Grant will help ministry in Belize

Sister Carlette Gentle
Sister Carlette Gentle

By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer

KentuckyOne Health has been awarded a grant of more than $200,000 to aid a program of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Belize, Central America.

The program, called Living Independently in Full Existence (LIFE), aims to improve the quality of life of senior citizens living in the southside of Belize City.

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Carlette Gentle — a native of Belize and a social worker — will administer the grant with the support of her religious community and a network of local organizations. LIFE seeks to improve access to health care, food, housing and transportation. It also provides tools to teach seniors how to manage their health and well-being. The program also sponsors 10 home improvement projects for members each year.

“KentuckyOne Health is committed to the success of this international initiative, a concrete example of our purpose in action,” said Brian Yanofchick, senior vice president of mission integration at KentuckyOne Health, in a press release.

Forty-one percent of senior citizens in the Belizean community served by LIFE live below the poverty level and struggle to meet basic needs, according to a statement from KentuckyOne.

Many did not pay into the Belizean social security system, set up in 1982, so they do not qualify for benefits, it added. The grant money comes from the Mission and Ministry Fund of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), the national health care system to which KentuckyOne belongs.

“Finding new and innovative ways to improve the health of communities has always been the mission that guides CHI,” said Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer of CHI, in a press release. “We’re very proud of the collaborative work that KentuckyOne Health is doing. Their work benefits us all, because health is truly a global issue.”

Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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