AHA funds $58,000 in local projects with Community Impact Grant awards


Fifteen Greater Utica area organizations will receive funding for community projects to improve the health of the Greater Utica area from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA). The AHA/ASA is proud to announce the recipients of the Greater Utica Community Impact Grant Awards.

The local chapter of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association provides grant funding for community-based organizations in the Greater Utica area with the mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Community Impact Grant recipients
Representatives from Community Impact Grant recipient organizations and the AHA/ASA

The grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Pathfinder Village
  • Bassett Healthcare Network, Research Institute
  • Johnson Park Center
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County
  • Masonic Care Community
  • Center for Family Life and Recovery
  • Mount Markham Central School District
  • The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter, NYSARC
  • The Boilermaker Road Race
  • Insight house CDS, Inc
  • Hart’s Hill Elementary School
  • Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement
  • Elderlife, Inc.
  • Notre Dame Elementary School
  • Midtown Utica Community Center

Local organizations started applying for grants last December. Project proposals needed to focus on reducing cardiovascular disease and its risk factors by specifically targeting issues like childhood obesity or family health. Special consideration was also given to projects aimed at improving access to healthy foods and increasing CPR/AED training and implementation in the community. A committee of local community volunteers reviewed and ranked the grant applications by the projects’ alignment with the mission of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

This year’s recipients received between $1,500 and $5,000, for a total community investment of $58,000.

Starting in 2011, the local American Heart Association has been able to award $258,000 with 67 grants to 42 deserving organizations who are working to improve the health of the Greater Utica area.

“We were so happy to see the level of creative projects being developed to support the fight against heart disease and stroke,” says Marolyn Wilson, chairwoman of the AHA/ASA Greater Utica Area advisory board. “There were many merit-worthy projects that would result in improvements in the cardiovascular health of our community. The decisions were not easy.”

Community Impact Grant funding will help to ensure that healthy-related activities in the Greater Utica area continue and new, creative projects are executed. The AHA/ASA wants to help create an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice for the entire community.


Community Impact Grant Recipients


Pathfinder Village – Funding will help support the Pathfinder Produce Market, including purchasing additional growing supplies and equipment to help adults and students learn about healthy gardening.

Bassett Healthcare Network Research Institute – The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Project, in conjunction with the Bassett School-Based health clinics, will provide low income families with vouchers for fruits and vegetables, as well as lessons on how to prepare them. Many of these families are at higher risk for heart disease associated with obesity.

Johnson Park Center – Funding for the Health Hearts program will support CPR and AED classes for low-income, high-risk populations in the inner city who have been diagnosed with mental health disabilities and substance abuse.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County – This grant will help fund youth outreach programs to empower teens to grow, process, distribute, and cook with fresh fruits and vegetables grown at the Boilermaker Urban Garden.

Masonic Care Community – The Intergenerational Cooking Class will reach age groups from daycare, through summer camp students, to senior residents. Daycare program participants will learn to plant and maintain gardens, while summer camp students and senior residents can learn to cook the fruits and vegetables grown there.

Center for Family Life and Recovery – The Healthy Heart Club targets high-risk, school-aged children. The program includes monthly group activities and weekly take home activities, including a Healthy Heart Passport to track physical activities and healthy eating options.

Mount Markham Central School District – Funding will support an after-school Running Club for middle school students and their family members. Participants will use pedometers and computer software to track miles, progress, and health benefits.

The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter, NYSARC – This grant will support the Groovement Project, which will provide nutritional sessions and exercise classes to clients and staff, as well as measuring blood pressure, BMI, weight, and stress levels for participants.

The Boilermaker Road Race – Funding will allow the Boilermaker Road Race to buy an AED for locations and events like the West Utica Farmer’s Market, Saranac Thursdays, and the race itself.

Insight House CDS, Inc – Funding will allow for the purchase of exercise equipment stations that can offer diverse workout options to help encourage physical activity during drug rehabilitation. The program will help enhance recovery and will target high-risk individuals ages 18 to 60.

Hart’s Hill Elementary – This grant will help fund the first phase of the Hart’s Hill Bike and Hike Loop. The program will create a safe and suitable bike and hiking trail in conjunction with several schools and groups. Bikes and helmets will also be included in the program.

Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement – Funding will help support CPR and AED training for area seniors.

Elderlife Inc. – This grant will help support the Moving with Music program in conjunction with the City of Utica Youth Bureau and Parkway Recreational Center. The funding will provide an updated music system to help increase physical activity through dance and exercise classes for youth and seniors.

Notre Dame Elementary – Funding will help the school purchase a rock wall to help encourage activity during physical education classes.

Midtown Utica Community Center – This grant will help support the building and upkeep of community beds harvested by resettled refuges from several nations.

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