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On Monday, June 5, 2023, the Board of Trustees of the Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) met and approved 20 grants worth over $4 million. “We are happy to continue our relationship and investments with legacy partners which support our strategic plan,” said Deanna Van Hersh, WHF President and CEO. “This funding cycle, we are also pleased to invest in and highlight two new programs aimed at improving the health and well-being of children in our community.”

 Under the strategic goal to “Target behavioral and social risk factors that influence the health of individuals throughout the life span,” the Foundation has awarded $816,000 toward “Healthy Eating Active Living” programs. This summer, access to free healthy meals for children will be available in our area. WHF is excited to partner with the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools to provide healthy and “Happier meals” for children in the City of Williamsburg and James City County during summer break. Free lunches will be available 12:00-1:00 pm, Monday-Thursday for children under 18 from June 26th through August 17th at James River Elementary School.  

Under the strategic goal to “Strengthen the healthcare safety-net for uninsured and underinsured individuals,” the Board of Trustees has approved over $2 million toward Integrated Care and Behavioral Health Services. WHF is happy to highlight the launch of a new school-based play therapy program, Play to Thrive, developed by William and Mary’s Flanagan Counselor Education Clinic. Play to Thrive aims to improve the well-being of young children experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties in Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency’s Head Start program. Dr. Erin Woods, Director of the Flanagan Counselor Education Clinic said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Williamsburg Health Foundation to deliver services through the Play to Thrive program. This initiative will not only impact the lives of those we serve but will also provide valuable clinical experience to counselors in training.”

Williamsburg Health Foundation continues to prioritize funding and investing in collaborative programs and innovative ways to impact systems that improve the health and well-being of individuals in the Greater Williamsburg area across their lifespan. According to Bill Pribble, Vice President of Programs, “An important part of investing across the lifespan includes making investments to improve the health of youth. This is a long-term investment in the future health of our community.”