Vidant to offer health grants

Published 12:10 am Saturday, February 11, 2012

Community health grant funds available for wellness projects

Vidant Health is accepting applications from Beaufort County and mainland Hyde County groups to develop projects that will improve the health of residents of the two areas, hospital officials announced Friday.

The goal of the effort — the Community Benefit Grant Program — is to support projects that focus on wellness and disease prevention that not only lead to healthier people but reduce their need for hospitalization, according to hospital officials.

Up to $100,000 each is available to fund projects that address those health issues identified as priorities in the communities served by the two Vidant-affiliated hospitals in Beaufort County.

“The Vidant Community Benefit Grant Program gives us the opportunity to fund programs outside of the hospital that are consistent with our mission of enhancing the quality of life for the people in our community that we touch, serve and support,” said Harvey Case, president of Vidant Beaufort and Vidant Pungo, in a press release announcing the grants.

Committees of local residents working with Vidant Beaufort in Washington and Vidant Pungo in Belhaven have identified three areas of focus to help guide their funding choices for the 2012-2013 grant cycle — access to care, chronic disease prevention and management and nutrition and physical activity, according to Pam Shadle, public information officer for Vidant Beaufort.

Both hospitals will accept applications for grants to fund projects that focus on these three priorities, she said.

Applications for grants from Vidant Beaufort should focus on programs benefiting residents in the Washington, Chocowinity and Aurora areas. Applications from Vidant Pungo should focus on programs in northeastern Beaufort County and mainland Hyde County.

The application deadline is March 16. Only government entities or nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding.

This will be the sixth year that grants focusing on community health issues have been awarded to regional hospitals affiliated with University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, now Vidant Health, according to information distributed about the program.

In 1998, then-Pitt County Memorial Hospital made a substantial contribution to the Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation, now Vidant Health Foundation, to establish the Community Benefit and Health Initiatives Grants Program.

In 2006, the program was expanded to work with then-University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina’s regional hospitals to fund grants in their communities as part of the Regional Community Benefit Grants Program, the program information says.

The systemwide program seeks to educate residents about disease prevention and management and provide them with the tools to participate in their own health care and make health-related programs in local communities available and more accessible to those who need them.

Organizations interested in receiving a grant application from Vidant Beaufort should contact Shadle at 252-975-4134 or by email at

Organizations interested in receiving a grant application from Vidant Pungo should contact Arden Root at 252-944-2283 or by emaill at or Jenny Brown at 252-944-2291 or by email