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.

Community Connections

Have Questions?

For more information about HealthPath's Community Connections, contact Tara Behanan at 513-768-6139.

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 Age-Friendly Communities.


HealthPath has already started the application period for the 2021 round of Community Connections. Decisions will be announced by April 2, 2021. 


Please join our mailing list to be notified of the 2022 Community Connections opportunity 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.

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.

Who Can Apply?

  • Health & social service care providers

  • Neighborhood clubs or groups

  • Social & 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 Will We Fund?

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

Preventative Oral Health Care

Ohio’s children ages 0–12 have healthy mouths.

  • Oral health educational campaigns focused on drinking water instead of other liquids

  • Oral health education in schools or early childhood programs

Healthy Ohioans

 Strengthening Ohio's Safety Net

Ohioans have access to the services they need to be healthy.

  • Health promotion programs that encourage families and community residents to talk about and engage in healthy behaviors

  • Programs to bring fresh, healthy foods to food deserts

Age-Friendly Communities

Prevention of Family Violence

Older adults live and participate in communities to their fullest potential, free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

  • 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, problem-based learning around health and health issues