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Improving Kids' Health Could Pay Off for KY Communities

PHOTO: The grant initiatives can range from better access to medical checkups, to nutrition programs to safer places for kids to play.
PHOTO: The grant initiatives can range from better access to medical checkups, to nutrition programs to safer places for kids to play.
October 4, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Over the next five years, grant money may be available for communities in Kentucky committed to changing children's health for the better. Susan Zepeda, CEO and president of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says her group is offering $3 million in grants to as many as 10 communities that have innovative ideas to help kids.

"Very specifically, for kids ages 5 to 18, launching them on a career of healthy behaviors and a healthy environment will reduce their risk of chronic disease down the road."

Zepeda says the initiatives could include things like better access to medical checkups, nutrition programs and safer places for kids to play. Kentucky has a unique landscape in terms of chronic disease, she explains, making the mission that much more important.

"Kentucky is troubled by higher rates of heart disease and cancer and diabetes. We believe very strongly that problems like that start in your home town, and the solutions are probably there in your community, as well."

Zepeda says they're giving applicants a fair amount of leeway in what they bring to the table, because some of the best ideas may come from paths less traveled.

"One size doesn't fit all. There are many experiences in Kentucky, there are many varied communities with different strengths and different challenges, and who knows that better than the people who live in those communities?"

Interested parties can submit a letter of intent by Nov. 16. Those selected to submit a full proposal have until February 2013 to make their plans known.




Tom Joseph, Public News Service - KY