SYDNEY: The nine community health boards (CHBs) in Nova Scotia Health’s Eastern Zone are pleased to announce that nearly $147,000 of funding has been provided for projects that support local population health priorities.

According to a press release issued earlier this month, grants from the CHB Wellness Fund are awarded annually to non-profit organizations across the province that are working to improve the health of their communities, based on priorities identified by CHBs. This year, a special emphasis was placed on projects that mitigated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eastern Zone’s nine CHBs cover communities in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM), rural Cape Breton, the Strait Richmond area, Guysborough county and Antigonish town and county. In total, the CHBs received 148 applications and provided grants to 42 organizations.

“These organizations are doing outstanding work contributing to the well-being of our residents,” said Marie Aucoin, North Inverness County CHB chair. “In my years with the community health board, I have found it rewarding to witness first-hand the goodwill, hard work and effort that local service organizations dedicate to help make this a healthy, safe and welcoming place to live.”

Projects selected support the priorities identified in the Eastern Zone Health Plan: poverty, equitable access to health services and information, and social inclusion. Embedded throughout these priorities is a focus on mental health and wellness. The overall plan is a collaboration of the CHBs’ three separate community health plans. Project areas funded this year include food security, mental wellness, physical activity, youth programs, and social supports.

Wellness Fund recipients funded by the Antigonish Town and County CHB include: “Moving and Growing Together” – Antigonish Affordable Housing Society; “Songs in Streets” – Antigonish County Adult Learning Association; “Sparking Interest” – Early Childhood Development Intervention Services; and “Kindness Boxes” – École Acadienne de Pomquet.

Projects funded by the Strait Richmond CHB are: “Project Period Kits” – Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services; expansion of peer support services – Fresh Start Peer Support Society; and “Webs of Social Connectedness” – Seniors Take Action Coalition.

Those funded by the Guysborough County CHB were: “ArtWorks Everywhere” – ArtWorks East

Awesome Activities; Autism Nova Scotia; “Winged Blossom Project: – Canso Garden Club; family literacy – Early Years Networking Committee; and the Food Pantry – Mulgrave and Area Medical Centre.

Antigonish and Guysborough CHBs funded “Make and Take: COVID-19 Style: – Kids First Association for Antigonish/Guysborough/Pictou.

Wellness Fund recipients for communities within rural Cape Breton funded by the Central Inverness CHB included Ulnooweg development – L’Arche Cape Breton.

CHBs are often looking for new members to help fulfill their role, as well as new partnership opportunities. Contact information for the local CHB is available at: www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca/find-your-chb. To learn more about the Wellness Fund program, visit: www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca/wellness-funds or contact the local CHB coordinator:

Dorothy Bennett, CHB coordinator – Antigonish, Guysborough and Strait area, 902-867-4500, ext. 4272 or dorothy.bennett@nshealth.ca; or Connie Ross-MacDonald, CHB coordinator – rural Cape Breton, 902-258-5381 or connie.ross-macdonald@nshealth.ca.