Spectrum Health Foundation receives $30,000 anti-tobacco grant

Grand Rapids Community Foundation funds tobacco prevention program


Spectrum Health Foundation receives $30,000 anti-tobacco grant
Grand Rapids Community Foundation funds tobacco prevention program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Aug. 22, 2016 – The Spectrum Health Foundation has received a $30,000 grant from Grand Rapids Community Foundation for continuation of the Spectrum Health Healthier Communities Youth Tobacco Prevention program. This grant continues the all-important work of equipping Grant Rapids’ youth with the knowledge and skills needed to avoid tobacco experimentation and addiction.

The Youth Tobacco Prevention program provides positive, school-based, anti-tobacco education in grades K-12 by teaching students in Grand Rapids Public Schools the vocabulary, health messaging and refusal skills needed  to counter peer pressure.

“Grand Rapids Community Foundation has long recognized the unique approach and enduring impact school-based tobacco prevention programs have on the incidence of tobacco use. We have been proud to support these efforts for more than a decade,” said Kate Luckert Schmid, program director at the Community Foundation.

“Although the use of conventional tobacco products in youth has declined, the popularity and use of tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and hookah have skyrocketed and necessitate continued prevention education in the schools,” said Libby Stern, Spectrum Health community health educator and tobacco treatment specialist.

New this year is an emerging products presentation for fifth graders, which includes a close-up study of electronic cigarettes, hookah and other smokeless products in the market. The program also uses stories, videos and puzzles to teach younger students about the perils of tobacco and nicotine and employs writing, researching and video production at the high school level, where older students teach younger students about the dangers of smoking.

“In addition, the program incorporates media into the prevention message as students create anti-tobacco public service announcements in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Community Media Center,” said Stern.

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The Spectrum Health Foundation endeavors to save lives and promote health through philanthropy.  Since 1998, donors have contributed more than $400 million to bolster Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit health system comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Because of philanthropy, the foundation distributes approximately $15 million annually in support of research, innovation, clinical care and other services to patients and families.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. For more information, please visit

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time the organization has received this recognition.

Beth Cranson
Media Relations
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