allow us to recruit, train, supervise and recognize volunteers who could consistently deliver the Girl Talk program in all of Knoxville’s Community Schools.

    Denetria Moore and Jackie Clay, Girl Talk, Inc.








    Organization:  Our Daily Bread of Tennessee, Inc.

    Project Title:    Taking Root-Planting the Seeds for Healthy Mind, Body & Heart

    Obesity in Tennessee affects children of all ages. In 2010, 15.8% of Tennessee youth age 18 and under were obese, and 14.2% of Tennessee’s children age two to four were obese (1). Tennessee’s childcare providers have a unique opportunity to help lower the obesity rates of children. Many childcare providers feed children two or more meals a day. If given the resources, childcare providers can model and inspire healthy food choices in children. Our Daily Bread of Tennessee proposes to fund Taking Root: Planting the Seeds for a Healthy Mind, Body and Heart, a program that will equip childcare providers with an installed raised garden bed, training and age-appropriate garden-to-table curriculums.
    Taking Root is modeled after Healthy Sprouts, a program in Kansas focused on improving children’s food choices by bringing gardening opportunities to childcare settings (2). Beardsley Farm, the Institute of Agriculture at University of Tennessee Extension and childcare providers in Knoxville and Sevierville will partner with us in the pilot phase. Output and survey data will be gathered from childcare providers to assess the pilot’s impact. Using lessons learned from the pilot, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee will obtain additional grant funding and community partnerships to empower childcare providers and inspire healthy food choices in the children of Knox and surrounding counties.


    Joshua Smith and Phillip Hester, Our Daily Bread








    Organization:  The First Tee of Greater Knoxville

    Project Title:    The First Tee National School Program

    The First Tee of Greater Knoxville (TFTGK) will use Phase I funding to expand the National School Program (NSP) on a small scale into four elementary schools located in Knox, Sevier, Loudon, and Anderson Counties. Success while piloting this program in six Knox County Schools in 2014 proved a need to grow and expand NSP in greater Knoxville. Tennessee has the fourth highest childhood obesity rate and the fifth highest physical inactivity rate in the United States. This program creates an environment in physical education classes where students learn golf and the inherent values of the game, including healthy habits. Physical educators receive professional training and are provided with a developmentally appropriate curriculum and equipment for effective implementation in their classes. This project will address the gaps identified in PE programs at four elementary schools in Knox County. NSP will equip elementary PE teachers to improve the physical, mental, and emotional development of students.


    Robyn Halbert and Diondre Jackson, The First Tee of Greater Knoxville

    Robyn Halbert and Diondre Jackson, The First Tee of Greater Knoxville









  2. Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

    Organization:    Hope of East Tennessee, Inc.

    Project Title:     Transitioning to Recovery

    HOPE of East Tennessee, Inc. is a non-profit licensed drug and alcohol treatment center.  Currently, HOPE of East Tennessee has two licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselors (LADAC) on staff and provides adult intensive outpatient treatment, a halfway house for men, and a transition program for women. Phase I funds will be used for the women’s transition program. Hope of East Tennessee is the only center with a women’s program in the Oak Ridge area and there are only a handful of women’s programs in East Tennessee. They believe it is important to keep this program running because of the limited access to treatment in rural areas. Their goal is to help women transition back into society after they have completed an inpatient (21 or 28 day) program. Individuals are expected to be responsible for themselves by being gainfully employed and contributing toward the cost of room, board and treatment. Often a woman will come to the program with only the clothes on their back. In that case we try to provide them with sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. We collaborate with Ridgeview Mental Health Center and will send them for a mental health evaluation. If they need medication we try to help them get that as well.

    Mandy Colburn and Gina Peters, Hope of East Tennessee

    Mandy Colburn and Gina Peters, Hope of East Tennessee









    Organization:   New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center

    Project Title:    Creating an Innovative Practice for Traumatized Children

    The Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center would like to expand its clinical services to create an integrative approach that will raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children.  This is something that is not currently available in East Tennessee.  There are minimal resources for trauma victims and we are always overwhelmed with referrals.  Currently their expertise is limited to children referred by the Child Protective Investigative Team who have substantiated cases of sexual abuse or severe physical abuse.  They would like to be able to offer this specialized service to children experiencing other types of trauma.  Our goal would be to train our therapists on more modalities for treatment and eventually expand our clinical staff.  This project would allow us to increase the number of children that we serve while decreasing trauma symptoms and the need for referrals for additional services.  These services would be available to clients in one location and at no charge.  Their plan is modeled after two larger trauma centers but on a much smaller scale.  To sustain this project, we have been approved to be a vendor for the Department of Children’s services.  Their agency has also begun billing and continue to pursue other funding options to secure a steady stream of income for our agency.  Once implemented, this will truly impact the community by providing needed services and ensuring a more productive and healthy future for our children.

    Diane Darby and Tabitha Damron, New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center









    Organization:  Seymour United Methodist Church

    Project Title:    Recovery at Seymour

    Substance abuse and its underlying causes takes a tremendous toll on the individual, family, criminal justice system, health care, even employability and workplace productivity.  The problems and consequences associated with addiction and compulsive behaviors can be devastating for the individual and their loved ones.  Seymour, and most of Sevier County, suffers from the lack of a Bible based recovery program and we intend to fill that void with Recovery at Seymour, hosted by Seymour United Methodist Church.  We intend to partner with the very successful Recovery at Cokesbury in Knoxville whose leaders will help with:  the training of leadership and launch teams, marketing, and even the live streaming of the teaching component of the program.   Every Thursday evening  Recovery at Seymour will provide a fellowship meal, spirit led live worship, Bible based teaching (streaming from Cokesbury’s service), and small open share groups to meet the needs of a wide range of spiritual brokenness and compulsive/destructive behaviors.  Our goal is to reach those hurting with their addictions and spiritual brokenness in Seymour and surrounding counties who do not have access to a weekly faith-based 12-step recovery ministry.  We are also committed to encouraging other local churches to become involved in this endeavor to help provide healing, wholeness, and restoration to our community.

    Gail Hyfantis and Hope Johnson, Seymour United Methodist Church









    Organization:  True Purpose Ministries

    Project Title:    Providing True Purpose in Our Community

    True Purpose Ministries is a discipleship program with Christian values based in biblical truth to effect life change for males in Blount County and surrounding areas and is seeking to expand its program. The program is designed to empower individuals mentally and spiritually by teaching purpose, leadership and productivity in all areas of life while finding freedom from addictions. Currently, True Purpose is partnered with White Oak Construction, along with the support of local churches and organizations in Knoxville, Maryville, and Indiana. Arrowmark, Thompson Boling Arena, and Chris Moore, (a culinary expert at Knoxville Convention Center), are a few current collaborators with True Purpose. True Purpose is growing partnerships which already help sustain the ministry; however, with expansion come needs that require more funding than current supporters are able to meet. With 200 men entering the program every year, there is a need to show statistical evidence of success for future funders; employ licensed therapists; pay consultants, and travel to observe similar ministries such as Dream Centers in LA or New York. The ability to complete these steps will lay a better foundation for the future success of True Purpose resulting in community well-being. True Purpose sees success as being clean of addiction for 2 years; maintaining work; being involved in church or volunteering; and continual restoration among loved ones. With grant funding, this ministry would propel freedom from addiction and create strong leaders in the community.

    Suzie Trotter, Keidre Shaw, and Jeremy Graham, True Purpose Ministries

    Suzie Trotter, Keidre Shaw, and Jeremy Graham, True Purpose Ministries









  3. Family Strengthening


    Organization:   Connect Ministries 

    Project Title:    The Family Intervention, Restoration and Mentoring (FIRM) Project

    The Family Intervention, Restoration, and Mentoring (FIRM) Project, proposed by CONNECT Ministries and Covenant Counseling and Consultation Services proposal is based on Malachi 4:6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers …” (NAS Bible), it will address the issue of inner-city Knoxville children growing up without fathers positively involved in their lives. FIRM will address this problem by utilizing the proven Nurturing Fathers Program (NFP) which was designed to help fathers learn effective parenting and partnering skills.  The KIDS COUNT division of the Tennessee Commission of Children and Youth reports a third of Knox County households headed by single parents, mostly mothers. Without balanced parenting, children’s lives are often impacted negatively with poorer school performance and higher rates of delinquency and teen parenting. The NFP is expected to positively impact the community through increased child welfare and improved parenting attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. The assessment tools that are part of NFP will provide pre and post measurements of knowledge and application of parenting skills.  With Phase I funding, needed services will be confirmed and agencies with supplemental services will be identified. Expected cooperative agreements will be made with health care providers, faith-based, and family and youth serving organizations. Also, delivery systems will be investigated and confirmed. With demonstrated and positive results, we will seek ongoing funding through a wide variety of sources and continue to help the broader community benefit from stronger families, standing on FIRM ground.

    Donna Mitchell and Denise Jackson, Connect Ministries









    Organization: Open Doors Tennessee

    Project Title:  Strengthening Marriages of Those Dealing With Children With Disabilities

    Open Doors TN requests the support of Trinity Foundation to develop, plan, and implement the Camp Encouragement program to directly address the issue of the high divorce rate among families of children with disabilities.    Marlene Ritchie, a well-known International Educator, states that a child with a disability “puts extreme pressure not only on a marriage, but also on siblings, requiring an often overwhelming, demanding life-long adjustment.”  Researchers have estimated that 85% of marriages where there is a child with disabilities will end in divorce (www.children-and-divorce.com). Through this initiative, two-parent families who have children with disabilities will be invited to experience a weekend retreat that provides needed quality time in an encouraging environment as a couple, as well as a family.  Focus will be on building the relationship of the couple, developing community with other families in close proximity to their home, and providing spiritual leadership and counseling for couples and siblings.  Through a follow-up support group, the health of the marriages will be monitored, and those expressing the need for help will be referred to Dr. Todd Hardin, minister of counseling at Grace Baptist Church, and Director of Charis Counseling Center.  Our goal is to identify healthy families that can provide support for those that are in crisis, and provide necessary guidance and resources to help decrease the high rate of divorce among struggling families dealing with disabilities in the Knox Country area.

    Steve Johnson and Rhoni Standefer, Open Doors Tennessee









    Organization:   Safe Families for Children/Bethany Christian Services

    Project Title:    Safe Families for Children: Sharing God’s Love with Families in Need

    Bethany Christian Services’ mission is to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services. This mission is the heart of Bethany’s Safe Families for Children Program (SFFC).  SFFC helps parents experiencing a temporary crisis (homelessness, health issues, unemployment, drug addictions, etc.) by providing a loving Christian family with whom their children may stay until the crisis has passed.  SFFC is seeking the support of the Trinity Health Foundation to expand the successful model of the SFFC Knox County ministry to Blount and Jefferson Counties.  Three churches will become SFFC partner churches in each of these communities, during the Phase I process.  These churches will be the foundation of the financial partnership to sustain the ministry in their communities.  From these churches, ten Host Families will be recruited, trained, and be ready to begin hosting children.  These churches and volunteers will work together to form a launch team for their community.  Five social service agencies who will be key referral sources will be identified and recruited to join the launch team.  The national model of SFFC to launch the ministry in new sites will be the model used for the growth and expansion of SFFC to serve in Blount and Jefferson Counties.  This model has led to establishing SFFC ministries at 75 sites in 32 and 12 regions in England and Scotland, with over 17,000 hostings of children.

    Terri Bowles and Dr. Janet Cockrum, Bethany Christian Services









  4. Open Topic

    Organization:   Artistic Spectrum

    Project Title:    Autism Site Knoxville: A Community Center for Information, Education, Recreation & Support

    With 1 in 68 children born this year expected to receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, a growing local population of children, care givers and adults with autism need a home away from home where they can find autism-specific resources, support, understanding, education and recreation. While several excellent autism therapy and medical providers are available in the Knoxville area, many parents have difficulty finding them due to the lack of a central hub for autism-specific information distribution in the region.  In addition, several recent studies  show a vast problem with isolation in the autism community as well as extreme stress levels in parents and caregivers.  Many local parents participate in online support groups because there is no “autism place” in Knoxville, and those who try to take their support group live find it difficult to find an appropriate venue for their meetings.  A sensory-friendly community autism center can be a home for these support groups, parent education classes, children’s fine art workshops and special education training sessions.  Additionally, it will be a meeting venue for a variety of social groups such as teens and adults with autism, preschool playgroups, Bible study groups, and home school study groups.  It will also offer a location for teachers, therapists, spiritual leaders and first responders to collaborate on supports, services and community safety workshops that are aimed at benefiting the autism population and community as a whole.

    Veronica Cordell and Lisa Ross, Artistic Spectrum









    Organization:   Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee

    Project Title:    Mentor 2.0

    Mentor 2.0Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBSETN) believes all young people deserve an opportunity to go to college and fulfill their aspirations for the future. Beyond academic preparation, students need individualized support as they apply to college and develop skills to succeed, such as perseverance, networking, critical thinking, and self-advocacy. For high school students in low-income communities, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college, this personal support is hard to find.  BBBSETN will seek to plan and implement a one-to-one mentoring program that is multi-dimensional providing the supports for disadvantaged, at-risk students with a special focus on youth of color to achieve educational success, reach for higher aspirations and avoid criminal activity; and the encouragement through a curriculum based environment for students to develop non-cognitive skills and college knowledge needed to graduate from high school, enroll in college and persist in their college education.  The program impact will be evident and clearly measurable in the achievements of these students – graduating high-school and graduating college. Additional measurements include the students’ attitudes and relationships with family and school.  Mentor 2.0 will require collaboration efforts of schools – both high-school (South Doyle) and college (PSTCC and UT) to implement the program. Additionally, we hope to develop collaborations that will support the sustainability of mentor 2.0, for example: corporate partnership support through volunteers to serve as mentors and/or investment to support sustainability. Additionally, we will engage other foundations, local colleges and universities, city and county governments.

    Alli Damas and Ann Bowman, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of East TN









    Organization:   Feeding the Orphans

    Project Title:    MAN UP @ Zion

    Maybe you grew up in a healthy home, with both a mother and father who nurtured and cared for you, showed you a beautiful example of what family is. But what about the hundreds of young men in East Tennessee whose father is absent?  Do they know they are wanted, valued and loved? MAN UP @ Zion will provide a life-altering experience for these children that will show them they are truly valued.  71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes and 70% of youth in state institutions are from fatherless homes. Young boys throughout Knoxville are growing up with deep father-wounds and desperately need to be equipped with a healthy view of manhood.  MAN UP @ Zion will provide fatherless boys in the Greater Knoxville area a week-long adventure camp experience where these young men will be challenged to overcome the pain of their past and dared to allow God to re-write their future.   Through our camp’s outdoor adventures (obstacle courses, ropes and climbing challenges), spiritual guidance and honest conversations about tough topics, young men will learn how to become leaders worth following, men of integrity and one day… loving husbands and dads.  While Trinity’s support will ensure the birth of this extraordinary program at Camp Zion, we plan to sustain the endeavor by challenging existing church partners and camping groups to join with us to answer the call to care for the fatherless of our area by investing in the future of MAN UP @ Zion.

    Jeremy Miller, Feeding the Orphans









To find out more about the 2015 Phase I LARGE Grant Recipients, click below:

  1. Access to Care

    Organization:  East Tennessee Human Resource Agency/Area Agency on Aging and Disability

    Project Title:   Medication Synchronization Program

    In the United States, some 3.8 billion prescriptions are written every year, yet over 50% of them are taken incorrectly or not at all. Communication among providers, hospitals, and pharmacies is poor or non-existent. Poor communication results in patients that suffer and have declining health; resulting in an exponential amount of Emergency Room visits annually. The common denominator to a majority of patient health issues lies with their medications and regiments. In fact, the number of patients who are non-compliant or non-adherent has reached epidemic proportions.  In the past decade, there has been increased exposure of pharmacists as an integral piece of the healthcare puzzle. The purpose of this project is to provide a solution to the medication adherence epidemic via a pharmacist driven medication adherence program in which Medicare patients are educated about their regiment during an in-home visit, physicians are notified and consulted with about the patients current regiment, and medications are delivered on the same day, every month, to ensure adherence. The program aims to continue following patients past 30 days, with numerous goals and road maps to health on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. In addition, patients will be connected to a network of home and community based services to maintain their quality of life. This program is designed to not only keep patients out of the hospital past the 30 day mark, but continue the pharmacist-physician-patient relationship far beyond that time period.

    ETHRA CAC’s organizations are located in the heart of the target geographic area, East Knoxville, which is seen by most of Knoxville as most problematic.   Overcoming Believers Church (OBC) is located at 211 Harriet Tubman Street, 37915; Knoxville Area Urban League is located at 1514 E. Fifth Avenue, 37917.  Coordination of services will be easy and accessible for the targeted group.  Working together, our agencies can become the catalyst for transformation in the lives of those who could benefit from our collective strengths.  Sometimes faith groups can do the work of caring for the least of these on their own; sometimes they need a partner. As partners, we believe injecting the aspect of faith into the process of social service delivery will create an environment that can cultivate a deep change within an individual.

    Dottie Lyvers, Nicole Rosenke, and Joe Nowell, ETHRA Office on Aging









  2. Healthy Life Choices

    Organization:   YMCA of East Tennessee

    Project Title:    Alzheimer’s and Dementia Wellness Program

    Knox County is home to more than 216,000 people over age 60. (Source ET Index). In Tennessee, 12% of seniors have Alzheimer’s and has the 5th highest Alzheimer’s death rate in America. (source: Alzheimer’s Association). Many individuals in Knoxville are caring for afflicted family members and friends who are determined to maintain as much quality of life as they can.

    The YMCA of East Tennessee is a well-established non-profit Christian organization, serving people from all parts of our community with five branch facilities and a focus on healthy living. The YMCA understands the direct benefit that exercise has on general health, and promotes this every day.

    For those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other diseases affecting the brain, exercise not only improves overall health, but current research is showing a clear benefit to slowing the progress of disease. With this grant, the YMCA will be able to build deeper partnerships and create new healthy living programs for our neighbors impacted by brain injury and disease.  The network of physicians, physical therapists, and local long-term care facility partners will be broadened to design a program that will provide benefit to our target population. Investments will be made in specialized equipment, designed to assist those with Alzheimer’s and dementia to improve balance, increase fitness, and help protect brain health.

    Susan Williams and Kim Ballard, YMCA of East Tennessee









    Organization:  Tennessee Clean Water Network

    Project Title:   Taking Root-Planting the Seeds for Healthy Mind, Body & Heart

    The goal of this project is to work with high school age children to encourage them to drink less sugary beverages and more water to reduce obesity and diabetes. TCWN works statewide on Bringing Tap Back, Get Hooked on a Filling (Bringing Tap Back) a project to encourage Tennesseans to drink one less sugary beverage and replace it with water. TCWN works in six cities in Tennessee with a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health.  This planning grant will allow us to branch out to high school aged children because it is known that one third of the Knox County high school population struggles with weight issues, soda is the most heavily consumed beverage by high schoolers, and the reduction of just one sugary beverage a day can halt obesity in 90% of the population.

    The planning grant will be used to forge partnerships with Knox County Schools and surrounding county high schools, create a school‐based intervention program around sugary beverage consumption, and inventory drinking water infrastructure at partner schools.  It will also be a springboard to a larger request to install drinking fountains using our business relationship with Elkay which allows us a discount (45%) on list price for bottle refill station and drinking fountains and to implement the Sodabriety program in the partner high schools. The funding request is primarily for staff time and some travel to learn more about Sodabriety from its creators.

    Renee Hoyos and Kimberley Pettigrew, Tennessee Clean Water Network









    Organization:  United Way of Greater Knoxville 

    Project Title:    Pay for Success Knoxville

    Lives are saved and significant health benefits are realized when substandard housing infrastructures are upgraded through weatherization.   Improvements to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency have extensive positive outcomes:  Home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning risk decrease, residents experience fewer thermal stress and asthma instances thus lessening incidents of injury through trips and falls; and better health leads to improved work and school attendance with greater sense of well-being.

    Emblematic of the low-income family with an energy-inefficient home and excessive utility bills is the cycle of arrearages and service disconnections. Funds intended for medicine, proper clothing or healthy (i.e., more costly) foods are redirected to fines and surcharges.  Ultimately the family could be displaced and deemed homeless, leading to increased health challenges.  Yet funding, such as for the 9,670 Knoxville households receiving payment assistance in 2012, per City of Knoxville, is a stop gap compared to weatherization.

    With needs greatly exceeding charitable resources for low-income weatherization, an innovative funding source is being offered which could sustainably attract millions of dollars.  Through Pay for Success (PfS), private sector investors advance funds through Social Impact Bonds and are paid back through rigorously measured programmatic savings (e.g., reducing medical costs).

    Beth Hawkins and Caleb Fristoe, United Way of Greater Knoxville









  3. Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

    Organization:    Knoxville Academy of Medicine Foundation

    Project Title:     Reducing NAS in East TN

    The objective of Knoxville Area Project Access’ proposed Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Initiative is to reduce the number of babies being born in Knox County, TN dependent on prescription drugs. Knoxville Area Project Access (KAPA) will accomplish this objective through case management interventions, education of patients (both pregnant and at risk) and providers, and through establishing a community referral connector for physicians and other providers. KAPA will collaborate with other organizations carrying out work centered on reducing NAS in the Knoxville community; these organizations including the Metropolitan Drug Commission and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. With these strategies and collaborations in place, KAPA anticipates being able to show meaningful reduction in babies being born with NAS in East Tennessee.

    Danielle Sims and Kim Weaver, KAPA Knoxville Academy of Medicine









    Organization:   Knox Area Rescue Ministries

    Project Title:    Rapid Mental Health and A&D Services for Our Most Vulnerable and Forgotten

    10,000 people accessed homeless services in Knoxville in 2013[1]. Over 60% of these men and women reported mental health or substance abuse issues, and less than 50% have any form of medical insurance. Timely access to mental health and alcohol and drug (A&D) treatment is crucial to the mental, physical and spiritual health of our community’s most vulnerable and forgotten citizens. Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) is requesting $15,000 to research and design new ways to provide rapid and more successful access to these vital services. KARM guests arrive in crisis and are in desperate need of professional support to regain the dignity and stability required to restore themselves individually, and as part of our community. Currently, a guest must wait up to four weeks to obtain services.  Failure to meet the urgent needs of homeless men and women in crisis leads to enormous cost to the community for police, EMS, hospital emergency room care, hospital admittance, and other agency services. Cherokee Health Services and Helen Ross McNabb Center currently have an on-site presence at KARM to help our guests access available care, and support our effort to expand capacity and access to rapid mental health and A&D services for our guests. Quantifiable success will be measured in fewer severe episodes, improved self-assessments and reductions in the use of EMS and hospital services by KARM’s guests.

    [1] All statistical references, unless otherwise noted, are from Homelessness in Knoxville and Knox County, Tennessee 2013-2014; R. Chris Smith, LCSW, Roger M. Nooe, Ph.D., David A. Patterson, Ph.D.

    Joe Haas and Greg Greer, Knox Area Rescue Ministries








  4. Family Strengthening

    Organization:   Knoxville Habitat for Humanity

    Project Title:    Habitat Homes Provide Veteran Families Hope

    It is undeniable that Knoxville has a population of veterans who are currently at risk and/or have experienced homelessness. According to KnoxHMIS, there are over 200 homeless veterans in Knoxville, and according to staff at the local Veterans Administration, several hundred more veterans are staying with family and friends to avoid living on the streets or in local shelters. These are the same men and women who made significant personal sacrifices to protect our freedom. To assist in meeting the need for safe, decent, and affordable housing for local veterans and their families, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity (KHFH) is proposing a home ownership program specifically for veterans that incorporate the best practices of existing Habitat veterans’ programs in other states and partners with local service organizations.

    Habitat’s plan is to re-model returned and donated homes to meet the unique needs of veterans and their families.  Modifications to the existing homeownership program for veteran families will be made, allowing them to rent to own their homes while completing Habitat’s successful and life changing education program. Further, by offering low cost, subsidized deposits, families with an immediate need can move into their permanent homes faster. Research on home ownership reveals that once safety and shelter needs are met, families feel more stable and secure, general health improves, educational and job prospects increase, and the family’s overall sense of dignity and pride grows.  This program – once established – has significant local and national funding options, including the veteran specific grants through The Home Depot Foundation.

    Angie Sledge and Sara Miller, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity









    Organization: Community Action for Affordable Neighborhoods

    Project Title:  Family Development Intake Center

    Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) and Community Action For Affordable Neighborhoods (CAAN) propose the creation of an intake center within CAC to reorganize and strengthen the way services are delivered for low income families by empowering families to work towards good outcomes and engaging in a customized strengths-based service plan based on their specific goals.  A two-generational approach will be used to move the total family from dependency towards self- sufficiency.

    CAC operates an array of programs including Head Start, Office on Aging, CAC Transit, Homeless Services, Utility Assistance, Weatherization, Career Center, and Neighborhood Centers.  These programs are organized to meet specific needs and have created “silos” within the agency. The challenge is to break down these silos and use the resources comprehensively to support long term change in the clients’ lives.

    CAC proposes to use the body of knowledge and best practices that exist within the Community Action Network to assess the current service delivery system, create the intake center, and transform the system from providing services that meet a specific need to a “bundled services” strategy.  Also proposed is the development of a data collection system that will meet grant requirements while providing the information needed for monitoring outcomes and continuous improvement.  Phase I funds will be used to employ a consultant through the Center for Applied Management Practices.  Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds will be reprogrammed to sustain the transformed system going forward.  CSBG cannot be used for the development costs being proposed.

    Misty Goodwin and Barbara Kelly, Knoxville-Knox County CAC









  5. Open Topic

    Organization:   Cherokee Health Systems 

    Project Title:    Medical Respite Program for Homeless in Knoxville/Knox County

    The large homeless population of Knoxville/Knox County is medically needy and often discharged early from hospital care with no safe place to fully recover from their conditions.  Knox Area Rescue Mission (KARM) and Cherokee Health Systems (CHS) propose a planning project to explore establishing respite care on-site at KARM, with mental health and primary care services provided by CHS.  The expected impact of implementation of this project is care delivery in an appropriate setting which means better care experience for the homeless person, significantly reduced costs for the healthcare system and city/county government and other stakeholders. Expected collaborators include local hospitals, Knox County and Knoxville government, emergency responders, TennCare and TennCare  MCOs,  and other agencies serving homeless people. A portion of the projected cost savings to the hospitals, government agencies, responders, and TennCare will provide funds to sustain the anticipated modest relative cost of the program.

    After the start-up purchases of equipment and supplies, CHBC will be sustained through the partnerships with LMU and local physicians and nurses (minimizing staff costs), as well as engaging insurance companies, health care agencies, and other key stakeholders who support youth programs to invest in the program, assisting with operational costs.

    Joel Hornberger, Cherokee Health Systems; Joe Haas and Greg Greer, Knox Area Rescue Ministries

    Joel Hornberger, Cherokee Health Systems; Joe Haas and Greg Greer, Knox Area Rescue Ministries








    Organization:   University of Tennessee Medical Center

    Project Title:    Gynecologic Cancer Education and Screening Program

    The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) proposes the development of a Gynecologic (GYN) Cancer Education and Screening Program.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, the five main types of gynecologic cancer are:  cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar.  Cervical cancer is the only cancer that has a screening test and a vaccination.  There are no dependable screening tests for the other four types.  Knowledge of the warning signs and risks is critically important.

    In Knox County, there is a higher incidence and mortality of cervical cancer compared to the United States and the majority of counties within Tennessee.   Lack of knowledge regarding prevention, the warning signs and access to screening are among the reasons why this incidence is high.  UTMC’s team of gynecologic oncology specialists and its supporting team of educators and outreach coordinators are committed to reducing the incidence of gynecologic cancers.  By developing and implementing comprehensive educational programming on the prevention and warning signs of gynecologic cancers and the availability of screenings for cervical cancer focused on a target audience of women ages 18 and older, the measurable impact will be improved knowledge of prevention options, warning signs and risks.

    UTMC currently works in collaboration with the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and would continue that collaboration through this program.  Ongoing education and screening are the keys to sustaining the program impact.  UTMC is committed to continuing support once the grant funds have been utilized.

    Cynthia Williams and Renee Hawk, University of Tennessee Medical Center









    Organization:   Pellissippi State Community College Foundation

    Project Title:    New Insight: Seeing a Brighter Future with Ophthalmic Technician Training

    Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) is seeking funding to investigate the feasibility of creating a program that will train individuals as Certified Ophthalmic Technicians (COT) to service the eye care needs in rural East Tennessee. Training is generally one to two years in length. COTs work under the supervision and direction of an ophthalmologist to perform ophthalmic clinical evaluations, including visual fields, basic ocular motility, clinical optics, contact lenses, intermediate tonometry, and photography. It is critical that ophthalmic office and eye surgery centers be staffed with skilled technicians.

    Phase I funding will enable PSCC to explore the need for COT training in the PSCC service area. Students trained in this program would obtain gainful employment as certified COTs.  In the event, Phase I demonstrates a significant need, Phase II funding will allow PSCC to seek approval of the program from the Tennessee Board of Regents and equip a lab that will train COTs to serve residents of rural East Tennessee.

    PSCC services an area of approximately one half million people with evidence of continual growth. With an aging population, it is anticipated that the demand for accessible eye care will continue to grow as well. Once the exploratory and start up phases of the COT program have been completed, PSCC will provide support and services to maintain the program.

    Lisa Stamm, Katrenia Hill and Brian Gilpin, Pellissippi State Community College

    Lisa Stamm, Katrenia Hill and Brian Gilpin, Pellissippi State Community College








    Organization:   Thrive Lonsdale

    Project Title:    Lonsdale Fellows

    A Lonsdale Fellows program would give future non-profit and ministry leaders an opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the community, while equipping them for a lifetime of effective service. While Knoxville has a wonderful Fellows program (part of the national Fellows initiative) that brings together recent college graduates and puts them in intentional Christian community where they learn about themselves and about serving God, the vast majority will pursue business careers. The Lonsdale Fellows program would specifically target recent college graduates interested in pursuing non-profit and ministry careers. The Lonsdale Fellows would live in the Lonsdale community, one of the poorest and most diverse communities in Knoxville.  They would have daily opportunities to serve their neighbors and to be a light in a place Thrive hopes to transform.  Partnerships will be sought with the Fellows initiative nationally, Fellows groups with a non-profit or ministry focus, and other similar urban mission programs in other cities in the United States.  Impact will be measured as year after year we had young people equipped to serve and lead cross culturally with an understanding of the need for racial reconciliation and the power of the Gospel in restoring broken places and redeeming lives.  After an initial grant to create the program, the project would be able to sustain itself fully through program fees raised by each Lonsdale Fellow. 

    Rick Kuhlman and Clayton Wood, Thrive Lonsdale

    Rick Kuhlman and Clayton Wood, Thrive Lonsdale