Improving health and well-being for all.
One of our goals is to improve health equity for Windham County residents by ensuring social position or socially-defined circumstances do not disadvantage anyone from attaining their full health potential
We continue to:
- Pursue and support funding for collaborative projects that advance community health equity goals.
- Leverage lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic to drive progress towards health equity.
Some of our key partners include local healthcare providers, and health equity practitioners and organizations.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Another goal of ours is to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion by creating welcoming communities and workplaces.
- Continually analyze United Way of Windham County's workplace culture and identity and make necessary changes to ensure internal workplace is diverse, equitable, and inclusive among staff, Board members, and volunteers.
- Collaborate with community partners to ensure diversity in workplace culture by providing training and coaching initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Explore and respond to opportunities to support community-driven initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Programs That Are Focused on Building a Healthy Community
In the summer of 2022, United Way of Windham County was granted funds to improve health equity outcomes in our community. Concurrently, the population of refugees and asylum seekers in our area was on the rise, with about 100 Afghan refugees settling in Windham County. With respect to the difficulties of settling in a foreign country, our organization requested that some of these funds be specifically allocated to a health initiative for this community—charitable dental care.
With a little investigation, we found that dental needs in Windham County were extreme. In fact, the vast majority of potential clients that we surveyed were currently experiencing dental pain and reported their dental health needs as urgent. Many of the clients also reported that they had never seen a dentist before.
To date, we have had 99 individuals sign up for services through our program, and we have been able to provide 70 of these individuals with logistical and financial support! We continue to receive more intake forms for this program and aim to serve the most urgent needs as efficiently as possible. Recently, we received additional funding from the state which will allow us to get closer to our goal of serving 100% of these clients! Our work is done with many thanks to our community partners, including many area dental and specialist offices, and ECDC.
In partnership with Vermont Public Health Institute, United Way of Windham County had the opportunity to distribute CDC derived funding to our local communities in the Spring of 2023. We collaborated with Vital Partnerships, LLC. and conducted a needs assessment of our community. What resonated was the opportunity gaps to support the health of our community, namely - funding limitations, intersectional needs, lack of linguistic & cultural humility.
With the funding we established a community-led Steering Committee, who developed an RFP (Request for Proposals) based on the problem statement, and then selected organizations whose proposals aligned. Nine local organizations were selected out of a total of 15 applicants and a total of $168,000 was awarded through our “Community Resilience Grant”. The awardees go as follows:
A portion of the awarded projects were centered around food shelf programs, case management for asylum seekers with antiracism workshops, social integration activities for refugees, increasing rural access to mental health care, transport, and social work programming. Whilst other projects focused on building capacity for LGBTQ+ health programs, fostering good health, well-being, and independence of ALL community members, multicultural workshops, racial healing with CSA boxes, BIPOC hair clinics, and general staff support. We congratulate these awardees for their commitment to the community and their continuous hard work!
A collaboration between State of Vermont, Department of Health and United Way of Windham County to use a community-led approach to address tobacco use, dependence and secondhand smoke among disparately affected populations and specific populations in Vermont.
United Way of Windham County, in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will bring together the tobacco control and prevention framework outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Increasing understanding of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) youth experiences through focus groups, questionnaires, and/or stories to obtain social determinants of health information as it relates to tobacco use.
- Decreasing the number of BIPOC students who smoke cigarettes for 20+ days from 47% to 44.7%.
- Decreasing the number of BIPOC students who smoke at least half a pack a day will from 32% to 30.4%.
- Decreasing cigarette initiation among BIPOC students trying cigarettes before the age of 13 from 20% to 19%.