OHF helps with community health needs in multiple ways. In this edition of our newsletter, one of our community grant recipients shares how this funding allowed her patients to access care at a time of need.
Community grants support key services for local patients
For the Ottauquechee Health Foundation, helping people in need access essential health services is central to the mission. OHF grants are not only available to individuals, but OHF also offers funding in the form of community grants.
Community grants are made to nonprofit organizations with current tax-exempt status, or to organizations with a fiscal sponsor that has tax-exempt status. Jess Kimball, owner of the Hartland-based nonprofit Kimball Wellness Association, which in this area serves the Upper Valley of Vermont, says the grants she received through OHF have been essential to providing her doula services to families who would have otherwise struggled to afford this care. Kimball’s focus as a doula is on reproductive health, primarily the postpartum period, and, as her website states, she provides educational support and hands-on support during her time working with families.
During her six years as a doula, Kimball has offered her services with a focus on making care accessible. She formed her nonprofit last year in order to facilitate grant opportunities in that direction. Kimball had known about OHF and applied to the community grant program in 2022 and 2023. Each of those years, Kimball received an OHF community grant for $5,000.
“The grants have made a huge difference,” Kimball said. “They made it so that I’ve been able to support a lot of families with overnight care who wouldn’t have been able to afford it.”
The grants funded postpartum care as well, and they also allowed Kimball to purchase materials for welcome-baby bags – a new item she could now offer families. The bags included different educational resources, including a postpartum support guide.
“That’s a big part of the support that I offer, providing informational support so that families can make informed decisions,” Kimball said.
Additionally, she said it was less than a month from the time when she applied until when the grant was approved.
“It’s nice to have that quick support to be able to hit the ground running” in case the funding was needed quickly, she said.
Kimball appreciated OHF’s emphasis on community-based care.
“For me, it’s really that focus on community health and understanding how diverse the meaning of community health is,” Kimball said, which includes wellness services that are important for a patient. “The grants that are offered really help bridge that gap between preventative health measures and reactive health measures.”
As noted earlier, OHF’s community grants are made to nonprofit organizations with current tax-exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or a public entity. Organizations with a fiscal sponsor which maintains tax-exempt status are also eligible. Additionally, applicants must serve people living in the nine-town area served by OHF: Barnard, Bridgewater, Hartland, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Quechee, Reading, and Woodstock. Grant applications will be reviewed on a case-to-case basis by the Grants Committee.
For more information or to apply, please visit: ohfvt.org/community-grants
New Board Members and Tuck Board Fellow
Logan Paluch – Board Member
Logan is a Woodstock area native who returned to the area after nearly a decade in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. Her undergraduate focus in sociology and economics (as well as a subsequent MEd) at the University of New Hampshire originally drew her down to the Seacoast in 2006. Upon receiving her undergraduate degree at UNH, she started an 8-year long career as an elementary school teacher before becoming a student again in 2018, moving back to the Upper Valley and completing her MPH at The Dartmouth Institute, with a focus on children and families facing adversity.
She now splits her work time between working with the Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center at Dartmouth Health and running her toy store, Wild Kind Toys, in Rutland. Her research at Dartmouth is focused on community and individual level interventions that support families affected by parental substance use. Logan also has past experiences in communications and marketing, both at the corporate and non-profit levels, including a summer internship at OHF in 2009!
She currently lives in Killington with her husband and three energetic dogs. She enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time with her friends and family.
Kari Meutsch – Board Member
Kari and her husband Kristian moved to Bridgewater in 2017 when they took over ownership of the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, Vermont. Owning a bookstore had been a lifelong dream, and after careers of bookselling around the country the two were excited to make the move to the Upper Valley to become stewards of an historic business. Serving OHF will be her first experience with nonprofit work, outside of volunteering at the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society and the fundraising that she and her husband do through the Yankee Bookshop.
Kari has a BA in Accounting with a minor in Communications, and has traveled the country working in bookstores in four different states serving communities of every makeup from rural to urban in a literary capacity. Since bookstores are often a gathering place, she has been privileged to get to know a wide swath of the people in every town she has called home. She has been inspired by the important work that OHF is doing for the healthcare needs of her neighbors, and is looking forward to giving her time to her community in a whole new way.
When she isn’t around books, Kari enjoys photographing the world around her. She can often be found making something out of yarn or paper, doing a puzzle, or spending time with her husband, cats & chickens on their hillside home.
Dr. Adam Prince – Tuck Board Fellow
Adam is a Philadelphia native and trained as a physician in internal medicine in New York City. He joined the Upper Valley with his wife for cardiology fellowship at Dartmouth Health in 2020, where he is also completing an MBA at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business through the Clinical Fellows-MBA Program. He is passionate about health innovation and improving patient outcomes at scale.
Adam currently works with a multidisciplinary, grant-funded team through the Levy Incubator at Dartmouth Health to optimize detection of genetic lipid disorders throughout the Upper Valley. In his free time, Adam can be found trail running, playing tennis, or attempting to ski. He is excited to work with the team at the Ottauquechee Health Foundation and continue to serve the Upper Valley alongside such a dedicated and driven group.
Executive Director’s Report
COVID-19 Test Kits: OHF has been requesting COVID test kits from the State of Vermont, and distributing them, since October. We update area listservs when we receive a new shipment. Supplies are often limited and they go FAST! We are currently out of the tests that we received on Monday.
Simmons Building Tax Exemption: Every 5 years we need to collect signatures to petition to be on the ballot in order for the Simmons Building to remain tax exempt. If you are a resident of Woodstock, please come to our office/lobby to sign your name. We also have aclipboard at Norman Williams Public Library and several area businesses!
Town Appropriations: Every year, we receive a town appropriation from 8 of our 9 towns. For most towns, we need to collect signatures to petition to be on the ballot. We’re still collecting signatures for several towns, please come to our office/lobby and sign your name if you live one of the following towns: Reading or Bridgewater.
Annual Meeting: Save the Date! Our Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, March 28th. Location TBD.
Granting: Year-to-date we have received 306 Good Neighbor and Home Care Grant requests totaling nearly $382,000! We have received 15 Community Grants requests and have approved nearly $28,000! Thank you to everyone who has made a donation to support our organization this year!
Office Hours: Our current office hours are Monday-Wednesday 9am-5pm, and by appointment. Our office will be closed through Monday, 1/1 so that we can enjoy some much needed R&R with our families!
Thank You Woodstock Rotary! Thanks to Woodstock Rotary for their donation of 12 Christmas trees for OHF clients! Beth hit the ground running and found homes for all of them… and even delivered 1!
Mark your calendars for Sunday, January 28th! We are holding a pickleball tournament fundraiser at Woodstock Athletic Club from 12:30-2:30 PM. Come play!
Thank you to our sponsors: Artistree, Mark Knott Dentistry, Echo Market, Upper Valley Endodontics, Shillen & Mackall Law Office, Sunset Valley Dentistry, Nexus Therapeutic Massage, White River Family Eyecare, Upper Valley Rehab, Barbis Fine Art Conservation, Discovery Bike Tours, Milk & More, Nourished Soul Healing, Wholistic Health Services – Dr. Randy Schaetzke DC, Janice Graham & Co PC, Elevation Clothing, Woodstock Sports, N.T. Ferro Jewelers, and The Village Butcher
If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please send an email to Hali: firstname.lastname@example.org
“We cannot tell you how much of a difference [this grant] has made, and how it has seriously lowered our stress levels during such a trying time. We are so lucky to live in such a great community who helps others in need.”
– 2022 Grant recipient
Change Lives With Your Donation to OHF
We are still receiving grant requests for help post-flooding. Can you join us in helping your neighbors?
The Ottauquechee Health Foundation assists hundreds of community members in overcoming the financial stress that health and wellness challenges impose on our neighbors every day and during natural disasters.
The Ottauquechee Health Foundation continues to be there for our communities, one grant, one neighbor, one friend, and one need at a time. We need your help, one donation at a time, to ensure that we are adequately funded to continue meeting the needs of the people we serve.
Your donations don’t just help; they change lives.