Each year Pathways to Health awards seed grants to six community health partners that demonstrate targeted and effective work in the community addressing health disparities. A large compelling body of evidence has accumulated, particularly in the last two decades, that reveals that social factors are powerful in shaping heath. Risk factors for health include a wide set of forces: economic, social, political, and environment. This year Pathways to Health provided awards to the following agencies:
YWCA Tulsa: In Tulsa, more than 87,000 residents live in food insecure areas. The YWCA is building on to their community gardens in East Tulsa to meet the overwhelming demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. The population near the YWCA East facility resides in is approximately 9,524 people, of which 32.5% are below the poverty line. Fresh fruits and vegetables are made available to all the 792 members of the East Tulsa facility. Non-member are welcome as well. This program provides access to fresh fruit and vegetables to approximately 26% of those living in poverty within this location. A community garden provides more than food, it offers satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community, and connection to the environment.
Good Samaritan Health Services offers a unique solution to one of Tulsa’s most pressing problems- health care access for the uninsured. Good Samaritan provides free, quality comprehensive medical care in Tulsa and surround communities aboard two Mobile Health Trucks. With the award they purchased a Wall Mounted Blood Pressure Otoscope Set with Ear Speculums to enable the team to provide more efficient exams and the equipment would always be reality available for use.
Tulsa Health Department’s Working 4 Balance worksite wellness program will purchase and implement an online, evidence-based health and fitness coaching program to help individuals improve their diet and physical activity behaviors. The Tulsa Health Department employees approximately 350 full employees and with this program hopes to reduce overweight and obesity rates in order to be leaders and role models advocating for health in the community.
Tulsa Health Department’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) had an evidence-based, medically accurate approach to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs, including HIV. PREP’s purpose is to provide Tulsa County youth aged 12 to 20 in grades 6-12 with the education and information necessary to make proud and responsible choices and to positively change their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs when it comes to sexual activity and risky behaviors. Sense the program’s inception it has reached over 8,500 youth.
LIFE Senior Services provides a 4 week program for Type II diabetics in north Tulsa. The program teaches over 100 residents how to prepare low fat, plant based meals which is ideal for diabetes and the conditions associated with it, such as heart disease, weight gain, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
A Third Place Community Foundation will partner with OU Graduate Design Studio to expand the children’s garden in north Tulsa to a “Children’s Village”. The village has a “Main Street” with playhouses lining the street. Each play house will have a numbered mailbox to decorate and help children learn how to navigate addresses, there will be a little free library, a miniature farm, and park that provides a shady area with vining food for harvesting and eating during play.