Deaconess Associations Incorporated

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Community Grant Program

Deaconess Foundation, through its grant programs, supports critical community health needs by investing in neighborhood-based care and services.  The following vignettes and video highlight programs of particular interest in three areas:  enhancing access, encouraging wellness and prevention, and in awarding scholarship grants.

Enhancing Access

By making basic care available to people without it, stress on other community health services and emergency departments is reduced, and lowers overall healthcare costs. Deaconess significantly enhanced primary care services through Deaconess Health Check Clinics. The clinics provide screenings, physicals and first aid to at-risk populations who otherwise would not receive them. Those services include:


•  Constructing school-based health and dental clinics at Cincinnati Public Schools’ Western Hills and Dater High School campuses. The clinics in 2014 provided more than 2,500 underserved students with easy access to primary health and dental care in a secure, nurturing environment.

•  Establishing primary care and behavioral health clinics with Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation’s (3CDC) Homeless to Homes Collaborative. In 2015, this coordinated network of area homeless shelters began serving adults and youth through Deaconess Health Check clinics at City Gospel Mission, Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women, and the Dan and Rebecca Barron Center for Men.

•  Expanding professional nursing care at The Children’s Home of Cincinnati. Care enhances point-of-need access for at-risk children in this alternative educational setting of specialized programs and therapeutic treatment services.

Deaconess also made a significant grant to Health Care Access Now (HCAN). As a result, HCAN estimates it served nearly 1,000 additional high-risk patients in 2014. As the region’s primary non-profit care coordination provider, HCAN works to reduce unnecessary emergency department use and improve prenatal and chronic disease education and care. By adding certified community health workers, and expanding care coordination, HCAN will be able to improve and lower the cost of care for the underserved.

Encouraging Wellness and Prevention

•  With support from Deaconess, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati has expanded the community reach of its Diabetes Prevention Program. Educational and fitness programs are now available in urban centers, where these resources did not previously exist, to improve outcomes associated with Type 2 diabetes. The program has screened nearly 500 people for diabetes or pre-diabetes, and offered education sessions to hundreds more. Importantly, participants have seen an average weight loss of five percent, along with lower blood sugar and better nutrition.

•  Boys and Girls Clubs was able to expand “Fit for Life,” ensuring over 7,000 club members at 12 local sites participate each day in 45 minutes of after-school physical activity. Deaconess’ support also helps provide over 150,000 hot, nutritious meals and 100,000 healthy snacks to the program’s youth members.

•  Talbert House created a full-service kitchen through a grant from Deaconess. As a result, its Parkway Center shelter now better meets the dietary and nutritional needs of the men the center serves.

• Deaconess funding has supported ITN of Greater Cincinnati’s capacity to deliver needed transportation services to senior citizens and the visually impaired. Since ITN’s inception volunteers, driving their own cars, have given more than 31,000 rides to over 540 members. ITN’s clients use the service to reach medical appointments and stay connected to the community.

Scholarship Awards

Deaconess has a rich history of supporting the nursing profession, as the Deaconess School of Nursing Class of 1918 was the first to become registered nurses with the State Medical Board of Ohio. We continue that tradition today by awarding scholarships to nursing students at Tri-State colleges and universities each year. In May 2015, Deaconess Associations Foundation awarded 16 scholarships, totaling more than $100,000, to undergraduate and graduate nursing students in a broad array of clinical and educational disciplines. More information is available here.