"Kentucky's Future Initiative" Aimed at Reducing Chronic Diseases in Seven Counties

Jul 20, 2013

The grants from The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are aimed at improving the health of the commonwealth's children.

A non-profit, philanthropic group in Kentucky is partnering with seven communities in an effort to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky hopes the five-year, $3 million effort, known as the Kentucky's Future Initiative, will cut the chances that today's youth will suffer from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The Clinton County School District and the Green River Area Development District's Partnership for a Healthy McLean County are two of the seven partners selected for the program.

"What we're trying to do, if you will, is to bend the curve and stop the progression we see starting with our children today," says Susan Zepeda, President and CEO of The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. "We don't want them to develop the kinds of chronic diseases that their parents and grandparents have, that have been holding Kentucky back."

Zepeda says the Foundation is currently in the planning stage with each of the seven grant recipients about how to best utilize the funding to attack chronic diseases.

She says the Partnership for a Healthy McLean County recently brought in a new regional health counselor and coordinator as part of the effort.

"She'll be working with that group to develop a specific plan for kids in that county, and things that the county residents can do together to nip chronic disease in the bud."

In addition to the partnerships in McLean and Clinton counties, the Kentucky's Future Initiative is also giving grants to the following communities:

*Fitness for Life Around Grant County (FFLAG)

*Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky (Perry County Wellness Coalition)

*Kentucky Heart Foundation, Inc. (Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, Ashland)

*Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. (Breathitt County)

*Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness