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Health foundation grants focus on supporting mental health throughout Williamsburg area


By  | | Correspondent

JAMES CITY — As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Williamsburg Health Foundation said it remains more committed than ever to helping support and increase mental health services throughout the Greater Williamsburg community.

The foundation recently released its 2022 annual report, which revealed a total of $4,886,660 handed out to more than 40 organizations with a focus on mental health. Fifteen of those recipients were first-time grantees.

“The foundation has long recognized the significance of mental health and its connection to overall well-being,” said Bill D. Pribble, the foundation’s vice president of programs. “As the mental health toll from the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent in our community, the foundation prioritized funding in 2022 for programs that increased access to behavioral health services. For this reason, the focus of our 2022 annual report is on mental and behavioral health.”

Grants were awarded in a variety of categories, including advocacy and capacity building, family services, healthy eating, active living, healthy aging, integrated care, behavioral health care, medication access and other services. Individual grants ranged from $3,000 to $670,000.

Williamsburg-James City County Schools received the largest amount of funds for its School Health Initiative Program.

“The 2022 annual report demonstrates the foundation’s $4.9 million investment in both programs and initiatives that target risk factors affecting our population’s health,” Pribble said. “We are most proud of the work our community partners did to address social determinants of health and provide direct care to the underserved, unrepresented, and under-voiced populations in our community.”

Among the 2022 grant recipients for behavioral health care programs were Bacon Street Youth and Family Services, Center for Child & Family Services, Colonial Behavioral Health and Postpartum Support Virginia.

Those who received awards for integrated care programs were Colonial Behavioral Health, Community Access Network, Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic, Lackey Clinic and Olde Towne Medical & Dental Center.

As the foundation’s board reflects on the latest annual report, Pribble said there are still a number of community health issues WHF would like to address.

“The Greater Williamsburg area continues to wrestle with difficult and complicated health issues facing our community,” Pribble said. “The pandemic exacerbated some of these ongoing issues and brought others into stronger focus. Like other localities around the country, for example, Williamsburg must address the needs of our community’s aging population, the shortage of healthcare workers, and strategies for providing responsive and effective care to uninsured children and adults in our community.”

In addition to mental and behavioral health issues that arose from the pandemic, “three other unmet health needs have consistently ranked of highest concern: access to healthy food, affordable housing and transportation,” Pribble said. “The foundation remains committed to providing funding and building partnerships to address these areas.”

The foundation awarded funding for programs related to healthy eating and active living to The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, Colonial CASA, Grove Christian Outreach Center, Virginia Legacy Soccer Club, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, Williamsburg Community Growers, Williamsburg House of Mercy, Williamsburg Soccer Foundation and Williamsburg-James City County Schools.

The Williamsburg Health Foundation was first established in 1996 to help improve the health and well-being for residents of the Greater Williamsburg area. The foundation has handed out more than $100 million in grants so far to support its mission.

“The Williamsburg Health Foundation remains committed to supporting the important work of our dedicated community partners,” Pribble said. “Through these partnerships, the foundation hopes to continue having an important role in improving the health and well-being of those individuals and families who work, play, and live in our wonderful community.”

To see the complete list of grant recipients, visit

Brandy Centolanza,