Livonia, Mich., February 17, 2016 — Trinity Health today announced the recipients of grants under its Transforming Communities Initiative (TCI), a program that will result in the investment of about $80 million in grants, loans, community match dollars and services for six communities over the next five years. Recipients of the initial grants from Trinity Health of up to $500,000/per year are teams of collaborating partners who will use the funds and other benefits to work together to improve health and well-being in their respective communities.

All of the programs will focus specifically on policy, systems and environmental changes that can directly impact specifically identified areas of high local need and which can reduce tobacco use and obesity, leading drivers of preventable chronic diseases and high health care costs in the United States.

“The selected community partnerships have strong records transforming the health and well-being of their communities’ most vulnerable populations already,” said Bechara Choucair, M.D., senior vice president for Safety Net and Community Health. “We chose them for this support because their impressive proposals, highlighting their strategic collaborations and shared commitment, gave us confidence in even greater future success improving people’s lives. We know we are investing where change will occur.”

Recipients of Trinity Health’s inaugural TCI grants will receive up to $500,000 per year for the next five years as well as a number of other supportive services, including  technical, planning and investment assistance. They are:

  • Trenton Health Team, Trenton, N.J.: Program aims to increase access to and coordinate care for both medical and behavioral conditions, increase access to healthy foods with stores and farmers market, build new playgrounds, expand school breakfast program and create school gardens. Partners include, but are not limited to: St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton Health Team; NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids, Millhill Child & Family Development, Isles, Inc., Children’s Home Society and Children’s Futures.
  • Live Well Springfield TCI Partnership, Springfield, Mass.: Program aims to provide access to dentistry and provide fresh produce to early education centers and care providers using a purchasing system that supplies fresh produce from local farms and orchards. Partners include, but are not limited to: Mercy Medical Center and Live Well Springfield (LWS), a multi-sector community based coalition that includes over 26 organizations working in the city. Membership in LWS includes health care systems and FQHCs, higher education, childcare providers, local government, policy councils, food producers, refugee and immigrant service providers, youth development groups, and social service agencies.
  • Proviso Partners for Health, Maywood, Ill.: Programs aim to improve health by creating pathways to training and careers in the green economy, implementation of nutrition programs and lung health needs of Chicago’s communities. Partners include, but are not limited to:  Loyola University Medical Center and Proviso Partners for Health which consists of more than 25 committed individuals and organizations including businesses, daycare centers, schools, health care and social service organizations.
  • Healthy Montgomery, Silver Spring, M.D.: Program aims to reduce chronic disease rates in Prince George’s County. Partners include, but are not limited to: Holy Cross Health; Institute for Public Health Innovation; Department of Health and Human Services; Impact Silver Spring; CHEER; CASA de Maryland; Centro Nia; Family Services, Inc.; Chamber of Commerce
  • Promise Partnership, Boise, Idaho: Program aims to address factors related to poor diet, inactivity and tobacco use within the Treasure Valley. Partners include, but are not limited to: Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, United Way of Treasure Valley, Inc., Cities of Boise & Caldwell, Boise, Nampa, Caldwell School Districts, Central &, Southwest health Districts, Community Health Clinics, Treasure Valley Education Partnership, St. Luke’s Health System and Boise State University.
  • Syracuse Health Coalition, Syracuse, N.Y.: Program aims to fund efforts addressing local breast-feeding policies, increased access to indoor recreational space, and implementation of elements of the city’s complete streets plan.. Partners include, but are not limited to: St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Onondaga County Health Department, The Near Westside Initiative, Movement on Main, The Near Northside Urban Partnership, Nojaim’s Grocery, The Lerner Center for PH Promotion and HealtheConnections.

In a later phase of the program, low-interest investment loans supporting interventions related to social determinants of health will be made by Trinity Health to community and economic development organizations in the communities served by all Trinity Health hospitals. They will be used to address specific issues including access to food, housing circumstances and early childhood issues.

A select list of strategies to be prioritized during phase one include:

  • Advocating for Tobacco 21 policies
  • Developing and implementing Complete Streets plans
  • Establishing nutrition and beverage standards and/or policies in head start programs, daycare centers and schools
  • Encouraging enhanced breast-feeding policies
  • Expanding physical activity in schools

While the program is slated for five years, program leaders have planned for long-term program sustainability by including plans for optimizing partnerships and leveraging local match dollars. The TCI is one of many of Trinity Health initiatives aimed at achieving better health, better care, and lower costs for high-cost, complex patients, and especially for vulnerable populations and those who are poor.