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. 

HealthPath has chosen to support community residents as they identify the changes they want to see and work to reach their goals. We will be awarding two year grants to communities working to achieve Cavity-Free Kids, Healthy Ohioans, and Safe Elders.

HealthPath will launch the 2020 round of Community Connections in late 2019. We will release the RFP in November, hold the pre-application workshop in January, and accept proposals through February. Please join our mailing list to be notified of this and other funding opportunities.

What Community-Driven Means to HealthPath

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.

Community-Driven Review Process

HealthPath uses volunteer proposal readers to review full

proposals, provide context about the communities in which the applicants work, and make recommendations for funding. We will provide a training webinar to walk readers through the proposal and how to evaluate them.

The readers will also meet in-person to discuss proposals and provide feedback to HealthPath staff, who will summarize the recommendations to present to our board. Using the community feedback, the HealthPath Board of Directors will make the final decision on which proposals are funded. Find out how to be a Community Connections volunteer proposal reviewer.

Because our service area varies widely, HealthPath will ask applicants to define the “community” they will serve. This could be a few blocks, neighborhood, village or town, single school building’s population, parish or other faith community, or another group of people connected by geography, membership, or commonality. We are interested in local projects that address the needs of people living in a small area, not county-wide or multi-county projects.

Download this sheet to find out more about our work in Building On Community Strengths [PDF].

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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Cincinnati, OH 45202


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