OHF’s Good Neighbor Grants program has been a key part of the OHF’s work to support community members in need. This edition of our newsletter defines the grant application process, showing how it’s based on a strong partnership between the applicant, the provider and the OHF.
For nearly three decades, the Ottauquechee Health Foundation has been at the forefront of helping local residents in need get crucial health care services. A big part of that is OHF’s Good Neighbor Grants program, which has a specific process behind it. And throughout the way – from submitting the application to final approval – the OHF is there to assist the applicant with the required steps.
When the OHF receives a grant application, there are several important criteria to be met, in order for the application to proceed. OHF must confirm that:
- The applicant resides in one of the nine towns the Foundation serves: Barnard, Bridgewater, Hartland, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Quechee, Reading, and Woodstock.
- The request is not for treatment they’ve already received.
- The applicant fits within OHF’s income guidelines for the grants (see further details below).
- The request is for services that are within OHF’s guidelines for health and wellness. The categories of need include:
- Aging in place
- In-home/Respite care
- Mental Health
OHF is glad to take applications for any service that someone’s insurance doesn’t cover, or where it’s tough for the individual to make the required co-pay.
“We’re there to meet that gap,” said Beth Robinson, OHF’s grants coordinator. OHF can also address related needs, such as purchasing gas cards so the applicant can get to their medical appointments.
Regarding the income guidelines, OHF works within the federal poverty guidelines and provides grants to individuals under 300% poverty, in accordance with the federal guidance. Robinson explained that an individual at 100% poverty is making $14,580 per year, and, for these grants, OHF approves applicants with incomes of up to 300% poverty. Grant amounts vary based on this.
“Someone closer to, or under, that 100% poverty guideline is going to get a much larger grant than someone closer to 300%,” she said. Applicants must also provide a copy of the past year’s tax return or the equivalent to show total household size and income from the previous year.
On the provider side, the health care providers participating will often discount their services. At the same time, the applicant is expected to make an effort in that direction also. These discounts range from 5-25%.
“We always ask the applicant to contribute something,” she said. “The providers who are discounting services like to see that participation, and it makes the applicant feel like they’re pulling their weight, they’re contributing.”
When all the information is in order, then the amount comes into play. Any grant request of $750 or less, Executive Director Hali Robinson is able to sign off on that application; any request over $750 (up to a maximum of $5,000) goes to OHF’s grants committee, which is made up of several OHF Board members.
All grant application information is completely confidential, Robinson emphasized. Once an application is approved, Robinson puts together a letter of agreement and sends it to the provider, which includes the application’s contribution and the total grant. Once the provider signs off on it the applicant can make an appointment.
She added, “Providers allow our applications to make payments at no interest, which I think is really wonderful.”
Over the years, Robinson said, the grants program has been a great support for all involved. The providers allow the OHF to pay them after services have been rendered. After treatment is provided the applicant pays their portion and a bill is sent to OHF for the remainder.
“The applicants appreciate being treated so kindly and fairly, and they make their payments as promised to the providers,” she said. “The providers find that people go to their appointments and follow through with what’s been given to them, and it’s a lovely partnership.”
New Board Member: Meet Alan Fine
Alan Fine, a member of the OHF Real Estate Committee since 2021, brings a passion for OHF and its goals. He is proud to be part of an organization that supports people of limited financial means who need access to health programs and equipment.
Alan has nearly 40 years of experience as a Real Estate attorney, during which he worked for several Title Insurance companies. In addition to his work as a title counsel, he maintained a small private practice, specializing in Real Estate and Wills, Trusts & Estates.
Before his career in real estate law, Alan majored in Chemistry and Biology at Cornell University and went on to work as a bench chemist for several years. He decided to change career paths and matriculated at Pace University School of Law, where he attained a JD degree. He retired in 2019, and is now a consultant to several Real Estate attorneys who he worked with during his tenure as title counsel.
Apart from his work for OHF, Alan is also Chairman of the Woodstock Pickleball Committee, which oversees the operation of pickleball at Vail Field and the Woodstock Elementary School. He is also a member of the Woodstock Rotary Club.
Executive Director’s Report
Taste of Woodstock: OHF participated in Taste of Woodstock on August, 12th. We had the opportunity to chat with a lot of people to let them know what we do! (Thanks to Rick Russell for the photo!)
Membership event: Join us for apple cider and donuts! If you are a member, or if you are interested in becoming a member, of the Ottauquechee Health Foundation, come chat with us on Tuesday, October 10th from 4-6pm. We will be on the OHF lawn at 30 Pleasant Street if the weather cooperates, or in our Conference Room on the 2nd floor of the Simmons Building (unfortunately, this is not handicap accessible) if the weather does not cooperate. This is a great way to learn more about the organization, discuss any health-related concerns in our area, connect with OHF staff and Trustees, or meet other members. Bring a friend!
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 need your help! If you haven’t already, please come to our office and sign your name if you live one of the following towns: Woodstock, Hartland, Reading, Bridgewater, or Barnard. Granting Update: In 2022, OHF provided 261 Good Neighbor and Homecare Grants. To-date in 2023, OHF has approved 236 grants!
OHF’s Role in the Flood
Flood Relief Grants: OHF has approved 35 flood-related grants relating to environmental health, food insecurity, housing, and medical products and services. Wal-Mart in West Lebanon generously donated 4 dehumidifiers that we distributed to impacted households. Our Board of Trustees voted on adopting a Disaster Relief Fund so we are prepared for any future events.
Immediate Response: Shared information across social media channels from trusted town sources; offered food and water to individuals in need, a place to come rest in the AC and charge electronics, and a place for displaced individuals to shower (before Woodstock lost water!)
In the Community: We aided in resource coordination; received cleaning supplies, toilet paper, fans, etc from working with Woodstock Trustees and brought supplies to community members impacted by the flood; and acted as advocates for individuals and families impacted by the flood.
We are thankful for our partnerships: Sustainable Woodstock, The HUB, Ottauquechee Pharmacy, Woodstock Trustees, Plymouth Memory Tree, The Shire, Sleep Woodstock, and more!
A Very Special Thank You to Susan Mordecai! Susan took this photo of a heart-shaped rock that was deposited onto her driveway during the flood. She made beautiful cards and sold them. We were one of the beneficiaries to receive the proceeds. Thanks, Susan!
Some of your neighbors are still dealing with the impacts of the flood. How can you help? Please consider a donation! We are still receiving flood-related grant requests.
Thompson Senior Center Age Well Education Series
Age Well Education Series
Know your Options for End of Life
These programs are brought to you in partnership with Norman Williams Public Library and Ottauquechee Health Foundation
These programs are free and open to the public. Register by calling the Thompson Senior Center at 802-457-3277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction to Death Journaling: Planning, Preparing & Processing
Thursday, September. 28, 5:30 pm at Norman Williams Public Library
Presented by Community Doula, Francesca Lynn Arnoldy
Join us for an introduction to “Death Journaling,” the inspiration behind her new book, The Death Doula’s Guide to Living Fully and Dying Prepared. During this workshop, participants will feel gently invited to reflect back, turn inward, and plan ahead with intention and insight, focusing on introspection as well as extending care to others.
Topics include but are not limited to:
- the practice of Death Journaling
- planning, preparing, & processing
- storying the past
- exploring beliefs and values
- tools for times of stress and suffering
Your Options, Your Autonomy End-of-Life Options including Medical Aid in Dying under Vermont’s Act 39
Friday, October 6,10:30-11:45am Virtual Program at The Thompson
Presented by Audrey Winograd, JD, MSW, Program Manager, Patient Choices Vermont, Medical Social Worker and Psychotherapist
This is an opportunity to learn, ask questions, and share stories. People often discuss their experiences with the dying process of loved ones and express their desires for what they would or would not like when they consider their end-of-life choices.
Topics will include:
- medical aid in dying
- who qualifies and how it works
- the role of hospice and palliative care
Audrey will discuss how to talk with your doctor and recent legislative updates to Act 39.
“ I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude once again for the dehumidifier. Your kindness and support mean so much to us, and we can’t thank you enough for all your help!”
– Flood 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.