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FTDD Foundation Awarded Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative Planning Grant

Earlier this week, The First Tennessee Development District was informed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services that The Development District Foundation has been selected to receive a Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative Planning Grant. The Families First Community Advisory Board selected pilot grantees from across the state. The grantees will work to prepare a pilot proposal to be submitted for considered toward a larger implementation grant.

“We are excited to work with the STRONG ACC and the ETSU Center for Rural Health Research in implementing the planning grant and ultimately submitting a winning application for the pilot grant to bring to life all the programs, services, and supports validated through our planning process.” said Lottie Ryans, Director of Workforce & Literacy Initiatives. Ryans continued, “As a regional entity, the FTDD Foundation is designed to facilitate opportunities such as the Tennessee Opportunity Pilot. We were pleased to make application on behalf of the region allowing us to continue in our mission to improve the lives of the citizens of our region. Through our Foundation and our Board, we have leadership from every county, city and town thus allowing us to ensure the opportunity for everyone’s interest to be represented.”

A collaborative partnership between The Development District and the STRONG Accountable Care Community (ACC) worked closely with regional organizations to develop the pilot program. After weeks of planning and meetings, the collective brought together the scope of the planning grant. The goal of the collective partnership for this grant is to build resilient, self-sufficient families with children prepared for success in life.

“The STRONG Accountable Care Community is delighted to partner with the First Tennessee Development District on this planning grant, which provides an opportunity to transform our region’s safety net for low-income families. During the upcoming planning period, we look forward to engaging a wide variety of organizations in developing a new way to support families in achieving their goals. We appreciate the Department of Human Services and its Community Advisory Board for believing in our region’s ability to innovate and deliver improved outcomes for those we serve.” said Mark Cruise, Director of the STRONG Accountable Care Community.

The purpose of the 90-day Pilot Initiative Planning Grant is to develop and submit a pilot proposal to the Department of Human Services in the Spring of 2022. Again, six pilot programs will be selected for implementation in the Fall of 2022. The Development District Foundation and STRONG ACC will be working closely with research partners at MAYA Consulting and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Center for Rural Health Research to develop the pilot program.

For questions about this grant program, please contact Lottie Ryans,

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