ASHLAND Bon Secours Mercy Health is providing a major grant to King’s Daughters Health System to allow three community programs formerly operated by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital to continue.

Over the next three years, BSMH will provide $701,328 in grant funds to cover the

Meals on Wheels serving Bellefonte, Flatwoods, Russell and Westwood, the Ironton Community Garden and the OLBH Transportation ministry.

King’s Daughters will administer the programs and develop plans to ensure their sustainability after the three-year grant period. The program transitions occurred on May 4.

Former OLBH employees Diva Justice (director), Patty Harvey (coordinator) and drivers Tom Adams, Toni Gabbert, Kent Robinson and Phillip Slone will join King’s Daughters to help ensure with the transition.

The programs will complement King’s Daughters existing community programs, including Meals on Wheels in Ashland, mobile health programs including 3D mammography and free educational and screening programs.  

“Transitioning these programs to King’s Daughters is an excellent example of how we’ve worked together to continue to serve the needs of this region,” Kristie Whitlatch, president and CEO of King’s Daughters, said. “We are very pleased to be able to adopt these programs to further our mission and provide care to the area’s most vulnerable people.” 

The Meals on Wheels programs deliver meals to the homes of clients, who are generally homebound with limited resources. While the service continues, no clients can be added currently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ironton Community Garden, at Seventh and Adams streets, comprises 34 raised garden plots and is wheelchair accessible. Community gardeners purchase, plant and maintain their own plots and are responsible for harvesting and spring and fall cleanup. Although the program has already begun for this year, a few beds remain available. Interested gardeners should call (606) 408-9307 for more information.

The OLBH Transportation Ministry provides curb-to-curb transportation for low-income people who need a ride to medical appointments but require only minimal assistance. The service is free, but donations to help defray costs are accepted. The program is currently on suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is expected to resume this summer.

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