The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has announced grants totaling $3 million to seven rural and urban community groups and agencies working to reduce the risks of chronic disease for school-aged children in the state.
Awarded through the foundation's Investing in Kentucky's Future initiative, the grants will be used to identify critical children's health needs and determine the most promising models and strategies to address them. Groups and/or agencies awarded grants include the Clinton County School District, Fitness for Life Around Grant County, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, the Green River Area Development District, the Kentucky Heart Foundation, Kentucky River Community Care, and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
Chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, substance abuse, and some mental illnesses persist over time, reduce an individual's quality of life, and increase the risk of early death. According to the foundation, national statistics show that children in Kentucky are at greater risk than children in several surrounding states and the nation generally in terms of several chronic disease factors.
"The health of our next generation is at stake," said foundation CEO and president Susan Zepeda. "Our goal is to help communities make positive changes in policies and service access that will help our children grow into healthy, productive adults. Regardless of the challenges, we want to help communities find new pathways to positive solutions."