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TSET awards Healthy Living Program Grant to Gateway to Prevention and Recovery

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star

The Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) selected Gateway to Prevention and Recovery in Shawnee as a grantee for the next round of the TSET Healthy Living Program during their quarterly board meeting in May. The award in the first year of the grant is up to $220,000.

The grant initiative will utilize county and municipal health data, along with community feedback to customize a data-driven plan to tackle the barriers associated with healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco use in high risk areas within the funded county. The approach involves collaboration with leaders and key stakeholders at the local level.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that prevention is more important than ever for public health,” said TSET Board of Directors Chair Bruce Benjamin, Ph.D. “Those with underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart of lung disease are more likely to experience serious complications and death from the coronavirus.”

“At Gateway, we believe that local people solve local problems and people help support what they create,” said TSET Healthy Living Consultant Holly Gordon. “The Healthy Living Program allows community partners, organizations, and Gateway staff to work together to reduce the number of preventable deaths in Oklahomans.”

The TSET Healthy Living Program prioritizes work in communities where health risk factors – tobacco use, poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle -- are among the highest. At their May meeting, the TSET Board awarded nearly $7 million to 35 organizations that will serve 37 counties through the program. The new grant cycle begins July 1 and is renewable annually.

“This initiative builds on years of success through multiple community-based programs funded by TSET,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “It takes a comprehensive approach to partner with organizations that have a demonstrated ability to tackle high-impact interventions to help change health behaviors in our state.

“TSET recognizes that local people are best at solving problems at the municipal level.”

For a complete list of the grantees, visit tset.ok.gov.

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. Investing $45 million in prevention and research in Oklahoma each year, TSET has been a driving force in the decade-long decline in tobacco use in the state. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across Oklahoma, 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. To learn more, visit www.tset.ok.gov.