Better Health Foundation awards Innovation Grants

Rob Woodall and Melinda “Missy” Gowey listen to a speaker during the Better Health Foundation launch on Sept. 27. The Better Health Foundation recently announced that it has awarded Innovation Grants of nearly $1.4 million to area nonprofit organizations. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

The Better Health Foundation recently announced that it has awarded Innovation Grants of nearly $1.4 million to area nonprofit organizations.

This is the second round of grants made during the private foundation’s first full year of operations. To date, the Better Health Foundation has awarded $2,023,859 to improve community health throughout the bi-state region.

“The Innovation Grant proposals reflect creativity and collaboration in our nonprofit community,” Dr. William Langley, president of the Better Health Foundation Board of Directors, said in a news release. “The award recipients were challenged to innovate in response to our region’s most serious health challenges by forging new partnerships, expanding access to programs and services, and offering a pathway to better health for new populations.”

Grant awards range from $150,000 to $200,000 for programs and services aligned with the foundation’s current funding priorities: mental and behavioral health, maternal and child health, and risk reduction of obesity and diabetes.

Grants were awarded to these organizations:

  • $200,000 to Community Health Care, Inc. to ensure equal access to care and reduce mental and behavioral health risk factors for mothers in the Quad Cities. The program aims to integrate health care services for perinatal patients and establish a referral system between local health systems and other organizations who work with at-risk and recently divorced women.
  • $200,000 to Family Resources to create a shared human services campus in the Iowa Quad Cities to house program and administrative services for like-minded agencies committed to providing safe, affordable, trauma-informed, client-centered care in a supportive environment. The envisioned space will offer clients the convenience of accessing multiple services under one roof, alleviating barriers such as transportation and time constraints.
  • $200,000 to the Genesis Foundation to extend the reach of the Genesis FoodPlex to food insecure pregnant women with gestational diabetes or those with pre-existing diabetes who become pregnant, and their families. Expectant mothers enrolled will have access to nutrient rich, culturally sensitive foods to support their pregnancy and for a defined period after giving birth. Participants also will receive help accessing local, state and federal assistance programs to promote long-term maternal and infant health development.
  • $192,000 to Heart of Hope Ministries to reduce, and eventually eliminate, food insecurity and nutrition-related diseases in an under-resourced and underserved neighborhood in Rock Island. The Heart of Hope FoodPlex will augment the organization’s current services and will address both hunger and health.
  • $150,017 to Project Renewal to create a health and wellness program for youth and adults by engaging them in hands-on healthy lifestyle choices, education, actions and plans. The program will support parents’ busy schedules and give them convenient opportunities to learn and provide nutritious meals for their family within their budget. Space and training will be provided for physical fitness activities.
  • $197,862 to Vera French Foundation to transform the care and treatment of individuals with both mental illness and substance use disorder in a Whole Person Co-Occurring Disorder program. The program will improve access to services by combining mental health and substance use disorder treatment in a single program and will focus on all aspects of a person’s life such as lifestyle, employment, nutrition, housing, and relationships.
  • $200,000 to YWCA Clinton to pilot the Strong Brains, Whole Child, Whole Family program to provide area 3-year-olds access to preschool, early childhood education, and holistic, wrap-around trauma-informed childcare. The program will address health disparities, poverty and trauma in young childhood. Additionally, childcare staff and caregivers will receive training on Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs), trauma-informed care, and building resiliency.

Better Health Foundation accepts requests from qualified 501(c)3 organizations in Cedar, Clinton, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott counties in Iowa, and Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties in Illinois.

The next round of foundation grants for Capacity Building and Service Support will open this summer. Award criteria and instructions on how to apply for a grant can be found at

For more information about applying, contact Elaine Schilling at [email protected], or call the Better Health Foundation at (563 ) 383-6065.

The Better Health Foundation is mobilizing philanthropy to measurably improve community health for all the people of the nine-county greater Quad Cities Region. The organization is a private, independent foundation that seeks to engage members of its communities in improving their health and the health of their neighbors.

Get the free QCBJ email newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the people, companies and issues that impact business in the  Quad Cities area.