Newsroom

The Partnership for Better Health is a well-respected voice on timely health issues and actively involved in various initiatives and events throughout the community. Whether we are weighing in on a pressing policy issue, sharing recent developments in the field of health care or spreading the news about a promising public health strategy, we aim to keep the community informed and engaged.

Browse recent news items below to see what’s happening, and stay informed by signing up to receive future communications directly in your inbox.

New Grant Aims To Promote Health Justice

As a community foundation, the Partnership for Better Health strives to serve as a catalyst, advocate, and collaborator to establish health as a shared priority, toward ensuring that everyone has what they need for good health. New grants of $25,000 to $50,000 are available to community groups that create a project that uplifts health justice. Successful proposals will demonstrate a commitment to engaging multiple partners to foster change for a specific community-level health injustice. Projects should: 1) address laws and policies that have historically created health inequities; 2) generate new laws and policies aimed at creating a more health-equitable future; and/or 3) provide a direct service that addresses a need caused by a health injustice. Proposals are due by Friday May 26, 2023.

Please see the complete Request for Applications for additional details or visit our Grants page to apply!

Carlisle Seeks Volunteers to Welcome New Community Members

Have you ever helped someone learn to drive or enrolled children in school? Do you know where to shop for groceries, how to open a bank account, or apply for jobs online? If so, you already have the experience you need to welcome new members of our community!

The Partnership for Better Health and Carlisle United Methodist Church are coordinating with area resettlement agencies to host a public information session about Welcome Corps. Announced by the U.S. federal government in January, Welcome Corps is a new service opportunity for Americans to welcome refugees seeking freedom and safety.

The information session is open to the public and will be held at Carlisle United Methodist Church (333 S. Spring Garden Street) on Tuesday, March 14, at 5 PM. Event sponsors aim to recruit and guide interested local volunteers with plans to assist new refugees in the tasks of gaining initial housing, securing employment, and becoming involved in the local community.

Speakers will include Carlisle Mayor Sean Schultz, Jewish Family Service of Greater Harrisburg, Church World Services of Harrisburg, International Service Center, and Catholic Charities of Harrisburg. Some of the resettlement agencies anticipate doubling the number of new refugees they will serve in the coming year.

“Carlisle has a long tradition of being a welcoming community—people here know it’s a joy to be of service to others,” said Becca Raley, Executive Director of the Partnership for Better Health. Greater Carlisle played a significant role in welcoming Vietnamese families in the 1970s and 1980s. More recently, the successful resettlement of Afghan and Ukrainian families fleeing war and persecution has involved dozens of local volunteers and agencies.

“Whether they first arrived generations ago or just this year, our community is home to people from around the world,” Raley noted. “The strength of our nonprofits, faith-based organizations, schools and robust employment sector make us uniquely well suited to build on our welcoming tradition.”

Click here for an agenda from the March 14 event, or view our Resource Guide for Resettlement Volunteers.

Spark of Change Grant Impacts

In 2022, we awarded four Spark of Change mini-grants that were intentionally focused on addressing health equity challenges, finding solutions, and amplifying voices at the neighborhood level. Neighborhoods have a shared history and collective community characteristics that set them apart. Awardees demonstrated how their project would impact a specific neighborhood or community in our service area.

Each project sought to advance health equity in a localized way. To date, three organizations have completed their projects and reflected on their outcomes. We are pleased to feature community impacts from the following initiatives:

  • Tomorrow’s Neighbors: Rewriting Reentry
  • Hope Station: Black Girl’s Chronicles Learning Series
  • YWCA: Human Library Experience

Harvey Milk, the late famous activist and community leader once noted, “If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods.” If we are to effectively address the negative impacts that health inequity has created, we must allow space for intentional neighborhood-based solutions. Through the Partnership’s core funding priorities and targeted Request for Applications, we strategically fund community organizations to advance access to affordable health services, health education, health promotion, mental and behavioral health services, and more. We encourage applicants to purposefully engage neighborhood members as partners and leading advocates in the change process.

Our 2022 Spark of Change grants center on the use of counter-narratives to broaden our understanding of existing health inequities in our region and potential solutions to those inequities. Learn more about what we fund and recent Spark of Change grants, below.

Tomorrow’s Neighbors: Rewriting Reentry

The mission of Tomorrow’s Neighbors is to empower Returning Citizens to stop the cycle of crime by becoming responsible community members. Their vision is to significantly reduce crime and recidivism rates in Pennsylvania.

Through this $5,000 grant project, the organization generated a series of videos that aims to showcase returning citizens who have successfully reintegrated back into society after incarceration. To date, two videos have been broadcast in every state prison in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The videos have the potential to be viewed by over 39,000 justice involved citizens

Learn more and view Advice from Returning Citizens in the video, below:

Hope Station: Black Girl’s Chronicles Learning Series

Hope Station bolsters community pride and creates opportunities for personal advancement throughout the Carlisle area. Their vision is a safe, thriving, and culturally vibrant Carlisle community.

As part of the Black Girl’s Chronicles Learning Series, which focuses on topics and issues faced by Black women and girls, Hope Station planned an Empowerment and Educational Luncheon. In partnership with W.I.F.E. Co., a Black woman owned business focusing on financial literacy, the luncheon, “Your Net-Worth is NOT Your Self-Worth” included over 20 participants. These individuals had an open and honest discussion with a  skilled professional about how one’s financial situation can affect your mental health. Economic empowerment is a direct response to the social determinant of health, “Economic Stability.”

Learn more about the Black Girl’s Chronicles through The Sentinel.

YWCA: Human Library Experience

YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Human connections form the fabric of tight communities, but human behavior often doesn’t change without direct connections to individual people and their stories. The YWCA connected members of our community through a Human Library this past fall. Participants (over 550 people) were led through a series of intimate fireside discussions with community members of diverse backgrounds, to help our community move the needle on equity and inclusion through human connection.

View YWCA Carlisle & Cumberland County’s Facebook Page for photos from the event.

          

Career Opportunity to Educate, Advocate, and Take Action to Improve Housing Access

New Life Community is seeking a program manager for “Community Partners for Change”. The position is supported through funding from the Partnership for Better Health effective January 2023, as part of our Affordable Housing and Homelessness strategic initiative.

The Community Partners for Change is a public-private partnership to effect positive and sustainable change in the housing system to obtain equitable, affordable, accessible, and secure housing for all Cumberland County residents.

The core values are:

  • Collaboration
  • Community Engagement
  • Data-Driven Approaches
  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
  • Shared Leadership
  • Trust, Respect, And Accountability

In order to advance this mission for change, cross-sector partners in government, philanthropy, business and the nonprofit sector will work together to educate, advocate, and take action on access to housing.

New Life Community serves as the backbone organization for Community Partners for Change.  New Life Community is a Brethren in Christ Church in Carlisle and Mt. Holly Springs, PA.

Strong candidates with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. To apply, please email your cover letter, resume and three references to Carol Thornton ([email protected]). The position will be open until filled, with interviews beginning in January with New Life Community.

To view the full job description, click here.

New Grants to Advance Health Equity through Collaboration

As a community foundation, the Partnership for Better Health strives to serve as a catalyst, advocate, and collaborator to establish health as a shared priority, toward ensuring that everyone has what they need for good health. Four grants of up to $15,000 each are available to community groups that forge strategic partnerships with new organizations and local residents to address the issues of access to affordable health care, affordable quality housing, food security, and/or transportation. Proposals should demonstrate a deep commitment to engaging and building upon the experiences and leadership capacities of local residents, who have lived experiences within the project’s selected focus area. Projects should go beyond the engagement of traditional stakeholders, to mobilize the vision and capacities of residents at the grassroots level, who have the greatest understanding of the current challenges and the most to gain from innovative new solutions. Proposals are due by February 2, 2023.

Please see the complete Request for Applications for additional details or visit our Grants page to apply!

2022 Champions for Better Health Awards

The 2022 Champions for Better Health Awards were held on October 27 in downtown Carlisle. Over 70 community members, volunteers, business leaders, and philanthropists came together to celebrate seven honorees whose work plays a vital role in advancing the health and wellness of our region.

Congratulations to the following awardees. We thank you for your incredible work to advance the health of our community:

  • Professional of the Year
    Sonja Payne – Coordinator, Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition
    Jeanna Som – Executive Director, Summer Program for Youth (honorable mention)
  • Nonprofit of the Year
    Tomorrow’s Neighbors – Kurt Danysh, Founder & Executive Director
  • Philanthropist of the Year
    Jewel Cooper – Director of Business Development, LeTort Trust/Boyer & Ritter, LLC
    Greg Gunn – President/CEO, Gunn-Mowery LLC
  • Heather Swartz Volunteer of the Year
    Joan Jones – Founder, Maranatha Carlisle
    Patience Groomes – Program Director, Reins of Rhythm (honorable mention)

Our Volunteer of the Year Award is named in honor and memory of Heather Swartz, former Communications Director at the Partnership. Heather will forever be remembered as a kind human being whose life and legacy was truly dedicated to the service of others.

Learn more about the Champions for Better Health or enjoy the slideshow, below:

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See more photos and coverage of the event from The Sentinel:

New – Seeking Strategic Partner to Lead Housing Systems Change Initiative

The Partnership for Better Health is seeking a strategic partner to staff and lead Cumberland County’s collaborative housing initiative, called Community Partners for Change.  The mission of this initiative is to effect positive and sustainable change in the housing system to obtain equitable, affordable, accessible, and secure housing for all Cumberland County residents.

The strategic partner must have a history with and/or a commitment to serving under-resourced individuals and families in Cumberland County.  Also, the strategic partner must demonstrate a strong understanding of housing issues, emerging best practices and trusted methods for bringing groups together to educate, advocate, and take action.

A two-year grant of up to $160,000 is available to support this work and proposals are due by September 16, 2022.  Please see complete RFP for additional details: Request for Proposals.

Calling All Health Champions! Open for Nominations

Do you know someone who’s a champion in advancing the health of our community? The Partnership for Better Health’s 2022 Champions for Better Health Awards recognize distinguished community volunteers, health care providers, business leaders, philanthropists, and youth whose work plays a vital role in advancing the health and wellness of our region. Community members are invited to nominate local health champions whose work and service make our community a healthy place for everyone to live, learn, work and play.

To nominate an individual or organization, you can complete a nomination form at: https://forms.office.com/r/z7BaWWSjUT

Nominations are due by September 12, 2022.

 

Hiring: Director of Communications & Development

The Partnership for Better Health is seeking a Director of Communications & Development to lead the foundation’s public relations, marketing and community fundraising. The director will assist the foundation with community outreach, media relations and our annual community fundraising campaign. Bringing a keen understanding of the relationship between communications and fundraising work, the director will serve as a thought leader, influencer and trusted expert on health communications and fundraising.

Strong candidates with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Partnership for Better Health offers an attractive compensation and full benefits package, including competitive salary, paid-time-off, employee wellness, medical, dental and life insurances, and retirement benefits. At 32-hours a week, the position supports a healthy work/life balance. Qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to email a cover letter, resume and three references to Casandra Jewell Sweeney ([email protected]). The position will be open until filled, with interviews beginning to be scheduled after August 8.

To view the full job description and apply, click here- Director of Communications-Development 7-8-2022.

New – Open Request for Strategic Planning Consultant

The Partnership for Better Health is seeking a seasoned consultant/team with demonstrated knowledge of strategic planning for nonprofit organizations, and a depth of expertise in the fields of community health and philanthropy. Experience with grassroots community engagement, consensus building among diverse stakeholders and development of aspirational and measurable strategic plans is required. We seek consultant(s) that can engage diverse constituencies, hear many voices and generate a shared vision for community transformation and measurable health improvements.

The Partnership for Better Health’s strategic planning process is projected to last three to five months, beginning in October 2022 and concluding in February 2023. Some aspects of the timeline may be flexible and based upon the consultant’s proposed approach.

The budget for this strategic plan is expected to range between $10,000 and $15,000. Proposals from interested consultants are due by August 2, 2022. Please see complete RFP for additional details: Request for Strategic Planning Consultant