OKLAHOMA CITY (May 16, 2013) - The TSET Board of Directors approved $191,000in grants to 21 communities that promote healthy lifestyles across the state at their board meeting this month.
The communities that received the grants were Alva, Bartlesville, Blair, Blanchard,Bristow, Chandler, Collinsville, Elk City, Guthrie, Guymon, Lindsay, McAlester, Moore,Muskogee, Norman, Perkins, Prague, Sand Springs, Seminole, Tahlequah and Weatherford.
This is the second year the TSET Board has awarded the Healthy CommunitiesIncentive Grants. Since the program began, there has been a 17 percent increase in the number of cities that have become Certified Healthy Communities. In the two years theHealthy Communities Incentive Grants program has existed, the program has awarded a total of $377,000 to communities to help fund projects that promote physical activity,tobacco-free policies and overall community health.
On May 9, the TSET Board of Directors approved statewide grants based on population and specific criteria met. To be eligible to apply for an incentive grant, communities first had to become certified through the Certified Healthy Communities program, a partnership between the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the State Chamber and the State Department of Health.
These grants urge Oklahoma communities to promote healthy policies and programs that focus on tobacco and alcohol use prevention; create public environments that promote physical activity and healthy nutrition; and a variety of educational and policy changes that promote healthy communities.
“We are seeing increased interest from cities who want to invest in the health of their communities and go the extra mile to become certified each year,” said Tracey Strader,TSET executive director. “The incentive grants will help the communities move a little closer to their plans to create environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
TSET was created by a constitutional amendment in 2000 as a long-term strategy to ensure settlement payments from a 1998 multi-state lawsuit against the tobacco industry are used to improve Oklahoma’s health status. The funds are placed in an endowment to ensure a growing funding source to improve health for generations to come. Only the earnings from the endowment are used.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives 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. For more information visit www.tset.ok.gov.