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$166,000 in Healthy Incentive Grants Awarded to Communities and Schools in Muskogee County

Muskogee, OK (March 10, 2017) - Eight communities and two school districts were honored on Friday for their efforts to improve health and quality of life in their communities. In total, the communities and schools received $166,000 in TSET Healthy Incentive Grant funds for local projects to improve health.

The communities of Boynton, Braggs, Council Hill, Haskell, Oktaha, Summit, Taft and Wainwright were recognized for their achievement of the Gold Level in the TSET Healthy Communities Incentive Grant Program for 2016.  Each of these communities were awarded $20,000 for making all city property tobacco-free and vapor-free, adopting street and zoning policies that improve the walkability, and promoting community gardens and farmer markets in their community. All of these efforts help encourage residents to live healthy, active, tobacco-free lifestyles.

These communities have utilized grant funds for projects such as farmers markets, walking trails, sidewalks to the local schools, new playground and physical activity equipment at the local park, and renovation of the community center. Grant funds are frequently used to leverage other funds for community projects that advance health.

Porum and Warner school districts each received $3,000 incentive grants by putting a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff.  Porum Schools will use the funds to purchase and install new water fountains, and Warner Schools will use the funds for physical education equipment and playground improvement. 

TSET’s incentive grant funding is based on size and the types of strategies implemented. Cities and schools that have met TSET’s criteria and have been awarded a grant are able to determine how the incentive funding will be used to promote health in their communities.

To be eligible to apply, communities and schools must first have been recognized through the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program, a partnership between the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the State Chamber and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Since the Healthy Incentive Grant program began five years ago, $2.9 million in grant funds have been awarded to 62 communities and 80 school districts.

“These grants recognize the efforts of communities and schools that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “We are thrilled to offer incentives to cities and schools that have taken action to improve health. We want to applaud leaders at the local level for their efforts to adopt policies and strategies that improve the health of all Oklahomans.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                
Julie Bisbee, julieb@tset.ok.gov
Direct: 405-521-4992
Cell: 405-301-3693

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.