The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation is accepting grant applications for proposals to improve the health and wellbeing of Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding communities.

The grant application submittal deadline is June 15 for the first grant cycle.

Using the basis of “Social Determinants of Health,” the areas for funding initiatives have been determined by evidence-based concepts. “Social Determinants of Health” is the phrase used to define areas that have proven influence on people’s physical health and mental wellbeing. The five common domains include health and healthcare, education, economic stability, social and community context, and neighborhood and built environment.

The Foundation encourages proposals for projects and initiatives that keep communities strong and vibrant, particularly programs that are involved in proactive collaborative partnerships.

Grant applications are welcome from organizations working in these focus areas:

Access to Healthcare: Given our mountainous terrain and population demographics, access to care plays a vital role in supporting healthy and strong communities. Proposals that involve emergency services and public transportation, indigent care, behavioral health, physician recruitment and retention are welcome.

Education Initiatives: The attainment of education is one of the highest factors in predicting good health. Proposals to advance technologies for academic enrichment, reduce K-12 absenteeism, improve student access to health and counselor professionals; teacher development and retention, early childhood learning, and literacy improvement for all ages are welcome.

Community Vitality: There are numerous opportunities for manifesting healthful mountain living. Proposals for community initiatives to promote healthy, active lifestyles, community health screenings, increase broadband access and support substance abuse prevention programs are welcome.

Economic Stability: Affordable housing initiatives and food insecurity are among the most critical needs to be addressed for a sustainable workforce.

For more information, interested applicants may attend a grant workshop from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday at Hudson Library in Highlands. To RSVP, contact r.oakley@hchealthfnd.org.

For general information about Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation and access to the online grant application visit www.hchealthfnd.org or email info@hchealthfnd.org.