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$300K awarded to United Way of Johnson Co.

From left, Patsy Lester and Linda Watts listen for numbers on their bingocards to be called at the East Cleburne Community Center. The ECCC, Keene Seventh-Day Adventist Church and HopeMedical & Dental Clinic are collaborating with UWJC for the project.

Texas Health Resources recenfly awarded a $300,000 grant to United Way of Johnson County to address social determinants of health that often result in conditions such as depression and food insecurity.

The Texas Health Community lmpact lnitiative grant awarded to UWJC is one of l2awarded in fiveregions of North Texas, for a total allocation of $5.2 million

.,,This has been ordained by a higher power from the very beginning," UWJC President Aly Engslromsaid. "The collaboration planned with this grant makes all the difference."

Catherine Oliveros, vice president of THR's Community Health lmprovement, said the initiative eallson agencies from different sectors - education, health care, government, grassroots organizationsand others - to unite against identified issues

',,This is our opportunity to play a role in upstream issues that impact health and well-being," Oliveros said. ,,Siloed efforts have limited success. lf we are really going to transform health and health care,we must transform systems and communities.

Seniors in Johnson County are the focus of United Way's project: Johnson County's Supporting OurSeniors, a multi-agency collaboration.

Partners in the project include Keene Seventh-Day Adventist Church, East Cleburne Community Center and Hope Medical & Dental Clinic.

Rick Weaver, pastor of administration at Keene Seventh-Day Adventist Church, said this will have alasting impact in the community for decades'

,,The strength in how we support our seniors in Johnson County will be based on how we haveunited together to tackle this fundamental issue of depression and food insecurity," he said' "With the United Way of Johnson County, the East Cleburne Community Center, the HOPE Medical & Dental Clinic and the Keene Seventh-Day Adventist Church united together, along with nine other collaborators, will fundamentally change how we work together in Johnson County."

The nine other organizations invited to collaborate include Southwestern Adventist University, HillCollege, Johnson County Hunger Coalition, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Operation Blessing, Meals OnWheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties, North Central Texas Council of Governments: Agingprogram, Texas Veterans Commission and the University of Washington PEARLS Program.

The project plans to include:

. Home-based services for shopping assistance, counseling and home visitations.. Community LYFT, a transportation system.

. Evidence-based mental health proqrams, including the PEARLS Program to address depression and grief recovery.

"For the first time in decades, we have churches, universities and colleges, agencies - local andstate - and volunteers from throughout the county who are committing to addressing the issues and uniting resources to accomplish a goal that has never been even contemplated until now,"Engstrom said.

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