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Human Services, Health Organizations and Transit Receive a Majority of Kresge's Nearly $73 Million in First Quarter Grants
Date:4/9/2009

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Health: Cleaner air, better outcomes

Approximately $6.7 million was awarded to organizations that advance Kresge's twin health priorities: fostering good health by addressing harmful environmental and social factors and increasing access to high-quality health care for low-income adults and children.

Improving air quality was the focus of two grants: a $950,000 award to the University of Southern California for its Trade, Health and Environment Impact Project, and a $450,000 award to the Oakland, California-based Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment and its Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative. Both grants support cutting-edge work to reduce diesel-related air pollution in the port vicinities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and the Bay Area.

"There is an intimate link between human health and the quality of one's environment," Rapson explains. "Air quality is, for example, an environmental health issue. The number-one predictor of high school drop-out rates is a child's attendance. Children with asthma miss a great deal of school. Improving air quality reduces the incidents of asthma, which can, in turn, be a factor in increasing graduation rates."

Detroit: A catalytic investment for today and tomorrow

The over-arching purpose of Kresge's community development work in its hometown is strengthening the City of Detroit's economic, social and cultural fabric. The trustees broke new ground by approving a $35 million investment in the Lower Woodward Light Rail Project (M-1 RAIL), a $120-million transit line that will run along Woodward Avenue from the Detroit River to the New Center area.

"There is no more important investment this region can make in its future health and vitality than a regional mass transit system," says Rapson. "The Woodward line will signal metropo
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SOURCE The Kresge Foundation
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