Health Improvement in North Carolina Funding Announcement

We are pleased to announce our grants process for the August 14, 2018, grants application deadline.

Last year, as we celebrated our 70th anniversary, the Trust released an updated Strategic Vision to underscore why we do this work and the change we support. With that Vision grounding us, we have continued to evolve our work and grantmaking to help the communities we support thrive.

In this funding announcement, you will see that we are making grants around specific bodies of work. This represents our shift toward concentrating on the outcomes we want to see at the individual, county, or state level. We will continue to deepen our focus on outcomes, rather than focus on issues, because we believe that this is the most effective way to achieve long-term, sustainable change.

Listening to community, applying an equity lens, and emphasizing systems change will be integral to all we do to fulfill the vision of Kate B. Reynolds to improve the quality of life and health for financially disadvantaged North Carolinians.

 

Health Improvement Statewide

Access to Care

Expand health insurance coverage in North Carolina.

Several studies by the National Institute of Medicine conclude that a lack of insurance is hazardous to individual and community health. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, has led to historic gains in health insurance coverage. A robust enrollment effort in North Carolina helped reduce the uninsured rate from about 21 percent in 2010 to a little more than 10 percent in 2016. Still, there is more work to be done to expand access to health services for the nearly 1 million North Carolinians who remain uninsured.

As part of our long-standing commitment to increase health care access, the Trust is seeking proposals that support insurance enrollment efforts targeting uninsured residents. We also will consider applications for projects that educate the public about the opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage.

The goal of this funding opportunity is to increase enrollment rates in targeted areas or among targeted populations to improve access and promote the sustainability of critical services. Grant applications to support enrollment must address scale and sustainability. We will prioritize enrollment efforts that target communities with large numbers of eligible but unenrolled residents or counties with low enrollment penetration rates. The Trust is also looking for proposals that provide additional assistance to immigrants wishing to gain insurance coverage. We understand that support for the enrollment infrastructure may be part of these proposals.

In addition to increasing enrollment penetration, the Trust is interested in efforts to educate the public about the opportunity to close the Medicaid coverage gap. We will prioritize applications that educate people who would benefit most from expansion, as well as key stakeholders, including: providers, first responders, and local business leaders. Proposals should include measures to show progress in helping communities comprehend the complex issue of closing the coverage gap.

Behavioral Health

Reduce substance misuse rates across the state.

Many communities in North Carolina struggle with high rates of substance misuse. The surge in prescription drug poisonings and overdose deaths is highlighting an issue that has long impacted our state’s most vulnerable residents. Frayed safety net resources and overwhelmed treatment providers are compounding the problem. The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services notes that between 1999 and 2016 more than 12,000 residents died from opioid-related overdoses. Local stakeholders are coming together across the state to create action plans and build coordinated systems of care.

The Trust has a long-standing interest in addressing substance misuse. As part of this commitment and to support collaborative work at the local level, the Trust invites proposals to establish new substance misuse prevention and recovery coalitions and to help existing coalitions create strategic plans that use a Recovery-Oriented System of Care model or a Strategic Prevention Framework. The Trust will prioritize applications from communities that are experiencing the greatest rates of opioid use and have high concentrations of poverty. We will also prioritize projects that directly engage people who have been underserved and marginalized. The goal of this opportunity is to better align community partners working to reduce substance use rates and provide paths to treatment and recovery.

 

Health Improvement – Southeast

Improve health in Southeastern North Carolina.

Bladen, Robeson, and Columbus counties boast a rich agricultural history and a diverse population deeply rooted in their communities, but they rank near the bottom of the state on health outcomes, according to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also rates these counties as persistently economically poor, meaning more than 20 percent of residents live in poverty, year after year, which directly ties to poor health outcomes.

In Bladen, Columbus, and Robeson counties, the Trust is interested in supporting promising programs, systems change work, or innovative ideas that will help residents and communities thrive, increase equitable access to health care, and achieve equitable health outcomes. 

We are seeking proposals that engage residents, underscore a belief in community, focus on outcomes, and build local approaches to complex problems. The Trust recognizes that sometimes these solutions will fall outside of our traditional funding interests. We will assess projects based on potential impact rather than fit with a specific issue area.

 

Healthy Places NC

Beaufort County

Improve behavioral health services and reduce substance misuse.

Beaufort County has demonstrated a sustained interest in improving behavioral health. The community is coalescing around the importance of a comprehensive and coordinated approach to reduce substance misuse rates in the county. News reports note that in 2017 Beaufort County Emergency Medical Services responded to more than three overdoses per week. Survey respondents to the most recent community health needs assessment recognized alcohol and drug use as the biggest issues impacting quality of life. Stakeholder groups, such as the Behavioral Health Task Force, are prioritizing substance misuse as a key area of work.

To advance these efforts, the Trust is interested in proposals from community-based or outside organizations to provide technical assistance to map behavioral health assets and services, identify gaps, create action plans, and/or prioritize strategies for reducing substance misuse rates. Priority will be given to those organizations that are listening to and addressing the needs of the most underserved communities. This process should serve as a first step in a multi-phase initiative to achieve measurable outcomes.

Increase regular and ongoing access to healthy food for low-income communities.

There also is community momentum in Beaufort County around the drive to increase the availability of healthy food. Residents are starting new farmer’s markets and community gardens. The Healthy Eating and Active Living collaborative is creating a food council. A stakeholder group is forming to update a comprehensive food study initially conducted in 2013.

To support this initiative, the Trust is seeking proposals from organizations that can support the food study and implementation work. The Trust will prioritize applications from groups that have planning and coalition building experience and understand regional food systems. The objective of this opportunity is to help lead the food study and action planning process in Beaufort County.

Halifax County

Increase quality active living opportunities and programming in communities with few places to be active in support of decreasing childhood obesity.

In 2015 Halifax County residents and leaders convened and mobilized around recreation access, leading to the development of a county-wide recreation plan. More than 600 residents and organizations, including youth, churches, and municipalities came together to support the county-wide development and implementation of the recreation master plan. In support of quality active living opportunities for all residents throughout the county, the plan recommended establishing a Parks and Recreation Department at the county level. To date, a county-wide recreation body has not been created.

The Trust is interested in applications for projects that will help the community advocate for and establish county-wide recreation resources and create an equitable recreation system for residents. We will prioritize applications from grassroots organizations that engage residents, especially youth, in the process. This work might include public education, communications, or advocacy efforts focused on establishing a county-wide recreation department. The goal of this opportunity is to improve equity in the development of and access to recreation resources across Halifax County.

We are also interested in proposals in support of the recreation plan’s recommendation to develop county parks in Halifax. The Trust is specifically interested in supporting the development of community parks in Eastern and Western Halifax County where residents do not have access to parks. According to the recreation plan, areas that might benefit from these community parks include Enfield, Scotland Neck, and Hobgood in the East and Littleton and Hollister in the West. Proposals should align with the county-wide recreation plan’s recommendations around type, size, and location of facilities, as well as areas of greatest need.

McDowell County

Increase healthy eating and active living by establishing a culture of health in McDowell County.

Residents in McDowell County want to shift social norms in the region and increase the number of community members who prioritize healthy eating and active living as a core value and who can help drive local policies. They also want to promote the idea that the health of the county hinges on engaging everyone, especially marginalized individuals and organizations, in efforts to build a thriving community. To support this work, the Trust is interested in building the capacity of two important constituencies: youth and residents of areas that have been historically marginalized. This work should serve as a cornerstone to create an inclusive culture of health in McDowell.

The Trust welcomes proposals for evidence-based programs that build upon existing youth engagement work being conducted to bring young voices into community conversations, foster and support mentorship activities that help strengthen intergenerational connections, and support leadership development for young people who live or work in West Marion, Marion East, or Old Fort. We will also accept applications to test innovative ideas to increase youth involvement in creating a culture of health.

The Trust is also interested in applications that support community engagement efforts—specifically in West Marion, Marion East, and Old Fort. We are also seeking applications from community-based or outside organizations to provide technical assistance to local leaders, organizations, or the community to do systems change work.

Reduce rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths.

Like many rural counties, McDowell County has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic. According to state statistics reported by the McDowell News, McDowell County’s rate of opioid prescriptions is significantly higher than the state average, and drug overdoses in the county are on the rise.  The community has begun testing evidence-informed and innovative approaches to combat substance misuse.

To advance substance misuse prevention and treatment efforts, the Trust is interested in proposals from community-based or outside organizations to provide technical assistance to map behavioral health assets and services, identify gaps, create action plans, and prioritize strategies for reducing substance use rates. Priority will be given to those organizations that are listening to and addressing the needs of the most underserved communities. This process should serve as a first step in a multi-phase initiative to achieve measurable outcomes.

Burke, Edgecombe, and Nash Counties

Improve health in Burke, Edgecombe, and Nash counties.

Burke, Edgecombe, and Nash counties are the most recent additions to the Trust’s Healthy Places NC work to improve health in rural communities. We continue to be committed to building local approaches to solve complex problems.

In these counties, we are interested in supporting promising programs, systems change work, or innovative ideas that will help residents and communities thrive, increase equitable access to health care, and achieve equitable health outcomes. 

We are seeking proposals that engage residents, underscore a belief in community, and focus on outcomes. The Trust recognizes that sometimes these solutions will fall outside of our traditional funding interests. We will assess projects based on potential impact rather than fit with a specific issue area.

Contact the Trust to Assess Eligibility

To engage in an initial conversation about proposal ideas for the August cycle, we request all interested parties contact Program Coordinator Alison Duncan at alison@kbr.org or 336-397-5521. Depending on alignment with issues, interests, and strategies, we may then schedule an appointment with you and your regional program officer.

Please call as early as possible in the cycle to discuss if your project is a fit. We request that you schedule an initial call before August 1, 2018.

The grant application deadline is August 14, 2018, at 5:00 pm.

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