The Outer Banks Hospital Development Council, through its Community Benefits and Health Initiative Grants Program, recently awarded $108,000 to 6 area agencies, which represents a 20% increase over last year’s funding. The grants were made possible by University Health Systems, co-owner of The Outer Banks Hospital, and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

“We are pleased to be able to expand the good works of our local health and wellness agencies,” said Charles Hardy, Chairman of the Development Council. “Our recipients are either increasing access to healthcare, creating projects and programs that prevent substance abuse or improving the nutritional health of our community.”

The six projects receiving funding included:

  • Dare Coalition Against Substance Abuse, $22,000, for continuation of the Drug Free Workplace Education Program
  • Yellow House Ministry, $14,400 to provide individual and group substance abuse counseling
  • Community Care Clinic of Dare, $25,279 to assist in underwriting the costs of diagnostic services
  • Dare County Department of Health, $23,000 for ultrasound diagnostic testing and mammograms
  • Interfaith Community Outreach, $5,000 for counseling services for children and families.
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Services, $18,654 to administer the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program to families with limited resources in Dare County

“Our mission at The Outer Banks Hospital is not only to provide the highest quality healthcare but also to promote wellness,” said Van Smith, hospital president. “It is both exciting and fulfilling to see our mission touch and transform the lives of those who live in our community.”

Linda Saturno, Executive Director of the Community Care Clinic of Dare, said that the funding has allowed the clinic to provide quality care for their patients by covering the costs of diagnostic tests. “Our partnership with The Outer Banks Hospital is an essential element to our success,” she added.

With funding from the Council, the Dare Coalition Against Substance Abuse had been able to continue to assist local businesses in developing their own customized Drug Free Workplace programs. “Once implemented, these organizations can benefit from higher productivity, improved morale, and reduced absenteeism among their employees,” said Carol Hartman, Programs Coordinator. “And additional advantages of operating a drug free workplace include reduced legal liability and often an improved bottom line – all especially important in these difficult economic times.”

“At present, the Interfaith Community Outreach is not equipped to deal with families who are in real need of professional mental health counseling,” said Ginger Candelora, Executive Director. “Thanks to the Outer Banks Hospital we now have an additional resource for our families and a way to subsidize the caring professionals in our community.”

The grant will enable the Cooperative Extension Service to help limited resource families explore how they can prepare and eat more meals at home, eat more fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity, make healthy drink choices, limit TV time, control portion sizes and keep food safe, said Amanda Hubbard McDanel, Extension Agent.