Community Connections

A person’s health is ultimately driven by the individual and his or her community, while decisions made at the federal, state, and county level affect the health care system. 

Building on Community Strengths

Improving health takes a combination of system- and community-designed solutions. Too often, however, the focus is on system improvements rather than supporting and encouraging the individual and community to take charge of their own health.

Since 2012, The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio’s Community Connections initiative has helped lay the groundwork for helping bring community partners together to improve health. Changes in health and healthy behaviors rely on solutions built upon the strengths and needs of the people living in the community.

In 2019, Community Connections is focusing on organizations that have strong community engagement strategies and that achieve Cavity-Free Kids, Healthy Ohioans, and Safe Elders. Organizations serving Northwest and Southeast Ohio are eligible to apply this round; those serving Northeast and Southwest Ohio will be eligible in 2020 (see the map below for the Community Connections service area). HealthPath will award up to 20 general operating support grants of $8,000 over two years ($4,000 each year) to organizations that best fit the initiative guidelines. To read the full RFP, click here.

We are interested in organizations that foster community-driven, community-led projects and see the people they serve and their community as partners and co-creators, rather than as passive recipients of services. These organizations must also be working in HealthPath’s service area to achieve our result areas:

  • Cavity-Free Kids: Ohio’s children ages 0–12 have healthy mouths
  • Healthy Ohioans: Ohioans have access to the resources they need to be healthy, including access to care and healthy food
  • Safe Elders: Older adults living in the community are supported and safe from abuse, neglect, and exploitation

If you have questions about whether your organization’s community engagement strategy or work within the result area will be a good fit with this initiative, please contact Christine Mulvin, Senior Program Officer, or call 513-768-6117.

Application Process

We hosted two webinars in early January.

Click here to register for webinar recording

You may begin working on your proposal at any time, but we highly recommend that you attend a live webinar or watch the recording before submitting your final proposal. Applicants that participate in our pre-application informational sessions are more likely to receive funding because they better understand the program guidelines.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is no later than 12:00 noon EST on Friday, January 25, 2019. Proposals must be submitted through our online application system. HealthPath implemented a new online application system in 2016. If you have not applied to us in the last three years, you will need to create a new account for yourself. Please contact us if you have any questions.

HealthPath online application system

For questions concerning the Community Connections initiative or proposal, please contact Christine Mulvin, Senior Program Officer, or call 513-768-6117.

Community-driven projects are those that are designed and developed with direct resident input. It means you have developed relationships with the people in your community, have asked them about the problems, and have developed a solution in partnership with them. Community-driven projects build upon the strengths of the community to make changes from within.

How Will Proposals Be Reviewed?

HealthPath will convene volunteer proposal readers to review the proposals, provide context about the communities in which the applicants work, and make recommendations for funding. Proposal readers will participate in a training session and receive a cohort of proposals for review in early February 2019. The panels will meet at the end of February to discuss proposals and provide feedback to HealthPath staff, who will summarize the recommendations to present to the board in March. The HealthPath Board of Trustees will make the final decision on which proposals are funded.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the volunteer proposal reader panel, please visit the Community Connections Grant Proposal Reviewer web page for more information.


Who Can Apply?

  • Health and social service care providers
  • Neighborhood clubs or groups
  • Social and civic organizations
  • Youth groups
  • School groups
  • 4-H clubs
  • Scout troops
  • Senior centers
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Colleges or universities
  • School districts
  • Other organizations 

The Foundation will consider grant requests from government or quasi government agencies that demonstrate a strong relationship with the community. We are also splitting our service area into quadrants, and communities within two quadrants will be eligible to apply. If you are located outside a designated area but serve in it, you are eligible to apply during that quadrant’s year. However, you will have to make a strong case for how you serve and are a part of that community in your proposal.

Community Connections Service Areas 

What HealthPath Will Fund

We are interested in community-driven projects that address our result areas:

Focus Area  Result Area Result     
 Preventative Oral Health Care  Cavity-Free Kids Ohio’s children ages 0–12 have
healthy mouths
 Strengthening Ohio's Safety  Net   Healthy Ohioians Ohioans have access to the services
 they need to be healthy
 Prevention of Family Violence  Safe Elders Older adults living in the community
are safe and supported

Proposed projects should involve community residents in planning and implementation, respond to the needs of the community, and fall within one of the following strategies:

Cavity-Free Kids

  • Oral health educational campaigns focused on drinking
    water instead of other liquids
  • Oral health education in schools or early childhood

Healthy Ohioans

  • Health promotion programs that encourage families and
    community residents to talk about and engage in healthy
  • Programs to bring fresh, healthy foods to food deserts

Safe Elders

  • Multi-generational initiatives that support older adults living
    in the community
  • Community awareness campaigns that increase the
    visibility of older adults
  • Programs to create a more age-friendly community
    within any result area
  • Programs that teach parents about how to talk with their
    children about health
  • Programs that provide youth with hands-on, problembased
    learning around health and health issues

Results from 2017 Community Connections Grantees

Want to know what our 2017 grantees learned in the first year of their grants? Please see our 2017 Community Connections Grantees Year 1 Learnings summary to find out more! 


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