Building a Healthier Hartford
United Health Foundation joined Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT) and Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford) in announcing two grants in Hartford, Conn., totaling nearly $2.4 million that will help the community increase education, outreach and engagement among local families for the next three years.
Partnering to Prevent Teenage Drug Use
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership received a $900,000 partnership grant to work with parents, schools and community partners to prevent substance abuse among teenage Latino youth.
According to the 2015 Connecticut Youth Risks Behavior survey, Hispanic children have higher substance abuse rates. And the 2016 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report revealed that in the past three years the number of drug deaths in Connecticut has increased 44 percent. While Connecticut ranked third in overall health among all 50 states, it ranked 28th on this measure, highlighting the need for greater collaboration and increased efforts to address substance use.
In coordination with Family Life Education, a Hartford-based nonprofit family outreach organization, the partnership with UHF will:
- Create an awareness and outreach program for children, parents and the community focused on substance abuse among teenagers; and
- Introduce programs to identify and refer high-risk youth for support services.
Coordinating Care for Hartford Families
The Village for Families & Children received $1.5 million to integrate behavioral health with primary care in two pediatric practices in low-income locations in East Hartford and West Hartford run by the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Primary care doctors, psychologists and care coordinators will work together to:
- Address the physical and social aspects of each child’s health and well-being by using health screenings, increased parent education and referral processes to coordinate clinical care and connect families to needed community services; and
- Intervene early to prevent serious medical and mental health issues in children and their families.
Supporting the Arts in Local Communities
In addition to providing grants, UHF has partnered with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, the nation’s oldest public art museum, to help educate, connect and engage more area families with the arts through “community days” that will celebrate local culture, creativity and diversity.
These initiatives are all part of UHF’s city-based approach to provide resources for programs that connect communities to care, support whole-person health and build healthier communities. Similar efforts are underway in Houston and Milwaukee.