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Hope Within Ministries Announces Partnership with Highmark Foundation and Area Providers to Offer "Hope GROWS Within" Program

June 15, 2017 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (June 15, 2017) —Hope Within Ministries (Hope Within) has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Highmark Foundation to support the "Hope GROWS Within" program, a multi-year effort to combat chronic illness in Dauphin, Lancaster and Lebanon counties. Through this grant, Hope Within will partner with local service providers to provide a multifaceted intervention for 50 patients who are being treated for chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease or weight problems, through medical supervision, healthy meal planning and physical activity.

"We are honored to have been selected for this grant opportunity and for the chance to work with the Highmark Foundation on these life changing goals in the year ahead,” said Donita Sturgis, president, Hope Within Ministries. "Nutrition and fitness is key to controlling and preventing chronic illness. We are extremely excited to see the positive impact that can be made in the lives of our patients, their family members and our community through these initiatives."

The "Hope Grows Within" program will offer participating patients tools to assist in managing chronic health conditions, including heart-healthy cookbooks, gift cards for the purchase of nutritious groceries, personal visits with a physical fitness trainer, one-on-one visits with a nutritional counselor, and bimonthly follow-up visits with a physician at Hope Within for progress evaluation. Lancaster General Health, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Pinnacle Health System will provide the laboratory services needed for care management. Mueller Personal Training will offer participating patients and their family members personalized training sessions to help them achieve personalized fitness goals. In addition, Elizabethtown Fitness Club and Hope Within will give participants and their family members discounted gym memberships as part of the program.

Highmark Foundation funding will also support the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Nursing Department’s community outreach program, Cornerstone Youth Center, and Hope Within in facilitating two nutrition and fitness community education outreach events in Elizabethtown. The community at large will be invited to join these education and fitness forums.

"We are pleased to support Hope Within Ministries through this grant to combat chronic illness for uninsured and underinsured residents in Dauphin, Lancaster and Lebanon counties," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. "Programs like these provide the resources needed for individuals to manage chronic health conditions and gain greater access to quality health care. This grant is an excellent example of how the Highmark Foundation works with local organizations to make a positive impact on important aspects of community health with evidence-based programs."

Hope Within will use an electronic medical record system to capture complete and accurate patient information related to the project in case participants need medical referrals and to measure the success of the "Hope GROWS Within" program.

About Hope Within Ministries

Hope Within Ministries, located in Elizabethtown, serves those most in need in our community and is the umbrella organization over two programs, Hope Within Community Health Center and Hope Within Counseling Services. Hope Within Community Health Center is a free primary health care center serving the uninsured/underinsured, low-income residents of Dauphin, Lancaster, or Lebanon Counties. Hope Within Counseling Services provides low-cost mental health services to clients regardless of their county of residence, insurance status or lack thereof, or income level. For more information about patient eligibility in the 7 Hope GROWS Within" program, primary health care, or mental health counseling services offered by Hope Within Ministries please visit the website at or call 717-367-9797.

About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit


Donita Sturgis, President
Hope Within Ministries, Inc.

Kristy Cramlet
Highmark Health