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2 WIN grants address needs for rural children, older Nebraskans



Oct. 10, 2018

Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) has awarded two grants of $91,500 each to expand free after-school programming in central Nebraska and to provide mental and cognitive health screenings to older adults in the state’s Panhandle.

WIN announced grants to the Sherman County Prevention Council Every School After School program and to the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska at its annual grant awards event in Omaha this week.

With these grants, the collective giving organization has now awarded more than $1 million to 14 University of Nebraska and Nebraska community projects since 2012.

Gifts from 184 members of WIN funded this year’s grants, which each year are split between a University of Nebraska project and a Nebraska nonprofit project based on a proposal review process. WIN members live across Nebraska and in several states.

WIN Chair Carey Hamilton of Omaha said the 2018 projects address the need for accessible and affordable after-school programs in central Nebraska and expand access to mental health and cognitive screening for older rural Nebraskans. Such approaches appeal to WIN’s voting members who seek out projects that apply bold solutions and delivery models for issues that impact many Nebraskans.

“Offering meaningful after-school experiences and care and enabling early detection and treatment for mental health and dementia issues among older Nebraskans are great investments in the lives of people,” Hamilton said. “We are so pleased that our first $1 million in awards has benefited people across Nebraska.”

Paula McClymont of Lincoln is chair of the WIN grants committee and said the grant recipients rose from the nearly 80 letters of inquiry received this year. Through a review and site visit process, the committee selected four finalists to place before its voting members.

“Each year we are impressed with the way Nebraska nonprofits and university faculty see beyond the obstacles and come up with solutions for problems that impact our families, our neighbors and our communities,” McClymont said.

After school activities focus of Prevention Coalition efforts

The Sherman County Prevention Coalition has for 13 years offered free after-school programming in the Loup City area where child care providers are limited, and parents need an accessible, affordable way to care for their children in the time between school and the end of their workday.

As they offered more programming locally, Every School After School Director Kris Hervert said their mission expanded to nearby school districts, and they saw a need to provide other school districts access to a free and workable after-school curriculum.

“Being recognized by this outstanding group of women gives our program a type of validation that we've never had before,” Hervert said. “Funding from WIN will allow us to share our program across the state, and the power to share what you believe is an amazing gift.”

With the $91,500 WIN grant, the coalition will provide curriculum materials, training and ongoing support to another 15 schools, each with 200 to 2,000 students.

UNMC College of Nursing outreach targets early detection of cognitive problems

The rural program for geriatric mental and cognitive health will make early screening and accessible services available to the more than 16,000 older adults living in the state’s 11-county Panhandle region where there is a shortage of mental health services. The UNMC College of Nursing West Nebraska Division in Scottsbluff will provide services to an estimated 500 older Nebraskans through specialized clinics and conduct around 40 comprehensive geriatric cognitive and dementia assessments during 2019.

“Access to geriatric specialists with expertise in the care of older adults and their mental health conditions in rural areas is missing,” said Assistant Professor Nancy Meier. “The use of state-of-the-art neurocognitive testing, specialty clinics, telepsychiatric video-conferencing and online resources, as well as home visits, will better serve the rural population.”

The program also serves to provide on-site clinical training to psychiatric mental health and adult geriatric nurse practitioner students. The goal is that a nurse practitioner will remain and practice in the Panhandle after graduation. After that, the project could become the college’s model for addressing needs in other rural areas.

WIN grants boost programs across Nebraska

WIN is a collective giving group operating in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation and the UNF Charitable Gift Fund to support women philanthropists through education, engagement and empowerment. Each year, members’ gifts are pooled and divided equally between a Nebraska nonprofit organization and a University of Nebraska program or organization.

Previous grant recipients were:

  • 2017—Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska, Brain Injury and Domestic Violence: Making the Connection and Improving Care, and University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute State-Wide NICU Feeding and Swallowing Follow-Up Program.
  • 2016—Food Bank for the Heartland, Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen, and University of Nebraska Medical Center, Simulation in Motion-Nebraska
  • 2015—Tabitha, EngAGE, Lincoln, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, Primarily Math
  • 2014—Third City Community Clinic and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, HearU Nebraska.
  • 2013—Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Project Everlast, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha Women and IT Engagement Link
  • 2012—Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers and University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing Mobile Nurse Managed Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment.

To learn more about Women Investing in Nebraska visit

"I truly believe something remarkable will come from this group of women."

-Tricia Raikes, Co-founder of the Raikes Family Foundation