Franciscan Health partners with 57 nonprofits on community health

Franciscan Health recently announced $450,000 in funding for community health improvement through its Social Impact Partnership Program (SIPP). Fifty-seven nonprofits located throughout Franciscan Health’s Indiana service regions and south suburban Chicago were selected from applications to receive funding of up to $9,750 per organization.

Partners in Central Indiana are: Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug-Free Coalition, Catholic Charities Indianapolis, Inc., Churches in Mission, Gleaners Food Bank, Hope For Tomorrow, Indiana Center for Prevention of Youth Abuse and Suicide, Indiana Immunization Coalition, Interchurch Food Pantry of Johnson County, Mother Theodore Catholic Academies – Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Overdose Lifeline, Inc., The Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County, VOICES Corp. and Youth First, Inc.

“Our community partners are such an asset to the health and wellbeing of their communities,” said Community Health Improvement Administrative Director Kate Hill-Johnson. “This program honors that and provides additional support that allows them to build capacity and assist even more individuals.”

SIPP is a community health enrichment program sponsored by Franciscan Health, which establishes and builds upon partnerships with nonprofit health and human service agencies that provide services in at-risk communities served by the health system. The goal is to foster long-term relationships with community providers to better address significant health issues among vulnerable populations.

A committee comprised of local Franciscan healthcare leadership selected the fund recipients and amounts. The recipient organizations received funding based on program applications demonstrating their ability to address priority health needs and health equity based on Franciscan’s Community Health Needs Assessment process. Identified priority health issues include: 1) physical activity and nutrition (including food insecurity); 2) mental wellness; 3) healthy relationships (including pregnancy, parenting and recovery); and 4) housing support.

Funding for The Beech Grove CDFC will help implement a monthly parent café and a quarterly successful parenting fundamentals workshop that will offer community support and resources to first- second- and third-generation parents. (Photo courtesy of Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug-Free Coalition’s Facebook page)

Recipient organizations will collaborate with Franciscan’s Community Health Improvement team to ensure program effectiveness that meet the partner organization’s stated goals. They must participate in program orientation and will submit progress reports at six-month and one-year intervals. Participation in the reporting process is required for consideration of any future funding or assistance.

Supporting healthier communities

Diana Hendricks, executive director of the Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug-Free Coalition, said the partnership provides community grassroots organizations with resources to offer prevention and intervention programs. “Our organization benefited from the SIPP in 2020-2021 through resources to increase mental well-being and drug-free social recreational activities along the Franciscan Trail that improves mental health as well as physical health to not only citizens in our community but surrounding communities as well. We are excited to have been awarded SIPP support for 2022-2023 to implement a monthly parent cafe and a quarterly successful parenting fundamentals workshop that will offer community support and resources to first, second and third generation parents. Without SIPP support, we would not have been able to provide either of these health promotion strategies in our community,” she said.

Susan Haynes, executive director of Churches In Mission, said, “We tremendously appreciate our partnership with Franciscan Health. Not only does the SIPP grant provide valuable resources for Churches in Mission to serve the food insecure in our area, but it will help us provide more long-term transformational resources to our neighbors in need. Beyond the SIPP grant, having the support of a local health improvement coordinator has given us opportunities to support more needs among our families living in poverty, including mental health resources, healthcare resources and more.”

Carol Phipps, executive director of Interchurch Food Pantry of Johnson County said the partnership will go far in addressing hunger in the vulnerable population. “In 2022, our pantry has seen a surge in need, 66% greater than 2021. This is stretching our resources to a never-seen-before level of service. The Franciscan Alliance grant will enable us to provide nutritious food to those who need it. In addition, we look forward to the partnership with Franciscan Alliance as we strive to address specific dietary needs, e.g., diabetes, within the vulnerable sector,” she said.

Franciscan Health will announce the benchmark dates for 2023 SIPP applications, review and awards early next year.