June 2007

Endowment grants $2.5 million to promote healthy weight in children

June 6, 2007 - The Endowment has dedicated $2.5 million to promoting healthy weight in children as the initial phase of its new long-term commitment, the Healthy Weight Initiative. The Endowment's 2006 progress report, Healthy Communities, Healthy Weight [pdf], describes the Initiative. 2007 grant recipients include 15 schools and five neighborhood projects; additional funding will allow the expansion of a pediatric diabetes program.

In the initial phase of its Healthy Weight Initiative, the Endowment has awarded the following grants through a competitive application process:

  • $480,000 to the WakeMed Pediatric Diabetes Program to accommodate the increasing number of children referred to the program while providing continuity of care.
  • $600,000 for five projects through the Eat Smart Move More NC Active Community and Neighborhood Grants Program, which will increase access and reduce barriers to opportunities for active living. Funded projects at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Town of Cary, the Town of Holly Springs, Gethsemane Seventh Day Adventist Church and Triangle Transit Authority will be administered by the N.C. Public Health Foundation and the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch of the N.C. Division of Public Health.
  • $450,000 for 15 Wake County public elementary schools to support healthier school environments as part of the Wake to Wellness Grants Program. The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will oversee the grants and actively assist the participating schools: Baucom, Cedar Fork, Conn Magnet, Lincoln Heights, Olds, Penny Road, Vance, Baileywick, Farmington Woods, Middle Creek, Morrisville, Olive Chapel, Washington, Yates Mill and Zebulon.

Piehl on WUNC's 'The Story'

June 6, 2007 - Dr. Mark Piehl, who directs the WakeMed Pediatric Diabetes Program, appeared on WUNC's "The Story" on May 21 as part of the show's multi-day series on childhood obesity. Host Dick Gordon had Piehl describe his innovative work helping children reduce the risk of developing diabetes and treating those whose obesity has become life-threatening. The Endowment recently approved a second grant for expansion of the WakeMed program to accommodate more children while providing continuity of care. To listen to Piehl's interview, visit http://thestory.org/archive/ and navigate under "stories by date" to May 21.

TelAbility to Expand with New Grant

June 6, 2007 - Young children with disabilities and their families will have better access to specialized services and Early Intervention professionals will strengthen their community of practice as a result of a three-year grant approved April 23. TelAbility, an innovative, community oriented, interdisciplinary program uses telecommunications to improve the lives of children with disabilities. The Endowment will provide $557,172 so TelAbility can expand the Wake Area Telehealth Collaborative Helping Children with Special Needs (WATCH), a project the Endowment also supported with an earlier three-year grant.

WATCH connects and coordinates the expertise of more than 275 Wake County professionals with developmental day care centers, community service agencies, residential care facilities and others through video conferencing, a Web site, a listserv and an electronic newsletter. The new grant will allow TelAbility to respond to emerging needs identified by families and professionals and expand its capacity to disseminate information, increase communication, eliminate barriers, improve care coordination and strengthen professional development. Joshua Alexander, MD, who directs the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Hospitals, leads the TelAbility project. Contact him at joshua_alexander@med.unc.edu.