Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s Grant Recipients Share Success Stories

By Val Short, Executive Director - Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

In this season of thanksgiving and gratitude, I am feeling especially grateful for the opportunities that we have to make an impact on the health and well-being of our communities through the Foundation’s grantmaking.  As part of our grantmaking process, we ask our grantees to submit final reports for their projects that include reflections and evaluations of their work.   We ask them to tell us about lessons learned as well as success stories about their participants. It seems fitting for us to share some of these success stories during this season of thanks! 

Community Workforce Solutions, located in downtown Henderson and formerly known as INCO, is an organization that provides day programming and supported employment for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in the Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren county areas.  Their program, “Healthy Boundaries-Safe Living,” teaches social and relationship boundaries, interpersonal skills, and relationship-specific social skills using a curriculum called “Circles.”  Led by Kimberly Fren, Vocational Services Director, and her staff, the program served 36 participants who learned about appropriate and inappropriate social behaviors and how to respond in difficult situations. 

The program received rave reviews from the clients and according to Ms. Fren, it will be continued.  She shared with us this success story:

“We have one individual who has a traumatic history of sexual assault. He has suffered from anger and behavioral issues as a result that he has been working through for most of his life. We were unsure how he would respond; if he would be interested in participating; or if it would be difficult. He surprised us all in that he was open to participating but a bit reserved in answering questions for the pre-test. He participated; did not have any behavioral issues or outbursts; and didn’t get angry during the classes.

 His score did not improve markedly from pre- and post-tests, but staff reported they felt it was therapeutic for him. He stated he would definitely do the class again.”

“Improving Birth Outcomes in Granville and Vance Counties” was a Granville-Vance Public Health program funded by the Foundation.  This program focused on the expansion of “Centering Pregnancy”, an evidence-based program that convenes groups of pregnant women whose babies are due around the same time.  In addition to receiving their prenatal care, they participate in learning activities that are designed to improve the high rates of infant mortality in the two counties. Over 50 mothers were served during the year, including 22 from Granville County and 28 from Vance County.  The program was led by Shasheena Jones, Maternal Health Coordinator, who shared this poignant story about one participant:

“One notable success story from our project this year is that we had a prenatal client who was here with no family and this was her first pregnancy. At first, she was nervous about being in a group setting with strangers. Afte​r she came to the first session, she was hooked. She never missed an appointment and she was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Her prenatal appointments were not just appointments-- they were bonding times that she shared with other moms and experiences that she loved. Her Centering group became her family!”

Please stay tuned for more success stories from Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s grantees!

For more information about this and other grant programs funded by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, please visit our website at
www.tnhfoundation.org or call us at 252-598-0763.


WestCare in Vance County Provides Safety Net for Teens

By Val Short, Executive Director - Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

There are many hidden gems in our four-county region and one such gem is WestCare, a 16-bed residential program for female juveniles who have been referred from the North Carolina Division of Juvenile Justice.

Located on Kerr Lake in Vance County, WestCare offers a gender-responsive environment that is focused on trauma-informed care for young women ages 13 to 17 who have been designated as Level II juveniles, as defined by the seriousness of their offenses and their delinquency histories. During the four to six months these young women are in residence at WestCare, they are totally immersed in the quiet, lakeside setting.  In addition to receiving physical and mental health services at WestCare, they attend the on-site school and participate in social and recreational activities.

According to WestCare NC’s Executive Director Kim Marino, their primary mission is to assist young women in learning the skills and tools needed to successfully re-integrate with their families and into their communities. Many of these girls have experienced traumas, such as physical and emotional abuse, abandonment, and loss.  In the last five years, WestCare’s data shows 94% of their adolescent female clients at the Vance County facility experienced some type of trauma; 87% reported sexual trauma and 98% reported substance use or abuse.

Through a grant from Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, WestCare has been able to expand the training and credentials of its staff members to better understand and serve these traumatized youth.  WestCare’s licensed clinical social worker has received specialized training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.  TNHF grant funds have also enabled another staff member to become a certified substance abuse counselor, which will qualify her to conduct assessments, develop treatment plans, and conduct group and individual counseling for WestCare residents who have substance abuse disorders.

WestCare NC is part of a large, international nonprofit organization based in Las Vegas, NV.  The facility at Kerr Lake opened in 2011.  WestCare contracts with the N.C. Division of Juvenile Justice at their facility in Vance County.  During the last year, 61 adolescent females were served at the Vance facility from throughout North Carolina, including one from Vance, five from Durham, five from Wake, and two from Halifax.

For more information about this and other grant programs funded by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, please visit our website at

www.tnhfoundation.org or call us at 252-598-0763.

Dental Health is Focus of Alliance Rehabilitative Care Grant Program

By Val Short, Executive Director - Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

One of the 11 projects funded by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation for the coming year will focus on dental health for residents of Alliance Rehabilitative Care’s (ARC) Addiction Recovery Center for Men in Henderson.

The Recovery Center houses adult men who have been diagnosed with chronic substance abuse disorders. Short term and long term health problems are common among the residents of the Center and some health issues have been addressed through other programs.  But dental care is often overlooked and unaddressed by those struggling with substance abuse disorders.

 According to Jeanne Harrison, ARC Executive Director, most of the men admitted to the halfway house do not qualify for health benefits and have no health insurance.  In the past three years, half of those admitted have required immediate dental care due to abscessed teeth and extreme decay. Studies have shown the links between gum disease and poor dental health and chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

Through this program, entitled “Access to Dental Care,” which will be offered to new residents of the Recovery Center beginning in October, dental screenings will be provided during the intake process. With their consent, residents will be scheduled for a full dental evaluation and treatment with the Carolina Fellows Dental Clinic in Oxford. If further dental treatment is recommended, additional appointments will be scheduled as needed.

Education is an important component of this program to ensure that Recovery Center residents understand their responsibility for their dental health.  Toothbrushes, dental floss, and tooth paste will be provided for each participant and dental professionals at Carolina Fellows will demonstrate the proper techniques for using them.

Additionally, Harrison hopes that addressing the residents’ fears about dental treatment and the actual relief of pain from the treatments will be added benefits of the program.

The Access to Dental Care program is among several projects funded  previously by the Foundation for the Addiction Recovery Center.  The other projects included “Back on Track,” a medication-assisted substance abuse treatment program; “Access to Care,” which enabled residents to receive medical care for chronic health conditions; and “Life Skills Enhancement,” which provided training in accessing, understanding, and using skills and information that promote healthy lifestyles.

For more information about this and other grant programs funded by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, please visit our website at www.tnhfoundation.org or call us at 252-598-0763.


Three New TNHF Grantees Provide New Strategies for Improving Health

By Val Short, Executive Director - Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

Three of the 12 Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s 2018 grant recipients are new to the Foundation’s growing list of grant partners. They will provide new and interesting approaches to the health problems of chronic disease and mental health in our region. 

Definitely not new to the region, but new to the Foundation, Area Christians Together in Service (ACTS) is the Henderson nonprofit that is well known for its weekday soup kitchen and ongoing support of those needing food supplies.  Through their Healthy Hearts program, ACTS will provide free, home-delivered meals for congestive heart failure patients who have recently discharged from the hospital.

The meals will be heart-healthy, nutritious, and appropriate for CHF patients and will ensure that these recovering patients are getting the type of nutrition their doctors order for the 10 days after discharge.  Participants can look forward to the daily visits of the friendly volunteer who will also provide information and resources for achieving a healthier lifestyle.

The ultimate goal of the program, according to Lee Anne Peoples, ACTS executive director, is to prevent the need for subsequent emergency visits to the hospital.  Peoples will lead the program along with a licensed clinical dietitian and a team of well-trained, caring volunteers.  Participation in the program is voluntary and patients will be referred to the program through hospital discharge planners.

Also in the chronic disease category is the Diabetes Peer Educator program that is a partnership between the Warren County Senior Center and the Warren County Health Department.  This train-the-trainer program will give volunteers the skills and knowledge to go into in the rural communities of Warren County to monitor diet and medication compliance of their diabetic friends and neighbors.

Vicky Stokes, executive director of the Warren Co. Senior Center, and Margaret Brake, director of the Warren County Health Department, will lead the program, but volunteer educators will be the heart of the program.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is prevalent in our region and especially in Warren County.  According to Centers for Disease Control Data, 7.9% of the total population of Warren County received a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 2013.  In the same year, 14.4% of the population self-reported they had been told by a health provider they were diabetic.  These rates are significantly higher than the state average, which is 9%.

For diabetics, failure to properly manage their disease by complying with diet and medication requirements can have devastating consequences.  Both Stokes and Warren hope that having the support of a volunteer peer educator will have a positive impact on the health and lifestyles of their program participants.

Shepherd Youth Ranch, located in Franklin County, offers a unique therapeutic approach to children with mental health issues.  Trail to Success will provide coping skill building and support for children ages 8 to 16 from the four-county region who are suffering from grief, loss, abandonment and abuse.

Through the TNHF grant, partial scholarships will be provided to 10 youth who are referred by the school system or law enforcement. These troubled kids will enter into an intensive 24-week program, which consists of weekly group therapy and monthly family sessions

in a unique program that uses horses to help with therapy.

Located in a beautiful, pastoral area of the county, Shepherd Youth Ranch not only provides therapy and support for the children who come there, but the horses that are part of the therapy themes and curriculum have been rescued from similar experiences of grief, loss, abandonment, and abuse.The program has a successful track record of 14 years.  Last year, 37 youth completed the 26-week program.  In addition to the 10 scholarships, the TNHF grant will fund a new adult mentor/listener program which will provide an ​

opportunity for parents to become more involved.

For more information about these and other grant programs funded by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, please visit our website at www.tnhfoundation.org or call us at 252-598-0763.

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation Grant Awards Top $1 Million

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved $300,000 in grants to local organizations in the Foundation’s fifth grant cycle. The 2017 awards will bring the total grants awarded by the Foundation to $1.1 million since 2013, when the Foundation began grantmaking.
“All of the grants awarded will fund projects that focus on community health in some way,” said Val Short, executive director for the local Foundation. “Our hope is that these grant awards will result in improved health and healthier lifestyles for children and adults in our region,” she added. Grant recipients will be announced in October.

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation has established five major funding priorities that include, Chronic Disease Prevention, Nutrition and Physical Fitness, Success in School—as it relates to health and fitness, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Reproductive Health. “Most of our grant projects this year focus on chronic disease management and prevention, success in school, and substance use disorders,” said Short.

Located in Henderson, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s grant funding mission has been made possible by the endowment that was established after Maria Parham Medical Center merged with the for-profit Duke-Lifepoint. Information about the Foundation and future grant opportunities is available by calling 252-598-0763.


Triangle North Healthcare Foundation is a regional healthcare grant making organization, which evolved from the previous fundraising organization, Maria Parham Healthcare Foundation. Established in 1987, Maria Parham Foundation was governed by a group of community and hospital leaders. The revenues and operating funds were generated by individual donations and fundraising activities to support health education, health promotion, and the purchase of health equipment at the hospital.

The Foundation was reorganized and the name was changed in November, 2011, after Maria Parham Medical Center merged with the for-profit Duke LifePoint organization. Triangle North Healthcare Foundation has been funded by an endowment that was created from the assets of the former nonprofit hospital. Board members are appointed by the Board of Henderson Vance Healthcare, its parent o


Community Workforce Solutions Grant Program Shows Health Really Does Matter

By Val Short, Executive Director - Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

HealthMatters is an evidence-based education program on health, wellness, and physical activity, designed specifically for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Community Workforce Solutions (CWS) in Henderson, formerly INCO, has implemented this 12-week program with 40 of its clients with great results.

The primary mission of the program is to increase the participants’ knowledge about healthy lifestyles, to improve fitness, and to teach core concepts related to physical activity and nutrition. With grant funding provided by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, CWS was able to provide training and certification for three staff members as HealthMatters instructors. These instructors have trained other staff members and are leading the program for the CWS clients.

The program has enabled CWS clients to participate in group activities related to healthy food choices, food portions, food preparation in addition to physical exercise. Each participant sets personal goals for the program that could include 30 minutes of exercise per day, increasing fruits and vegetables in the diet, and weight loss. Pre and post surveys plus diet and weight monitoring have provided evidence of success for the participants.

Program coordinator Kim Fren reported for the first 12-week group of participants, 75% met their individual weekly goals throughout the program and an additional 8% partially met their goals. Additional evidence of success included an aggregate decrease in BMI (body mass index) of 3.39%, a participant who no longer needed to carry oxygen, and another participant who was able to walk independently by the end of the program. Ms. Fren also noted an instructor for the program had lost 35 pounds.

Community Workforce Solutions has been active in Henderson since 1983 when it was established as INCO and provided day programming and supported employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren counties. In 2003, INCO merged with the Raleigh Vocational Center and became INCO/RVC. The name was changed to Community Workforce Solutions in 2007 to better reflect the mission of the organization. Onsite day services are provided, which include social, vocational, and functional living skills. Employment skills and job placement assistance are also provided to clients who are interested in seeking jobs.

Community Workforce Solutions’ HealthMatters program is one of 12 programs funded by Triangle North Healthcare Foundation during the 2016-17 year that have made an impact on health in our communities. The Foundation’s mission is to encourage support, and invest in quality efforts that measurably improve health in the Triangle North region, which includes Vance, Warren, Granville, and Franklin counties. For information about grant opportunities, please give us a call at 252-430-8643.

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​​​​​​​​​​Triangle North Healthcare Foundation Awards Over $340,000 in Health Grants

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved $343,450 in grant awards to local organizations in the Foundation’s sixth annual grant cycle.  With the 2018 grant award, the Foundation’s contributions to the community total $1.5 million since the Foundation began grantmaking in 2013.  

“The primary purpose of our grantmaking is to invest in organizations that share our mission to improve health in our region,” said Val Short, executive director for the Foundation.  The 2018 grant awards will fund 12 projects presented by nonprofits and agencies that serve local communities—and all of them will focus on community health and health improvement programs throughout the four-county region.  “Our hope is that these grant awards will result in improved health and healthier outcomes for children and adults in Vance, Warren, Granville, and Franklin counties,” said Short.

The 12 grants approved by the board fall under one or more of the five funding priorities established by the Foundation in 2013, including chronic disease, mental health and substance abuse, nutrition and physical activity, reproductive health, and success in school as related to health and wellness. 

Most of the 2018 grant projects focus on chronic disease management and prevention and mental health and substance abuse. The TNHF grantees will provide a broad range of approaches to improving health-- from programs that provide healing and support to traumatized children, to programs that provide strategies for managing chronic disease, to programs that provide care, treatment, and support for those with substance abuse disorders. “In all of our grant programs, health and wellness are at the heart of the work they will do,” said Short.

A list of the grant recipients and their projects for 2018-19 includes:

Alliance Rehabilitative Care (ARC) – Access to Dental Care – Residents entering the substance abuse halfway house in Henderson will receive dental screening and preventive care and when necessary more extensive dental treatment to prevent further decay and to promote overall health.

 Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central NC – Project Sport –  This pilot program will target 4th and 5th graders who will participate in two existing programs plus they will learn skills that will prepare them to participate in organized competitive team sport activities, including flag football, basketball, soccer, and tennis.

 Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start – Teens Fit for Life – the existing Adolescent Parenting Program will continue the Nutrition & Fitness component through participation in programs at the YMCA and through nutrition education provided by Cooperative Extension.

Granville-Vance Public Health – Responding to the Opioid Crisis in Vance & Granville Counties—Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for substance abuse disorders will be available at the Health Department’s Primary Care Clinic in addition to continuation of the work of the VIBRANT Coalition to address the four focus areas of the N.C. Opioid Action Plan.

 Henderson Family YMCA – 1) Girls on the Run – a self-esteem, self- respect and healthy lifestyles program for girls & boys culminating in a 5k run/walk at the end of each semester; 2) Safety Around Water – teaches water safety and drowning prevention skills to 2nd graders in Vance County.

 NC Med Assist – Free Pharmacy Program & Over-the-Counter Giveaways -- provides free medications and support for low income and uninsured individuals in the Triangle North Region.  In addition two over-the-counter medicine giveaways will be implemented this year in Warren and Franklin counties.

Shepherd Youth Ranch – Trail to Success – Provide skill building for youth suffering from grief, loss, abandonment and abuse. Partial scholarships will be provided to 10 youth who are referred by the school system or law enforcement whowill enter into an intensive 24-week program, which consists of weekly group and monthly family sessions in a unique program that uses horses to help with therapy.

Strength and Mending (S.a.M) Child Advocacy Center – Child Forensic Interviews – provides a centralized, child-centered approach to investigation that reduces the risk of trauma to the children who are victims of abuse; increases opportunities for healing for the child and non-offending family members.

TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Inc.) – Rebuilding Lives: Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery – provides a two-year residential recovery program with treatment, education, vocational training and care for residents of the Triangle North region who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse, free of charge.

Warren County Senior Center. – Diabetes Peer Educator Training and Outreach— in partnership with Warren County Health Department, this program will prepare volunteers to deliver diabetes self- management classes and support to Warren County residents in their own communities.

Located in Henderson, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation provides grants to nonprofits organizations, governmental agencies, and schools in Vance, Warren, Granville, and Franklin counties. The Foundation’s grant funding mission has been made possible by the endowment that was established after Maria Parham Health merged with the for-profit Duke-Lifepoint in 2011.

The Foundation will launch a new grant cycle in the spring of 2019, but in the meantime, the Foundation staff is available to discuss ideas for grant projects or to provide assistance with grant writing.   Information about our grantees and future grant opportunities is available on the website at www.tnhfoundation.org or call 252-598-0763.






The Foundation’s mission, to encourage, support, and invest in quality efforts that measurably improve health in the Triangle North area, is achieved through funding initiatives, programs, and projects of nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and schools. “Our grantees provide the boots on the ground, the expertise in the field, and the committed hearts and minds that will make our community a healthier place to be,” said Val Short, executive director. The Foundation’s community focus includes four counties in the region north of the Triangle– Franklin, Granville, Vance, and Warren counties.

The Foundation has launched a grant cycle each year since its grant making began in 2013. To date, the Foundation has invested over $1 million in over 50 projects serving the four-county region. “The Foundation’s Board of Directors is always looking for ways that we can have a deeper, broader impact on the health status of our communities that will not only benefit current residents, but also future generations,” said Short.

The Foundation Board’s hope is that through our grantees and the people they serve, the Board’s vision for the future of our region will be realized… “to live in a healthy community.”

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Teen Health Program Supports Adolescent Parents and their Children

By Val Short, Executive Director - Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

Life for teenagers can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but life for teen parents can be overwhelming and difficult.  Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start’s Adolescent Parenting Program (APP) is designed to provide a safety net for teen parents by ensuring they remain in school, avoid additional pregnancies, develop good parenting skills, prepare for further education and employment, and prevent the chance of any referrals for abuse or neglect.

The program has been in existence in Vance County since the 1970’s and over the years, it has been coordinated by multiple agencies, including Social Services, Mental Health, and Granville-Vance Public Health.  In 2003, FGV Smart Start received a contract to manage the program.

In 2003, Annie Perry was hired to coordinate the program, but she has done so much more than coordinate!  Ms. Perry has served as mom, role model, teacher, counselor, mentor, confidante, and friend to over 150 teen parents who have graduated from the program since 2003.  Many of those graduates have gone on to excel academically and professionally, and have developed excellent parenting skills.

This year, with the help of a grant from Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, APP has added a new health and nutrition lifelong learning component to its curriculum.  With the help of partners, Henderson Family YMCA and Vance County Cooperative Extension, the 17 teen parents currently enrolled in the program will learn to enjoy and understand the value of physical fitness and good nutrition.

With a membership at the Y, the teens engage in classes and physical activities after school and on weekends, with access to childcare provided by YMCA.  Perry and Smart Start provide transportation for the teens and their children.Through a series of six nutrition classes offered by Vance Cooperative Extension’s EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education) program, the teens are not only learning food preparation and cooking skills, they are learning about making healthy food choices at the grocery store and practicing good nutrition for their children and themselves.

Giving these teen parents the skills and confidence they need to provide stable and happy homes for their children, in addition to teaching them the value of exercise and good nutrition, provides a pathway to healthy living and a better chance for a successful future for these teens and their children.

To find out more about the Foundation and our grantmaking opportunities, please call us at 252-598-0763 or 252-430-8643, or email us at grants@tnhfoundation.org.   Visit our website at www.tnhfoundation.org to find out more about the Foundation’s funding priorities and previous grant awards.