ashland.news
July 24, 2024

Ashland Community Health Foundation awards $258,000 in grants to nonprofits

Rachael Zeitler exits one of Mercy Flight's Mobile Integrated Healthcare vehicles in Medford on Monday. Mercy Flights received a $50,000 grant to purchase an additional vehicle. Rogue Valley Times photo by Jamie Lusch
May 24, 2023

11 local organizations receive Community Health and Wellness grants

By Erick Bengel, Rogue Valley Times

A $50,000 grant will allow Mercy Flights to add a third vehicle to its Mobile Integrated Healthcare fleet.

In 2016, Mercy Flights — a Medford-based medical service that responds to people by air and by road — launched its MIH program, where health care providers attend to patients recently discharged from hospitals.

MIH providers now get more calls than they can respond to, according to Ashley Blakely, Mercy Flight’s public relations manager.

“As we’re bolstering our personnel, we also need to bolster transportation,” she said.

Mercy Flights is one of 11 local nonprofits awarded a Community Health and Wellness grant from the Ashland Community Health Foundation.

The amounts total $258,000, according to Stephanie Roland, the foundation’s associate director.

Mercy Flights, which received the largest grant, will use the vehicle — likely another Subaru SUV — to serve people in Phoenix, Talent and Ashland.

They meet the patients where they are — at their home, in the community — and provide critical care, from intravenous therapy to crisis response to bringing them their medications.

“That takes vehicles,” Blakely said.

The other 10 foundation grants will benefit a range of residents.

Opportunities for Housing, Resources & Assistance (OHRA) received $38,000 to increase staff that will help connect housing-insecure individuals to resources, the release said.

La Clinica’s $37,000 award will help Ashland High School students in need of a mental health provider, and Talent Middle School students will benefit from Rogue Valley Mentoring’s $18,000 grant that expands a mentoring program, the release said.

Rogue Valley Farm to School’s $17,000 grant will go toward the group’s nutrition-promoting partnership with the Phoenix-Talent School District and Ashland’s TRAILS Outdoor School, and Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice’s $14,000 grant will help pay for a mobile food pantry to bring meals to children, seniors and other vulnerable individuals, the release said.

Meanwhile, Ashland Emergency Food Bank received $20,000 to open up multiple food pantry locations offsite, the release said.

Talent Maker City’s $19,000 grant will fund workshops that teach people how to maintain their wheelchairs, and Oregon Adaptive Sports received $11,000 to serve people with disabilities at the Mt. Ashland Ski Area through an “adaptive ski program,” the release said.

The Jackson County Sexual Assault & Response Team received $18,000 for its School Sexual Violence Prevention Program, which “will increase parent and guardian involvement and ensure all materials are available to Spanish-speaking parents,” the release said.

A $16,000 grant to the United Rotary Clubs of Southern Oregon will give children 5 and younger a book every month through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. Bilingual books will be available, the release said.

The annual Ashland Community Health Foundation grant program is now in its second year.

Reach reporter Erick Bengel at ebengel@rv-times.com or 458-488-2031. This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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