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City of McAlester Receives $92,000 in Grant Funds for Health-Promoting Project

OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 5, 2015)– TSET offers incentive grants to eligible communities that have met criteria established for the program such as tobacco-free policies, availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, and increasing opportunities for residents to become more physically active. 

To be eligible to apply communities must first have been recognized through the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program, a partnership between the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the State Chamber and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

McAlester was awarded a $92,000 incentive grant at the gold level for adopting policies and strategies that promote health and quality of life in their community. TSET’s incentive grant funding for communities is based on population size and the types of strategies implemented. Cities that have met TSET’s criteria and been awarded a grant are able to determine how the incentive funding will be used to promote health in their communities. Grant funds are frequently used to leverage other funds for community projects that advance health.

In McAlester, the grant funding was used to build a natural playground in Mullen Park, located in Old Town McAlester, which is near an elementary school. Natural playscapes are some of the most popular playgrounds being designed and reflect concerns about sustainability and interaction with nature. 

Since the Healthy Communities Incentive Grant program began three years ago, $1.6 million in grant funds have been awarded to 42 communities.

“We are thrilled to offer incentives to cities and towns that have taken action to improve health in their communities,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “Working together we can make the healthy choice, the easy choice, where Oklahomans live, work, learn and play.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                
Julie Bisbee, julieb@tset.ok.gov
Direct: 405-521-4992
Cell: 405-301-3693

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, 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. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.