GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville Health Authority is giving out nearly $6 million in grants to Upstate non-profit organizations.

It’s part of the Healthy Greenville Initiative, to make Greenville County the healthiest in the state.

Greenville First Steps is one of 11 recipients and will receive $600,000.

“If it wasn’t for the grant from Healthy Greenville, we really would not be able to get this program off the ground as quickly as we have been,” said Derek Lewis, the executive director for Greenville First Steps.

Lewis said the grant will help fund a new program called “Family Connects,” which they hope to launch in early 2023.

“Every family that has a newborn will have a nurse visit them in the hospital, while they’re in the room with the baby and then set up a visit for 6 weeks later,” said Lewis.

The program is in partnership with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Prisma Health, and Bon Secours. It matches new parents with a nurse who serves as a connection between families and services in the community.

“Here are some organizations that do that work all the time and let’s connect you with them before you get to a pediatrician or an emergency room visit,” said Lewis.

He said it will reduce stress for parents, address health issues early, and make sure a child’s needs are met.

“Right now, the biggest challenge we see is that families don’t know they need help, until way past the time when organizations can provide that help for them,” said Lewis.

Another grant recipient is The Center for Developmental Services, which was awarded $553,750.

“It’s a very competitive process and so this was our third time applying, and we are so grateful that we are finally awarded,” said Dana McConnell, the executive director.

The Center helps children who have developmental delays and disabilities.

“They can come here and have a great, huge range of services provided by several partners that we have here on site,” said McConnell.

McConnell said they help about 8,000 kids every year, and now, they’ll be able to serve more clients.

“As those children age out of a lot of the pediatric services, CDS has case management to assist those now adults with other services they may need in the community,” said McConnell.

The center will hire 5 new case managers and McConnell said it’s made possible by this funding.

“With each case manager, we can serve about 50 to 54 new clients, so that’s going to be anywhere from 250 to 270 new case management clients over the next three years, just here in Greenville County,” said McConnell.

Health Authority leaders said 39 non-profit organizations sent letters of intent to be considered for a grant. They said 17 were non-profits were chosen to submit full grant applications and 11 were awarded grants.

  • Center for Developmental Services: $553,750
  • FAVOR Upstate: $1,374,291
  • Girls on the Run Upstate SC: $45,000
  • Greenville First Steps: $600,000
  • NOTUS Sports: $750,000
  • Pendleton Place: $200,000
  • Safe Harbor, Inc.: $500,000
  • Soteria Community Development Corporation: $7,220
  • Unity Health on Main: $1,389,740
  • University of South Carolina Educational Foundation: $247,029
  • YMCA of Greenville: $189,000