2017 Phase I Grant Recipients

On June 1, 2017 Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee awarded 24 area organizations more than $200,000 in grants for Trinity Health Initiatives Phase I awards.  These grants will be used to plan community health-related projects that will compete for Phase II implementation grants later this year.  Sixty five proposals were received from regional nonprofits and were ranked on impact and merit by the Trinity board.  Issues addressed include access to medical/dental care, healthy life choices, mental health and addiction recovery, family strengthening as well as an open topic.  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.

Again this year, both large organization and small organization grants were awarded.  In September, the 11 Phase I large organizations and 13 Phase I small organizations winners will present a Phase II implementation proposal and are eligible to receive up to $50,000 for small grants and $150,000 for large grants.   This year’s recipients and their projects include:

2017 Phase I Small Grant Winners with Trinity Board Members

2017 Phase I Small Grant Awards (up to $5,000)

A Sniff Away Foundation Training Dogs to Detect Cancer in Its Early Stages

A Step Ahead Foundation of East Tennessee – Empowering Women at Risk and Reducing N.A.S.

CADES-Concord Adult Day Enrichment Services – Healthy Bodies, Healthy Brains Project

Center of Light, Inc.Meeting the Physical, Spiritual and Emotional Needs of Refugees

COMPASSion Counseling – Healthy Students and Healthy Schools

East Knox Free Medical Clinic – X-Pand

Family Promise of Knoxville – Partnership in Housing:  Homeless to Ownership

FOCUS Ministries Pathway to New Beginnings for Parents

Free Medical Clinic of Oak RidgeHealthy Habits, Healthy Lives Wellness Program

Knoxville Family Justice Center – Camp Unite!

SOAR Youth Ministries – Thrive Lonsdale – Lonsdale Fellows Program

True Purpose Ministries – Residential Program for Pregnant Women With Substance Abuse Disorders

West Lonsdale Baptist Church- West Lonsdale Free Medical Clinic



2017 Phase I Large Grant Winners with Trinity Board Members

2017 Phase I Large Grant Awards (up to $15,000)

Bridge Refugee Services – Tightening the Safety Net for Refugees

East Tennessee Human Resource Agency – Move with Balance with Music

Harmony Family Center, Inc. WOW Camp

Jefferson Rural Clinic, Inc.  – “Bringing Smiles Back” Dental Program

Legal Aid of East TennesseeChildren’s Health Law Partnership

Mid-East Community Action Agency – Healthy Smiles for Adults

Project Dental Access – Providing Access to Dental Care

Senior Citizens Home Assistance – SCHAS Easy Care-Mobile App Technology

Susannah’s House Mom’s Sevier County Reach-Recovery, Empowerment, Activism, Children and Health

Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless Incentivizing Change for Cost-Effective Rural Health Systems

The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. – VEGGIE-Veterans Experiencing Growth Through Garden Interactive Experiences


To find out more about the 2017 Phase I SMALL Grant Recipients, click below:

  1. Access to Care

    Organization: East Knox Free Medical Clinic

    Project Title:  X-Pand

    The need is to reduce wait time (typically up to six weeks) for new patients requiring a physician’s care. We will meet that need by providing to the East Knoxville Community (EKC) a “Stop Gap” initiative that will provide access to non-emergency quality medical care and education/prevention best practices that will assist patients with the management of their healthcare needs, reduce wait time between immediate medical treatment (s) and medical appointments. We proposed to do this by expanding our operating days from once a week to three times weekly. According to our data, we served on average 52 patients per month. The current trend will allow us the potential to serve up to an additional 73 patients per month. Our target audience, uninsured and underserved persons in the EKC who can’t afford medical care. The impact will be measured by the number of patients diagnosed and successfully treated. This information would be capture in a medical data base disseminated through the case manager with follow-up. We will distribute prevention pamphlets to educate our at-risk population, and encourage patients to self-report improved health conditions. Our key partners are the University of Tennessee Medical Center; Smoky Mountain Healthcare and Hospice; volunteer physicians and medical professionals; Magnolia Avenue United Methodist Church; Knoxville Area Project Access (KAPA); CONNECT Ministries; various Churches and nonprofit organizations.

    Russ Johnston and Cynthia Finch, East Knox Free Medical Clinic


    Organization:  West Lonsdale Baptist Church

    Project Title:   West Lonsdale Free Medical Clinic

    According to the 2014-15 Knox County Community Health Report, 54% of the unemployed and 15.5 % of the employed do not have health insurance. The number of those unable to see a doctor due to cost has been trending up since 2005. According to Focus Group, 2014, “the less economically secure you are, the more stress you’re under on a constant daily basis…. And that becomes a contributing factor to all sorts of bad health conditions….” The community served by West Lonsdale Baptist Church (WLBC) consists of low income homes, apartments and subsidized housing developments. A large number of the population has little or no English language skills (Burundian refugees, immigrants from Central America, etc.) which limits their ability to acquire jobs. This in turn limits their access to healthcare, except through emergency rooms of local hospitals.  Currently, David Rankin, M.D. leads a group of medical professionals, pharmacists and Remote Area Medical volunteers who hold monthly free clinics in our area. We propose to establish a permanent free medical clinic in a house owned by WLBC. The clinic will provide basic medical, dental and vision care. Further, we will provide spiritual counseling, building relationships with patients in order to work toward more sustainable solutions and to improve the overall health of the community.

    Jeff Johnson, Todd Haliburton and David Rankind, M.D., West Lonsdale Baptist Church


  2. Healthy Life Choices

    Organization:  CADES-Concord Adult Day Enrichment Services 

    Project Title:   Healthy Bodies, Healthy Brains Project

    CADES would like to purchase adaptive exercise equipment, that can be safely and easily modified for use by our participants, who are elderly and/or suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Vast research has shown that exercise is currently one of the only interventions that improves the physical and brain health of those suffering from dementia, as well as slows the progression of the diseases. CADES would like to implement an exercise program to provide physical and emotional health benefits to its participants. This program will be beneficial to the caregivers as well, who will enjoy a less stressful care giving experience through the improved physical health, elevated mood, and better sleep habits in their loved ones. The impact of this exercise program will be measured objectively through monthly assessments by checking weight and blood pressure, through feedback by collaborating physicians, and by logging the increasing duration that the participants can engage in exercise.

    Celia Gruzalski, Concord Adult Day Enrichment Services (CADES)


    Organization:  Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge 

    Project Title:   Healthy Habits, Healthy Lives Wellness Program

    The Free Medical Clinic (FMC) provides primary healthcare services to poor, uninsured people in Anderson, Roane, and Morgan counties who cannot afford to pay for medical services. FMC patients present with a myriad of health problems including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, COPD, elevated cholesterol, GERD, coronary artery disease, chronic back pain, thyroid disease, arthritis, and chronic kidney disease, conditions which are frequently tied to physical inactivity and poor eating habits (CDC, 2009). FMC proposes to develop a wellness program in Roane County, “Healthy Habits, Healthy Lives,” an ongoing series of classes focusing on three areas: diet and nutrition, fitness and exercise, and life skills (stress management, budgeting, etc.). We have recruited a planning committee of five individuals who will develop the program, its evaluation techniques, and schedule classes for the next year. Through collaborative community partnerships, participants will gain free access to a wide range of health resources and attend classes that promote life-long healthy habits.

    Participants will be assessed for participation in the HHHL program by FMC providers during general visits. Patients suffering from health problems and conditions commonly associated with physical inactivity and poor diet will be referred to the HHHL program. In terms of evaluation, participants will receive a pre and post program health evaluation to track their progress, with incentives for achieving certain milestones. Other indicators we will use include blood pressure, cholesterol, A1C, and BMI.

    Peggy Watson, Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge


  3. Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

    Organization:   A Step Ahead Foundation of East Tennessee  

    Project Title:    Hands of Hope: Empowering Women at Risk and Reducing N.A.S.

    A Step Ahead Foundation E.TN. is dedicated to improving educational, economic, and health outcomes for women at risk of having a baby exposed to prescription drugs (Opioids) by providing family planning education and access to free long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).

    The Opioid epidemic in E.T. has skyrocketed recently resulting in significant increase in babies born dependent on drugs (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, N.A.S.). 85% of women prescribed Opioids in E.T. are not prescribed birth control. Program is designed for women at risk of an unplanned pregnancy who are currently addicted or in recovery. Program will meet women at point of service; rehabilitation centers, support groups, etc.  Impact will be measured by the number of women educated through the family planning education program (4800) and by the number of women who elect to receive a LARC (960). Priority will be to partner with Drug Rehabilitation centers, that have a faith based component to their services, support groups and other Trinity Health Foundation awardees that have programs that work with women in addiction recovery and women who already have a NAS child and are at risk.

    Kathy Hart and Wendi Mullins, A Step Ahead Foundation of East Tennessee


    Organization:  True Purpose Ministries

    Project Title:    Residential Program for Pregnant Women With Substance Abuse Disorders

    Babies born to addicted mothers are filling neonatal intensive care units in Tennessee at an alarming rate. In the past decade, the number of babies in withdrawal has increased tenfold. In 2013, 921 drug-dependent babies were born in the state. This epidemic is rising, and there are few programs in Tennessee that will minister to the women’s spirit, mind and body to produce long-term sobriety and normal parenting.  True Purpose Ministries will focus on providing residential, substance abuse recovery for women who are pregnant in Blount and surrounding counties. Our goal is to promote abstinence from substances as early in the pregnancy as possible. Secondly, our target will be the drug exposed baby to provide the necessary healthcare needed, while educating the mother to take her rightful place with the baby.

    Lynsey Graham and Jeremy Graham, True Purpose Ministries


  4. Family Strengthening

    Organization:  Center of Light, Inc.

    Project Title:   Meeting the Physical, Spiritual and Emotional Needs of Refugees

    Center of Light (COL) exists to meet physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of refugees living in Knoxville, TN, so they can fulfill their God-designed purpose to glorify him in all aspects of their lives. Refugees come from devastating situations to an unfamiliar country with unfamiliar cultures and systems, yet must quickly learn to assimilate in the midst of the trauma involved in leaving their home country. While trying to assimilate, the family unit often breaks down. COL will create a community where refugees will be given the resources to establish an honorable life in Knoxville and will also be taught about God’s love for them and His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through COL refugees will have the opportunity for housing, sustainable employment through COL business ventures, and learn the English language and American customs. Impact will be measured through written questionnaires and skill testing. COL will partner with like-minded faith-based organizations with unique core competencies to accomplish these objectives. Some partners include KIN, Bridge, and Compassion Coalition. Initial funding and the creation of new COL business ventures will be supported through grants and private donations. All COL business ventures will have a financial model that contributes funds to educational and program expenses for ongoing sustainability. Refugee families will be impacted by financially supporting themselves, learning to drive, and master new parenting techniques.

    Isaac Pannell and Jani Whaley, Center of Light


    Organization:  Family Promise of Knoxville 

    Project Title:   Partnership in Housing:  Homeless to Ownership

    Need – Family Promise Knoxville (FPK) redresses family homelessness by engaging a network of faith congregations to shelter and nourish families while FPK professional staff provides intensive case management and wraparound services utilizing other social service agencies. The primary goal is to rehouse families in safe, secure and sustainable housing. Family homelessness represents 36% of Knoxville’s homeless population. Available affordable housing is shrinking but manufactured home(MH) sites or parks are plentiful. FPK proposes to identify abandoned and/or dilapidated homes in existing parks and purchase and rehab the units to provide housing for FPK homeless families.  FPK is the only homeless shelter in Knox County that serves families with children, no matter the configuration of the family. Two parent families, single fathers or even mothers with a boy over age 11 have no other option for shelter in Knoxville because of dormitory style housing. Families who qualify will participate in refurbishing a MH and move in with the opportunity to purchase.

    Mary Thomson LeMense and Holly Fuquay, Family Promise of Knoxville


    Organization:  FOCUS Ministries

    Project Title:   Pathway to New Beginnings for Parents

    The problem we address is a high recidivism rate among formerly incarcerated, the fatherless homes as a result of being incarcerated, and a lack of Faith-Based new beginnings for former prisoners in this area. An estimated 67% of inmates released return to incarceration within 3 years. When a Christ-centered plan for successful transition is followed, the recidivism rate can be reduced to less than 20%.

    Our target audience is the currently incarcerated (preparing for release), the formerly incarcerated ex-offenders who choose to participate in our program, and their family members. Impact: FOCUS Ministries seeks to make a sustainable impact in this target audience through our “Pathway to New Beginnings” which includes healthy life choices, fostering fatherhood and motherhood character initiatives to strengthen families, as well as mentoring former inmates to help them break the cycles of addiction and recidivism.

    Ken Sparks and Shawn Stutz, FOCUS Ministries


    Organization:  Knoxville Family Justice Center  

    Project Title:   Camp Unite!

    Knoxville Family Justice Center (FJC), one of the nation’s and Tennessee’s first centralized domestic violence service providers, invites an investment in Camp UNITE! – a pilot designed to strengthen Knox County families adversely impacted and broken by exposure to family violence. Domestic violence within families creates unsafe, unnurturing homes characterized by secrecy and control. Family members suffer trauma through the repeated periodic acts of violence. The abuse negatively impacts parentchild relationships – children become emotional weapons, and the victimized parent’s authority is undermined. Family instability means children are at greater risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties, suicide, substance abuse, depression, developmental delays, education and attention problems, or involvement in violence. Our goal is to strengthen these families; increasing healthy family functioning and childhood self-esteem, decreasing isolation and improving support networks. Camp UNITE! will expose victimized parents and children to a therapeutic camp, comprehensive assessment, counseling and education, referral to resources, and family supports. Phase I includes testing our curriculum and components. Our outcomes evaluation plan involves collecting data to document achievement of our objectives and activities using standardized measurement scales, surveys, and qualitative feedback. Partners include Harmony Family Center for trauma-informed services and camp, and FJC’s 60+ existing partners for familycentered connections to resources. A partnership with Compassion Coalition will add economic recovery and spiritual resources.

    Amy Dilworth and Tammy White, Knoxville Family Justice Center


  5. Open Topic

    Organization:  A Sniff Away Foundation

    Project Title:   Training Dogs to Detect Cancer in Its Early Stages

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. Current methods of screening for cancer are invasive, costly, and produce a high rate of false positives. When cancer is diagnosed, it is often in the late stages 3 or 4 where the cancer has spread and survival rates are low. Dogs can provide a highly accurate, non-invasive, low-cost method of detecting cancer at stage 1 and some at stage 0. Diagnosing cancer this early significantly increases chances for a cure. Statistics show that 1 in 3 people will get diagnosed with cancer.  We plan to help by partnering with local doctors and hospitals to get them to incorporate early cancer screening into annual physical exams for their patients. This additional diagnosis tool will help our communities fight cancer through early detection and increase the survival rates considerably.

    Howard Dropkin and Rosana Dropkin, A Sniff Away Foundation


    Organization:  COMPASSion Counseling

    Project Title:   Healthy Students and Healthy Schools

    The mission of COMPASSion Counseling (CC) is to provide professional and compassionate counseling services to those who seek direction by incorporating psychological, physical, spiritual and community aspects of their lives. The grant funds will be used to replicate a Resilience Builder Program (RBP) that was implemented at Alcoa City Schools (ACS) in spring 2015.  The RBP is a cognitive behavioral group therapy program for youth. The curriculum is flexible and customizable. The expected measurable impact of the RBP includes: increased levels of confidence, self-control, and the use of coping strategies.  Blount County School (BSC) Coordinators invite Eagleton, Rockford, Lanier and Mary Blount schools. These schools are in neighborhoods where families, children and schools lack resources to address emotional and behavioral needs of students. When implemented, this project will reach nearly 400 students in grades four to eight.

    Lakshmie Napagoda and Kelly Roberts, COMPASSion Counseling


    Organization:  SOAR Youth Ministries – Thrive Lonsdale  

    Project Title:    Lonsdale Fellows Program

    Within the framework of intentional Christian community and extended learning for college graduates, there is not a pipeline to train nonprofit and ministry leaders in Knoxville. We want to create a chapter of the national Fellows Program that is focused on precisely that segment, attracting outstanding leaders who will learn and serve in Knoxville and around the country.  We will measure the impact over the course of the year in the lives of the program participants, and measure the impact of the work they do as they live in the neighborhood and volunteer together. We will also follow up as we expand an alumni network with resources for those deployed in churches and various ministry opportunities.

    Lori McKelvey and Clayton Wood, Thrive Lonsdale



To find out more about the 2017 Phase I LARGE Grant Recipients, click below:

  1. Access to Care

    Organization:  Jefferson Rural

    Project Title:  “Bringing Smiles Back” Dental Program

    Dental care for the indigent in Jefferson and Grainger counties is virtually unavailable.  Because of its unavailability oral health in this area is quickly becoming a crisis creating comorbidity affecting the entire body. Jefferson Rural will use grant funds to work with two part-time volunteer dentists and collaborate with Hiwassee College to provide dental hygiene appointments.  Appointments will be provided to people ages 18 and up with incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty level who reside in Jefferson or Grainger county.  Improving the dental hygiene of these individuals will have a many positive impacts including cessation of oral pain due to infection and decay, increased health from proper education and dental care, reduction in workplace absenteeism, and elimination of ER visits for abscessed teeth.

    Ken Avent and Gaile Avent, Jefferson Rural Clinic


    Organization:  Mid-East Community Action Agency 

    Project Title:   Healthy Smiles for Adults

    Community Needs Assessment results indicate lack of affordable dental/preventive care continues to rise as a priority need in the Appalachian communities we serve. Appropriate dental care improves/prevents major health issues associated to dental hygiene such as; diabetic complications, heart disease, dementia and respiratory infections. A task force was formed in Roane County to develop a plan to address the high need(s) county-wide serving Roane and Loudon Counties.

    The task force proposes the following in obtaining affordable dental care:

     Partner with local dentist to provide services at a predetermined cost.

     Provide individual(s) assistance to receive dental/preventive care.

     Provide education on dental health and preventive care.

     Give individual(s) care packets consisting of; toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, etc.

    Mid-East Community Action Agency (MECAA) operates as evidence based agency producing measureable outcomes under the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) cycle (Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Results, and Evaluation). Providing dental/preventive care to eligible individuals may improve/prevent underlying health issues due to lack of affordable dental care, creating healthier communities in Roane and Loudon County.

    Amber Jacks and Tonya Williams, Mid-East Community Action Agency


    Organization:  Project Dental Access – 

    Project Title:   Providing Access to Dental Care

    Project Dental Access (PDA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose mission is to “walk hand in hand” with other non-profit organizations to deliver quality dental care to individuals that otherwise would not have access.

    Although there are several dental programs in the East Tennessee region which help indigent patients receive some basic dental care, only a small fraction of the patients who could benefit from these services are reached. PDA is working to provide quality dental care via a network of dental professionals that agree to assess and treat indigent patients in their private offices at little to no cost to the patient targeting indigent patients in need of dental care and reside in Knox county, the eight contiguous counties, and nine additional counties served by the Second District Dental Society.

    Debra Hall-Fisher and Lydia McDonald, Project Dental Access


  2. Healthy Life Choices

    Organization:  East Tennessee Human Resource Agency

    Project Title:   Move with Balance with Music

    “More than 250,000 adults aged 65 and older are hospitalized each year for hip fractures.   A hip fracture may signal the end of independence; one in four previously independent seniors remain in a long term care facility one year after injury.  Of the fifty states, Tennessee ranked among the bottom 5 states for the highest rates of hip fractures, 7.4% per thousand Medicare beneficiaries. Tennessee ranked 33rd in the Nation for the percentage of adults age 65 or older who self-reported having had a fall within the past 12 months.  (Source:  United Health Foundation – America’s Health Rankings® 2016).

    Our agency’s services include Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and numerous Arthritis Foundation programs, all of which are evidence-based programs. However, many programs are not designed to include patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  Body balance is impaired in Alzheimer patients when compared to the cognitively preserved elderly.

    East Tennessee Human Resource Agency proposes to implement the Move with Balance® Program, which utilizes an innovative mentor delivery system.  The program combines movement with cognitive skills, challenging the brain and body simultaneously.  Independent living senior volunteers and caregivers will serve as mentors in assisting frailer seniors and individuals with Alzheimer Disease or dementia.

    Cynthia Rockey and Dottie Lyvers, East Tennessee Human Resource Agency


    Organization:  Harmony Family Center, Inc. 

    Project Title:   WOW Camp

    Harmony would develop the WOW Camp (Wonders of Wellness) program, a state-of-the-art therapeutic wellness program designed to improve the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of at-risk East Tennessee children. Our therapeutic approach will be based on the latest research in brain science and best practice in sensorimotor therapies and outdoor play. U.S. children spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation. One in three Tennessee children is overweight; one in five is obese and nationally, Tennessee ranks next to last in physical activity.  Sedentary living is damaging children’s physical and mental health, and the stressors of our society threaten children’s spiritual well-being. Moreover, an opiate abuse epidemic is devastating East Tennessee families, with growing numbers of children suffering from traumatic abuse and neglect. Research shows activities involving sensory movement and active play are therapeutic, and movement guided by a trained professional can heal damage to body, mind, and spirit caused by trauma.  The WOW Camp program will be based on promising therapies: trauma-sensitive yoga, dance, drumming, equine/canine interaction, and the benefits of outdoor play in nature. Building on Harmony’s trauma-informed expertise and experience presents an opportunity to respond to need, create an innovative wellness program, increase resources for at-risk children, build community capacity, and develop the model as a potential revenue source.

    Pam Frye and Evelyn Wilcox, Harmony Family Center


  3. Mental Health and Addiction Recovery

    Organization:  Bridge Refugee Services  

    Project Title:   Tightening the Safety Net for Refugees

    Bridge Refugee Services seeks funding to improve access to mental health services for Knoxville-area refugees/asylees/Special Immigrant Visa holders (collectively, “refugees”) whose emotional or mental conditions interfere with their ability to work, parent their children, or attend school. Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population. Most have suffered traumatic experiences. Many are reluctant to discuss mental health issues and delay disclosure beyond Bridge’s ability to help. Bridge helps refugees navigate the mental health system but is funded to provide intensive case management (ICM) for only one year from a refugee’s arrival.  During the grant, Bridge will 1) Introduce scientific evidence and best practices developed at Harvard and elsewhere to identify at-risk persons early; 2) Extend ICM beyond one year to link refugees with local mental health providers; and 3) Educate and involve the client and client’s community to achieve continuing care. Phase I will develop a screening program, address acute needs, and begin training.

    Judy Goans and Katie Weber, Bridge Refugee Services


    Organization:  Susannah’s House 

    Project Title:   Mom’s Sevier County Reach-Recovery, Empowerment, Activism, Children and Health

    Susannah’s House is a faith-based organization 501c3 non-profit in Knoxville, Tennessee, started in 2014 with the help of Trinity Health Foundation funds given to Cokesbury Church. We serve the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of mothers and their prenatally exposed infants who are recovering from substance abuse. We are licensed as a mental health Intensive Outpatient Program by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Susannah’s House, Inc. now requests funds for further outreach to Sevier County.

    Due to the success of the Susannah’s House model in treating pregnant and parenting women in the Knoxville area, we have been asked by a number of agencies to replicate the program in other areas. After the Sevier County wildfires, mental health professionals did assessments to find out the needs in the area. One need uncovered was a number of pregnant women addicted to opioids who are underserved. Our plan is to create a satellite Susannah’s House Program called R.E.A.C.H. for Sevier County.

    A successful collaboration with and referrals from LeConte Medical Center, the Sevier County Health Department, the office of Dr. Jennifer Madron, ObGyn, the Sevier County Department of Children’s Services, The Holston Conference of the UMC, and Susannah’s House graduate peer recovery will provide help to an underserved population. There will be a reduction in substance-exposed infants.  Mothers will maintain sobriety, and children will be cared for in healthy families.

    Dick Richards and Rebekah Fetzer, Susannah’s House


    Organization:  The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.  

    Project Title:    VEGGIE-Veterans Experiencing Growth Through Garden Interactive Experiences 

    There are currently 21.3 million veterans living in the United States with over 480,000 living in Tennessee. Just under twenty percent of veterans in Tennessee have a service-related disability (Veteran Statistics, 2014). Studies confirm that veterans are at risk for a variety of mental health issues related to trauma during their service. Issues include Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, substance abuse, homelessness and suicide. A promising new area of treatment for veterans is horticultural therapy. Horticultural therapy is the engagement of horticultural activities by a trained therapist to achieve treatment goals. Studies show that horticultural therapy can reduce stress, improve mood and help with other invisible wounds incurred from service. Funding for this proposal will be used to develop and assess outcomes of a pilot horticultural therapy program in Knoxville Tennessee called VEGGIE – Veterans Experiencing Growth through Garden Interactive Experiences. Measurable outcomes of the program include an assessment of the before and after responses to the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form (Q-LES-Q-SF) and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Civilian Version (PCLC). Program success is anticipated to show improved scores on the Q-LES-Q-SF and PCLC as well as positive evaluation data that can be used to fully implement VEGGIE on a larger scale. Potential collaborators include Tennessee AgrAbility and the Helen Ross McNabb Center. Program financial sustainability will be ensured through program fees, additional grant funding, train the trainer fees to expand the program, and additional funding from sponsors and donors.

    Jill Passano and Derrick Stowell, The University of Tennessee Foundation


  4. Open Topic

    Organization:  Legal Aid of East Tennessee

    Project Title:   Children’s Health Law Partnership

    One in six people live in poverty. Each has at least one civil legal problem that negatively impacts his or her health.  Imagine the frustration of a pediatrician who must send a sick child home to a moldy apartment, only to see the child return repeatedly because they didn’t respond to medical treatment… or a physician who can’t release a successfully-treated child from the hospital because the child has no home to which they can return.  Not every factor that exacerbates an illness is medical.  Fully 60 percent of an individual’s health is determined by social and environmental factors such as income, access to health care, access to enough healthy food, housing, education, and personal safety. (National Center on Medical Legal Partnership, 2016) (NCMLP)).

    Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) proposes to establish a Children’s Health-Law Partnership (CHLP) in collaboration with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH).  This project will place a legal aid attorney in ETCH with the support of the staff of LAET.  The proposed CHLP includes civil legal representation of low-income children and their families referred by medical teams.  The CHLP focuses on addressing legal matters impacting the health of patients, cross-training between the attorney and healthcare professionals, distributing legal educational information, and documenting services and outcomes, including economic benefit to both patient and hospital.

    Debra House and Sheri Fox, Legal Aid of East Tennessee


    Organization:   Senior Citizens Home Assistance  

    Project Title:  SCHAS Easy Care-Mobile App Technology

    It was brought to SCHAS’ attention that several of our competitors in the private sector offer the capability for clients to schedule services using mobile app technology.  This led us to do 4 weeks of research about what our organization needs to do to be prepared for the next generation of clients; those who are in retirement and do to declining health, will need services.  This demographic of people (65+) and their family members are tech savvy and want flexibility to handle their schedules.  Technology that would enable the client to schedule services; to select their own caregiver; all simply by using their smart phone, is a great marketing tool to keep SCHAS current.  There is a major crisis of caregiver shortages in this industry. This technology would also benefit caregivers who have a fluctuating schedule and want to work part-time.  The ability to create a profit and ability to respond to client service requests quickly, will enable them to get the hours they need in and have control of their schedule.  This would benefit people who are semi-retired or in school.

    Tim Howell and Jessica Popek, Senior Citizens Home Assistance


    Organization:  Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless  

    Project Title:   Incentivizing Change for Cost-Effective Rural Health Systems

    The Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless (TVCH) proposes to implement H3, a housing + supportive services + co-production project incorporating proven strategies for overcoming barriers to good health in rural Appalachia.  Research demonstrates what common sense tells us; housing stability is a major determinant of health. H3 is a Rural Homelessness Institute project combining best practices for getting the homeless quickly into stable housing, coordinating services to improve healthcare, and coproducing goods and services alongside the people who stand to benefit from them. H3 is well-aligned with our mission to provide services, education, and leadership for lasting solutions to homelessness, a potent driver of ill health and its concomitant societal costs, and it is the product of our vision of creating a region where homelessness is rare and brief. H3 will reduce healthcare costs with cost-effective measures for assisting vulnerable populations; (b) promote personal self-efficacy and support health-seeking behaviors; and (c) incentivize the personal, financial and psychological growth necessary for optimal health.  In Phase I, TVCH will launch H3 with a fitness program in Pigeon Forge and a farming cooperative at Century Harvest Farms™ in Greenback while preparing for a full-scale Phase II implementation.

    Stanley Taylor and Jen Patterson, Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless