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County Approved $84,000 in Grant Funds for Sky Lakes Efforts

Hospital news | Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Contact: Thomas Hottman

Klamath County commissioners have approved $84,000 in grant funding to help support wellness programs at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

Approved during commissioners' regular meeting Tuesday, the funds were acquired through a $106,000 state grant aimed at sustaining community health initiatives in Oregon counties.

The remaining $22,000 in funds will be retained by the county for grant administration.

Courtney Vanbragt, director of the county's public health department, said the decision to support programs at Sky Lakes was made because it has a greater capacity for personnel than the county and already have projects up and running which conform with the purpose of the grant.

"It was an opportunity for the county to support the work being carried out by our community partners to improve the health and wellness of Klamath County residents," said Vanbragt.

Specifically the funds will be used to hire a program coordinator from Sky Lakes' outpatient care office and to support the Freedom from Smoking and Living Well initiatives. Freedom from Smoking provides resources for those with tobacco addiction, while Living Well helps those with chronic diseases.

"We have a lot of residents in our community who are suffering from chronic diseases," said Vanbragt. "Whether that be diabetes, obesity, there's a whole array of diseases that encompass chronic diseases."

While funds will be spent at Sky Lakes, Vanbragt said the county will still have input and oversight regarding how they are used. She said monthly meetings will be held for status updates while the county will regularly communicate with program staff to see how things are going.

"I am responsible for the fiscal application for this," said Vanbragt.