(Photo by Scott Welton, Staff )
SIKESTON -- Nearly $200,000 in grant funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health is coming to Sikeston.
MFH recently announced eight southeast Missouri organizations are receiving a share of $730,844 in grants through its Basic Support program to provide improved health care for residents.
The Basic Support program provides funding over a two-year period to help organizations continue to provide programs that are central to their missions.
The YMCA of Southeast Missouri was approved for $96,600.
"It's wonderful," said Jeff Partridge, executive director of the YMCA of Southeast Missouri. "The grant is really going to help out."
Partridge said that while fundraising for the YMCA's new building was successful, the Y's budget was about $100,000 short of what they needed for equipment and furnishings.
The MFH funding will be used to replace cardiovascular and strength training equipment, according to Partridge.
The current equipment is all 7-10 years old. "Every piece in here is out of warranty so it would be expensive to fix if it broke down," Partridge said.
With technology advancements, new fitness equipment will be easier to use and will have the latest "bells and whistles," he said.
"We've been visiting other Ys and community centers and researching different types of equipment," Partridge said. "Staff have been trying it out and we've also surveyed our members."
Partridge said they hope to make final decisions on what equipment to get and make the purchases in October.
"It's matter of deciding what brand and how much of it," he said. "The new fitness center will be a little over twice the size of what we have now so we will have more space for not only new but also additional equipment."
Also approved for $96,600 in Sikeston is Bootheel Counseling Services.
With this funding, the organization can continue to provide mental health services to residents of Scott, New Madrid, Mississippi and Stoddard counties.
"We will use it to help with salaries," said Jennifer Hartlein, director of fund development and public relations for Bootheel Counseling Services.
Other recipients in the area for this round of MFH Basic Support grants are:
* Senior Services of Chaffee and Cape Girardeau. Funding of $96,600 will help the organization provide meals to homebound seniors and disabled residents.
* The Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium in Portageville. The Consortium is receiving $96,600 to continue providing prenatal and parenting skills education along with information about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to high-risk families.
* The Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross in Cape Girardeau. Funding of $96,600 will enable the organization to provide disaster relief for nine southeast Missouri counties.
* The Bismarck Senior Center in Bismarck. The senior center is receiving $95,885 which will enable it to provide nutrition services and delivery meal programs to seniors in southeast Missouri.
* Community Senior Citizens Inc. in Qulin. The grant award of $76,449 will help with work to provide medical screenings, exercise programs and meal delivery to elderly individuals.
* Reynolds County Council on Aging in Ellington. Funding of $75,510 will help the organization to continue providing meals and transportation services to the elderly and disabled in south central Missouri.
Applying for funding through MFH's Basic Support program is "an amazingly simple process," Partridge said. "Most grants are pretty involved but this one was very easy to apply for. I certainly would encourage others to apply if they meet the guidelines."
Partridge said $100,000 appears to be the cap for MFH Basic Support grants.
"I'm not real sure how they go about allocating them," he said. "You don't apply for specific amounts."
The state's largest not-for-profit health foundation, the Missouri Foundation for Health was formed with money obtained in a lawsuit by the state of Missouri against Blue Cross Blue Shield when it changed from a public entity to a private entity.
On the Net:
Missouri Foundation for Health: www.mffh.org