Thursday, Oct 27, 2011

The HEARTS Initiative received a $75,000 grant from the Charles R. Wood

Albany, N.Y. – October 27, 2011 – The HEARTS Initiative received a $75,000 grant from the Charles R. Wood Foundation. HEARTS are Healthy Environments And Relationships That Support youth to reduce costly, later life consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACE).

According to Rick Riccio, executive director of St. Anne Institute, “The grant will be used to strengthen social networks within and across agencies while building workforce and community capacity for ACE Response.” Toward this end, HEARTS will reach out to include other agencies, invest in workforce development, share knowledge across systems, inform policymakers about the consequences of childhood trauma, and offer presentations to raise awareness of ACEs and comprehensive ACE Response. In addition, a website will assist policymakers, program directors, practitioners and community members in sharing ACE Response strategies.

The HEARTS Initiative includes St. Anne Institute, LaSalle School, Troy Housing Authority, The WAIT House, Community Hospice, and Homeless and Traveler’s Aid Society (HATAS). Prevent Child Abuse New York and the University at Albany School of Social Welfare provide policy, research, and in kind support. The agencies will work together through HEARTS to improve program and community responses to prevent and address ACEs and their costly health and social consequences.

This recent award will catalyze activities of the HEARTS Initiative – a coalition of well-established Capital Region service providers. “A multi-organization services integration model such as HEARTS is rarely found in the social service sector,” said Joseph J. Shields, PhD, a Catholic University of America professor. Shields is developing a recovery measure at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

According to Bill Wolff, executive director of LaSalle School and participant in HEARTS, “The Charles R. Wood Foundation recognized that in the years to come, the HEARTS Initiative will serve as an example of an integration model for other communities to emulate. They decided to make this generous investment to increase the impact of HEARTS that mobilize resilience and recovery to empower youth.”

The mission of The Charles R. Wood Foundation is to provide assistance to areas of special need in the Lake George region and surrounding areas, by supporting not-for-profit organizations with an emphasis on programs for children, healthcare and the arts.

For more information about the HEARTS Initiative contact Heather Larkin, PhD, assistant professor, UAlbany School of Social Welfare,