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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United Way Commits $3.16 Million to Health Programs


Three-year investment supports 25 efforts in greater Battle Creek Annual grants will help address health needs in greater Battle Creek. 2013 County Health Rankings underscore needs and opportunity to change the story on health issues in Calhoun County. United Way remains committed to mobilizing human and financial resources to assure healthy choices and access to high quality and affordable health care for individuals and families. Battle Creek, Mich. (April 15, 2013) The United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR) Board of Directors has approved three-year grants totaling $3.16 million for 25 area programs aimed at improving health outcomes in the greater Battle Creek area. The investment comes at a crucial time. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations 2013 County Health Rankings (www.countyhealthrankings.org), Calhoun County ranks 78 out of 83 Michigan counties in overall population-level health outcomes. Instead of allowing these statistics to define our community, we believe they can galvanize us to come together and to change the story, said Mike Larson, President & CEO of UWBCKR. A Health Vision Council, consisting of community members and service providers, assessed the most critical issues and challenges related to improving health outcomes, including access to care, improved physical health and well-being, obesity, nutrition, racial disparities and impact of social and economic factors. The council then developed an investment plan that included the following strategic focus areas: 1) Basic health needs 2) Maternal, infant and child health 3) Healthy lifestyles 4) Access to care Local organizations were invited to apply for program funding based on these focus areas. Trained volunteers spent hours reviewing each application, interviewing program providers and finally determining which of the programs had the greatest potential. Our Health Investment Team was deliberate, thorough, thoughtful and measured in our approach, really assessing the needs of the community and marrying them with action plans to address the needs, said Nancy Lassen, Chair of United Ways Health Investment Team and Grant Process.

Following is a listing of the programs and agencies that will receive funding under each of the Health Investment Areas. Basic Health Needs Organization Name Food Bank of South Central Michigan Community Healthcare Connections Community Healthcare Connections Legal Services of South Central Michigan Calhoun County Dept. of Public Health Sprout Urban Farms S.A.F.E. Place Haven of Rest Ministries Haven of Rest Ministries Maternal, Infant and Child Health Organization Name Calhoun County Dept. of Public Health Healthy Lifestyles Organization Name Family & Children Services Family & Children Services Family & Children Services Substance Abuse Council Battle Creek Family YMCA First Tee of Battle Creek Boys and Girls Club of Battle Creek Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun Co. C.A.R.E.S. Access to Care Organization Name Community Healthcare Connections Community Healthcare Connections Community Healthcare Connections Integrated Health Partners VOCES Family Health Center of Battle Creek Program Name Nurse Family Partnership

Program Name Food Distribution Prescription Drug Access Program Health Assistance Fund Healthy Shelter & Affirmative Litigation School Wellness Program Fresh on Wheels Shelter Program Life Recovery Program for Men Life Recovery Program for Women

Program Home-Based Services School-Based Services The Counseling Center Tobacco Cessation Healthy U BC First Tee Healthy Kids Initiative Healthy Lifestyles Program Child Advocacy Center HIV Prevention and Care Program

Program Name Dentists Partnership Mobile Medical Services Nursing Clinic of Battle Creek Community Healthcare Access to Information Network (CHAIN) Language Services Health Care Supports for Families

Larson lauded the efforts of local volunteers and agencies striving to address key health needs. We are fortunate to live and work in a region where so many people generously give of their time, talent, human and financial resources to work together and change the story, he said. About the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region: United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region mobilizes the caring power of the community to advance the common good. Created in 2012 through the merger of the Greater Kalamazoo United Way and 2

the United Way of Greater Battle Creek, and now the second largest United Way in Michigan, UWBCKR engages people across the region to address the most pressing needs in education, income and health. www.changethestory.org Media Contacts: Chris Riker, Director of Marketing & Communications

Phone: 269.343.2524 Email: criker@uwbckr.org