Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Health district awards $500,000 in community grants

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

More than a half million dollars was awarded by the Fallbrook Regional Health District to 11 local agencies on Saturday, April 8. It wasn't an easy task for the five members of the board of directors since there were 22 grant applications to evaluate, totaling $993,629.

The final amount awarded of $539,780 was about the same amount as last year's $541,106 distribution.

Prior to the meeting, board members submitted their scores and on the different programs and results were tabulated by Rachel Mason, CEO, and divided into three groups or tiers. Each of the applications was for a specific dollar amount, though board members had the option of reducing the award.

All eight applicants in the first tier – the ones with the most initial votes – were approved by the board. In the second tier of seven applicants, the amount of one was reduced and another, Voices for Children, was eliminated. In the third tier, one of the applicants, the REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, received the third from lowest initial score of all applicants but, after considerable discussion, it received a $25,000 award, instead of the $39,000 it requested.

Several organizations made more than one application for their different programs.

The largest single grant was to the Fallbrook Food Pantry for $75,000. The Foundation for Senior Care and the Boys & Girls Club received the most money when their different awards were combined.

The four grants awarded to the Foundation for Senior Care were $50,000 for the senior and disabled transportation, $47,000 for senior care advocacy, $11,000 for its Door Through Door program, and a second tier award of $32,000 for its adult day care program.

The two grants to the Boys & Girls Club were $40,033 for its Triple Play program and $17,225 for its summer water safety program.

Completing the list of first tier award recipients was Michelle's Place Cancer Resource Center with two awards, $27,234 for mental health for cancer patients and $21,428 for health education and outreach.

The second tier "winners" not already mentioned included two for Palomar Family Counseling Services' Healthy Body, Healthy Minds of $51,860 and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren for $15,000; and Fallbrook Senior Center's congregate meal program for $47,000. Fallbrook Family Health Center had two programs approved, the Teen WHEEL Program for $30,000 and SBHE expanded services for $30,000 (reduced from the $50,000 requested).

Programs in tier three that did not receive grants were REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship's Be Well program, Hope Clinic, D'Vine Path, and additional programs for the Fallbrook Senior Center and Fallbrook Food Pantry.

Terry Brown, one of three new members, questioned the Voices for Children application for $15,000 for its Court Appointed Special Advocate program, saying there were multiple county programs that offered excellent services. He said he was familiar with programs offered since he had adopted five children. After considerable discussion, the board agreed unanimously for it to be denied. Voices for Children was the only first-time applicant this year.

In the discussion about approving the application for REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship's equine assisted mental health, board president Bill Leach pointed out that it was the only program that addressed the needs of special needs people. Other board members said the number of individuals the program served was minimal. It wound up being approved by a 3-2 vote with Leach, Mike Stanicek and Jennifer Jeffries voting aye. Brown and Barbara Mroz voted no.

Brown's concern with the Family Health Center's request for money for its program of working with area middle schools was that it was for Potter Junior High School and not the other areas. Brown said he represents the Bonsall area on the board so he felt the proposed program was not districtwide. The board compromised in reducing the award.

Leach noted this was the first year the board is represented entirely by members representing specific geographic areas and is a new factor to consider.

The district's service area and sphere of influence cover 110.57 square miles including Bonsall, De Luz, Fallbrook and Rainbow. The district grants funding to organizations that serve the health and wellbeing needs of the entire community.


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