UAB’s Community Health Innovation Awards fund four new projects

UAB’s Community Health Innovation Awards honor job training programs, health and wellness, and mental health support.

CCTS CIA awardPrograms that stress job skills, mental health awareness, diet and wellness are the latest recipients of funding from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s Community Health Innovation Awards.  

CHIA is an annual grant competition open to local 501(c)(3) organizations in the Greater Birmingham area that enables participants to seek bold, creative solutions to health challenges their communities face. Applicants work with UAB experts and local businesses to propose and complete a project addressing a public health issue in their communities. Projects are supported by grant funding, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, awarded by One Great Community, the community engagement arm of the CCTS.

“Now in its fourth year,” said Robert Kimberly, M.D., director of the CCTS, “One Great Community is so proud to continue to support the innovative ideas reflected in the variety of projects we see presented each year at the Community Health Innovation Awards. Several of our award winners have leveraged their initial funding to build their concepts for improving community health into sustainable efforts for better quality of life in their own backyards.”

This year’s grantees will be honored at a reception and check presentation ceremony from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 15, in the School of Public Health, Room 125.

The grantees are:

  • No More Martyrs: Mosaic Mental Health Awareness Project, $25,000; The Mosaic Mental Health Awareness Project will provide mental health awareness training — called Mental Health First Aid — through churches in the Birmingham area, as well as host on-site support groups for individuals living with or caring for someone with mental health concerns. The project will designate six churches in the Birmingham area to train pastors and church officials and offer monthly training open to all church members and the general public. The program will also offer monthly on-site support groups. The program intends to train 2,000 individuals in Mental Health First Aid and offer on-site support to at least 200 individuals.

  • Redemptive Cycles, $25,000: Redemptive Cycles is a nonprofit bicycle repair shop serving many downtown-based homeless missions by providing a means of transportation which is sustainable, economical, efficient and healthy for those community members living at the margins. The goal is to implement, expand and sustain Birmingham’s first Earn-A-Bike program, which would enable an individual with a self-declared economic hardship to exchange 12 hours of their time for a bicycle that is theirs to keep. During this time investment, recipients will learn basic bike mechanic skills, help out in the shop and become members of the growing Redemptive Cycles family.

  • Woodlawn High School and Jones Valley Teaching Farm, $17,000: Woodlawn Connection is a series of three neighborhood community health nights to be held in 2016. Students at Woodlawn High School will organize and plan the events, which will focus on health, wellness and diet. The evenings will feature cooking classes, entertainment and storytelling. The events will also offer targeted health screenings for hypertension and high glucose levels, complete with easy-to-use “take home” tools, educational materials, and connections to health providers that will help community members better understand and manage their health.

  • Bib and Tucker Sew-Op, $13,000; Bib and Tucker Sew-Op will teach machine sewing and design-based problem solving to single-parent families in Woodlawn. Four trainees will be recruited with help from Woodlawn YWCA’s Interfaith Hospitality House. Each will participate in 96 hours of instruction over a nine-month period. Bib and Tucker and the trainees will develop and manufacture a product for a client — a therapy tool for patients with dementia at UAB Highlands Acute Care for Elders unit. Participants will acquire sewing skills and client relationship skills.