Mini-grant applications open now for health-boosting community projects

Posted 10/6/23

Dylan Brooks knew the scary truth from his 13 years of experience as a certified nursing assistant...

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Mini-grant applications open now for health-boosting community projects


WEST PALM BEACH — Dylan Brooks knew the scary truth from his 13 years of experience as a certified nursing assistant: people who identify as LGBTQ+ face higher risks for cardiac arrest and stroke. When he saw the American Heart Association open grant applications in Fall 2022 for AEDs and cardiac emergency response plans, he knew Compass LGBTQ+ Community Center, where he’s the Director of HIV Prevention and Education, needed to apply.

“Thanks to this grant, we’ve been able to get CPR and Basic Life Support training and certifications for our staff, key volunteers and group leaders,” Brooks said. “Every year, more than 25,000 people come to the Compass Center because it’s a supportive and safe place to be – having this training makes us an even safer place in cases of cardiac emergency.”

The Compass Center was one of 13 local organizations to receive a Culture of Health mini-grant from the American Heart Association last year, sponsored by HCA Healthcare Foundation and Palm Health Foundation.

A second round of grants is open now through Oct. 27 for Palm Beach, Martin or St. Lucie County-based organizations addressing blood pressure control, nutrition security, tobacco-free and vape-free environments, or cardiac emergency response plans inclusive of CPR training and AED placement.

“We were able to fund a wide range of projects last year, including getting food pantries cold storage so they can provide clients with fresh produce and setting up blood pressure screenings for community members in nonmedical sites so people can learn their numbers and get connected with a medical professional,” said Sheree Wolliston, Vice President of Community Impact for the American Heart Association Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast.

“The power in these grants is how solutions-oriented they are,” said Ellice Martinez, Assistant Vice President, Community Engagement for HCA East Florida Healthcare. “These local organizations can make simple, sustainable changes with this funding that address a specific need and help boost the health of the community.”

Nonprofits, government agencies and civic organizations in Palm Beach, Martin or St. Lucie County can apply here through Oct. 27. All organizations will be notified by Nov. 30 of their grant status. Grant recipients agree to report on the progress of their project at the six-month mark, and to participate in monthly in-person or virtual meetings from December through May.

“This grant series isn’t just funding projects,” said Abigail Goodwin, Executive Vice President of Palm Health Foundation. “It’s building a network of health champions in the tri-county area that can collaborate to support better health and equity for all.”

The American Heart Association Palm Beach County serves the residents of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties. Staff members, volunteers and donors assist the organization in guiding efforts to reduce the incidences of heart disease and stroke, the first and fifth leading killers, respectively, of American men and women.

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