The Winter Park Health Foundation has awarded $42,532 in grants to support the development of health programs that help persons in faith communities understand the connection between faith and health, and assist congregations in promoting whole body health for members.

These grants are part of a comprehensive $500,000 Faith Community Health initiative launched by WPHF in June 2010 to support faith communities interested in promoting whole person health in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville.

Recent grantees include:

  • First United Methodist Church of Winter Park – Awarded $7,468 to provide Falls Prevention classes, a Living Healthy with Chronic Conditions course, health education forums, healthy eating classes, and “Bicycle Blessings” to provide bikes to children in need.
  • Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Eatonville – Awarded $7,500 to provide health education classes, health screenings, portable gardens, exercise programs, cooking demonstrations and brain health programs for older adults.
  • St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Altamonte Springs – The Health and Wellness Ministry at St. Mary Magdalen Parish was awarded $7,345 to encourage better nutrition by educating people about the benefits of gardening and growing their own food. The project involves setting up a demonstration Grow Box Garden on the Adult Center patio and developing a community garden in the Convent yard.
  • Redeemer Lutheran Church, Winter Park – The Redeemer Lutheran Church Health Cabinet asked its congregation to complete a Health and Wholeness survey in July 2011 which identified the members’ desire for help with stress management. To help meet that need, the church was awarded $7,500 to provide Laughter Yoga classes for stress management, socialization and increased opportunities for activity. The congregation’s Faith Community Nurse will provide additional information to participants about meditation and other stress management techniques. The Laughter Yoga Instructor will train three leaders to teach the class so the program can be sustained.
  • Warner Chapel Outreach Ministries, Winter Park – Awarded $7,500 to provide a 90-day “Get Fit” program that includes initial health screenings, intake assessments and a variety of nutrition and exercise opportunities for up to 75 persons. Participants will journal their activities and share success stories.
  • First Presbyterian Church of Maitland – Awarded $5,219 to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillators (AED), and First Aid training for members of the congregation, the majority of whom are elderly.

The Faith Community Nurse and one other member of First Presbyterian Church will be trained to teach CPR and AED so the expertise can be carried to other members of the church.

““Faith communities are continuing to be engaged as important partners in health promotion,” said Matthew Davies, WPHF Vice Chair — Community Health.

“The Foundation hopes the grants will help faith communities develop programs and activities that encourage whole person health by promoting healthy behaviors and wellness education for all ages, encouraging social engagement of older adults, and providing support for disease management,” said Lisa Portelli, Program Director — Community Health.