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Project Diabetes

Project Diabetes Funding Cycle 2019-2022

Project Diabetes is a state-funded initiative administered by Tennessee Department of Health.  Grants are awarded to community partners with a focus on reducing overweight and obesity as risk factors for the development of diabetes. Grant activities are geared toward interventions that are applied before there is any evidence of disease.

Currently funded projects were required to draw upon the prevention goals and strategies identified in the report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention:  Solving the Weight of the Nation issued by the National Academy of Medicine, formally known as the Institute of Medicine. Priorities for this funding cycle focus on the first two goals of the report:

Goal 1:  Make physical activity an integral and routine part of life.

    Objective: Increase physical activity by fostering supportive policies and environments.

Strategy 1-1:  Enhance the physical and built environment.

Strategy 1-2:  Provide and support community programs designed to increase physical activity.

Strategy 1-3:  Adopt physical activity requirements for licensed child care providers.

Communities, transportation officials, city planners, health professionals, and governments should make promotion of physical activity a priority by substantially increasing access to places and opportunities for such activity.

Goal 2: Create food and beverage environments that ensure that healthy food and beverage options are the routine, easy choice.    

     Objective:  Increase access to healthy foods by fostering supportive policies and environments.

Strategy 2-1:  Adopt policies and implement practices to reduce overconsumption of sugar- sweetened beverages.

Strategy 2-2:  Increase the availability of lower-calorie and healthier food/ beverage options for children in restaurants.

Strategy 2-3:  Utilize strong nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold or provided through the government, and ensure that these healthy options are available in all places frequented by the public.

 Strategy 2-4:  Introduce, modify, and utilize health-promoting food and beverage retailing and distribution policies.

Strategy 2-5:  Promote breastfeeding friendly environments.

Governments and decision makers in the business community/private sector should make a concentrated effort to reduce unhealthy food and beverage options and substantially increase healthier food and beverage options at affordable, competitive prices.

There are two levels of Project Diabetes funding. Category A grants are funded for up to 3 years for a maximum amount of $150,000 per year. Category B grants are funded for up to 2 years for a maximum amount of $15,000 per year.

Organizations funded in category A for 2019 through 2022 are listed below.

Organization and Contact Person

County(ies) Served

Project Description


Benton County


Tracy Byrd










Sidewalk construction in areas of homes around the school to improve walkability of the town of Camden. Children 8 to 17 will be able to walk to school safely. Also, a Walking School Bus will be established to utilize the new sidewalks.



City of Cleveland

Brian Moran










Creation of multimodal connectivity for the Blythe Oldfield community.  Community members will be able to safely walk/bike to Blythe-Bower Elementary School, Blythe-Bower Park, Family Resource Agency, Blythe-Oldfield Park, Bradley County Health Department & food retailers.


City of Kingsport Parks & Recreation


Robin DiMona





 Renovation of a 30 year old high school track; addition of a play-ground, Basketball/pickle ball court at Lynn View Community Center.  Fitness programs for all ages will be implemented at the Lynn View Community Center as well.


City of Parsons

Sylvia Palmer




An active nature trail will be built around Parsons Regional Community Park with destination points, native plantings, signage and play equipment.


Knox County Health Department

Cheryl Hill




A Park Advisory Committee will be created to identify and engage at least 4 at-risk communities. Based on feedback, Knoxville County Health Department and Knoxville Parks & Recreation will implement built environment and park activation activities. The Nutrition Education Activity Training (N.E.A.T) school based programming will be enhanced. Knox County Health Department will assist one hospital with staff & resident breastfeeding education. Scholarships for lactation consultants will be awarded. Worksite wellness will be promoted by expanding the East TN Wellness Roundtable Gold recognition program.


Mountain Goat Trail Alliance

Patrick Dean


Grundy, Marion





Three miles of trail will be added to create 12 continuous miles of walking and biking infrastructure to the Mountain Goat Trail. The completed trail will pass through 7 towns in 3 counties & connect with 5 elementary schools.


University of Memphis 

Genae Strong




Provide leadership to increase policies & practices that support breastfeeding. Create lactation rooms across both campuses & build a resource-rich website for breastfeeding assistance. Develop culturally and linguistically appropriate lactation curricula to increase number of lactation professionals. Establish an outpatient clinic to provide support, education materials and training.


Warren County Schools

Shannon Railling




Install a fitness center at Warren County Middle School in year 1 and a challenge/obstacle course recreation area in year 2.



Knox County Coordinated School Health

Ramona Dew                                                




Install water stations in 32 schools and conduct a campaign to reduce student, faculty and staff sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.


Maury County Public Schools

Laurie Stanton





Update school kitchens at E. A. Cox Middle School and Whitthorne to provide cooking and nutrition classes; install walking trails/tracks and improved outdoor space for middle school physical activity.


TDEC Healthy Parks/Healthy People

Ryan Jenkins





Improve Healthy Parks/Healthy Person rewards app and park prescriptions to meet the needs of healthcare providers  based on their feedback. Hire a full-time Healthy Parks / Healthy Person director to create productive partnerships and facilitate an advisory group.



Van Buren County Government

Lindsey Mills



Van Buren


Construction of a new downtown fitness center with an indoor track and fitness equipment. LED lighting will be added to seven existing walking tracks and playgrounds will be installed at 10 community centers.


Hancock County Schools

Janie Dalton











"Sqair Fitness Solutions" program offered to all students at Hancock Elementary and Middle School. An evening class will be offered parents and children. Portable disc golf baskets and ping pong tables will be purchased for middle and high school. Game skills and rules will be taught in physical education classes. Events will be scheduled to increase participation in physical activity.



Nourish Knoxville


Kimberly Pettigrew               




Anderson, Knox, Union & Hamblen


Double Up Food Bucks Program will train farmers markets & a farm store on the Double UP Food Bucks program and program sustainability. A walking program will be piloted at one of the farmers markets to incentivize patrons to walk for fruit & vegetable vouchers. Increase Farm to School actives and access to healthy, local foods and nutrition education among school-aged kids & families.


The Works, Inc.


Lyndsey Pender






Develop a walking trail and open greenspace for in South Memphis. Renaissance Park will provide year-round programming. Programs will include the Memphis Walking Collective and the South Memphis Move Your Body Bootcamp. Bootcamp will offer yoga, Zumba & high-intensity interval training.


Jefferson County Schools


Tabetha Calangione  








Project Grand Slam - Install 6 lighted tennis courts. Tennis will be included in physical education classes K-12. Two-bounce tennis club for the disabled.


University of Memphis


Genae Strong




Shelby, Madison


Provide leadership to increase policies and practices that support breastfeeding. Create lactation rooms across both campuses and build a resource-rich website related to breast-feeding. Develop culturally and linguistically appropriate lactation curricula to increase number of lactation professionals. Establish an outpatient clinic to provide support, education materials & training.


Town of Gainesboro


Lindsey Mills





Develop a public park with playground and pavilion located downtown. Renovate a building adjacent to the park for a new fitness center.  Walking track behind the Board of Education building.


McNairy Central High School


Brian Franks





Resurfacing of an existing 6 lane track and renovation a field house to provide an updated workout facility. Formation of physical activity clubs to utilize the new facilities.


City of Memphis


Amy Collier






Hire a full-time parks activator to coordinate marketing, engagement, development of partnerships and programs for all ages. Neighborhood residents will be heavily engaged to provide feedback for park improvements and programs to foster a sense of ownership in the park. Parks include Southside, Chandler & Gaston.


City of Covington


Joe Mack





Develop a bicycle playground for kids 3-12 years old on the Newman property. Hire 1 full-time employee to manage park and teach kids how to ride safely.


Middle Tennessee State University


Cynthia Chafin






Health-focused materials in every freshmen orientation and/or welcome event packets, to include water bottles and a campaign to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake.  MTSU will partner with Student Health Services to promote healthy weight and incorporate beverage choice discussions as part of student healthcare provider appointment. Install 3 water stations per year in high traffic areas on campus. Partner with dining services to promote "Blue Raiders Drink Up" and healthy eating choices. Partner with UT extension to provide "Cooking Matters" classes for students living off campus.


City of Bolivar


Curtis Stack






Construct a walking trail around Sand Lot Lake. At the same site install a volleyball court, playground and water bottle refill station. Free fitness classes will be offered to the public.



Town of Monterey


Dawn Kupferer





Phase 4 of a rails-to-trails project that will link Monterey and Cookeville with 19 miles of safe active transportation. The trail will link to elementary and high schools and include 4 crosswalks.

Organizations funded in Category B for 2019-2022 are listed below


Organization and Contact Person

County(ies) Served

Project Discerption


Carter County

Sonya Miller



Develop an after school initiative focusing on plant-based cooking, gardening and nutrition education. The  purchase of a Charlie Cart will allow for multiple locations.

City of Manchester Parks & Recreation

Bonnie Gamble


Expand Healthier Concessions to school athletic events and the creation of a healthy concessions policy for booster clubs. Outdoor adventure program for youth 11-15 years old.

City of Tullahoma

Winston Brooks


Lighting for a basketball court in Silver Street Park.

Fayetteville City Schools

Carla Warden



Install water stations in schools and conduct a campaign for students, faculty and staff to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages.

Knox County Schools


Ramona Dew



Install 32 water stations in middle and high schools in Knox County and conduct a campaign to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in students, faculty and staff.


LeBonheur Community Outreach

Nichole Reed



Skills for Nutrition and Culinary Knowledge (SNACK) program for youth 6-18 years old at risk for pre-diabetes/diabetes. Participants will work with recipes at the estimated allotment of SNAP benefits. Garden education will be included through a partnership with Memphis Tilth.

Lewis County Board of Education

Sasha Powers



Install water stations and conduct a campaign for the students, faculty and staff to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

McBurg Community Center

Betty Cochrane



Purchase equipment for dance and exercise classes. Funds will be used to pay class instructors and for marketing the new farmers market.


Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation, Inc.

Tory Daughrity



Read & Ride bikes will be placed in schools and public library. Water stations in public parks. Inmate garden project will be enhanced. Sidewalk repairs throughout Henry County.


Polk County Health Council

Donna Calhoun



“Girls On The Run” - trained coaches will lead small teams through research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.

Trousdale County Schools

Kathy Atwood     



Before and after school physical activity programs will be developed. Afternoon nutrition classes will be provided including a Rethink Your Drink campaign to encourage a decrease in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.


University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Susan Warner



Culinary Medicine Program - medical school education to teach evidence-based nutrition, core culinary skills, mindfulness and behavior modification using the principles of culinary medicine.