CST faculty on team awarded a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant

Two Communication Studies and Theatre Department faculty members are part of a team that has been awarded $73,721 for a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant for the Baby-Friendly Brookings project.

Brookings Health System, SDSU and the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering to identify strengths, challenges and solutions for creating the nation’s first baby-friendly community that supports breastfeeding women. This upcoming spring, the team will conduct focus groups with business leaders and breast-feeding mothers. Next fall, the team will hold a public discussion with community stakeholders to generate ideas for baby-friendly business practices.

The grant team includes:

  • Jenn Anderson and Rebecca Kuehl, CST,  and Lois Tschetter, Nursing,  South Dakota State University;
  • Mary Schwaegerl and Julia Yoder, Brookings Health System;
  • Heidi Gullickson, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce;
  • Sara Drury, event moderator; and
  • Marilyn Hildreth and Charlotte Bachman, breastfeeding advocates.

The Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Grant program supports organizations working to create or implement an innovative solution to address a community need or opportunity. The innovation must be developed through community problem-solving—inclusive, collaborative processes focused on making the most of community assets—and be more effective, equitable or sustainable than existing approaches. The program is part of the Bush Foundation’s effort to enable, inspire and reward community innovation.

“Community innovation occurs when people come together to think bigger and think differently about what is possible for their communities,” said Molly Matheson Gruen, the Bush Foundation’s community innovation manager. “Our inaugural Community Innovation Grant recipients are tackling a range of issues impacting quality of life in their communities. And they are doing it in a way that ensures all voices are heard and that the solutions will endure.”

The Bush Foundation will award more than $4 million to 34 organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography, through its Community Innovation Grant program. The Foundation received 618 Community Innovation Grant applications requesting more than $76 million.

The full list of Community Innovation Grant recipients can be found on the Bush Foundation website.

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