Meharry Medical College announces $8 million grant for program to support Tennessee families

Grant supports ‘BRIDGE to Success’ program, partnership with Nashville area schools to affect the well-being of parents and children


Nashville, Tenn.—The Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College has announced the receipt of an $8 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services to support efforts in programming and services for Metro students and their caregivers with special emphasis on education, health and wellbeing, economic support and social capital.


The funding will be used to support the Center for Health Policy’s “BRIDGE to Success” program, a partnership with specific Metro Nashville public schools in zip codes 37218, 37208 and 37189. “This grant is an example of the many ways Meharry invests in community-led programs that are effective and that promote health and wellness,” said Dr. Dexter Samuels, executive director of the Center for Health Policy.


The grant comes from the Tennessee Department of Human Services Two-Generation approach to help move families towards educational success and economic security. To date, TDHS has awarded 2Gen grants to more than 30 organizations and educational entities across the state that address the needs of parents and children at the same time.


“The BRIDGE to Success program is meeting health and educational needs that are essential to building strong families in Davidson County,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “I am excited about partnering with an institution like Meharry Medical College that has such a rich history of serving families and communities. These efforts are critical as we continue to build a thriving Tennessee.”


The four-year grant will deepen the partnership and commitment that Meharry has to the community it serves and provide a pathway for Middle Tennessee families to find sustainable success.


“For nearly 150 years, Meharry has been committed to serving the underserved,” Samuels said, “and the college continues to find innovative ways to reach those in the most need, especially the uninsured or underinsured and those with limited access to medical and dental care.”


Since 2009, the Center for Health Policy at Meharry has provided leadership in health policy education, research and reform on national, state and local levels that are congruent with Meharry’s mission. BRIDGE to Success is an extension of the Center’s work and another way to practice transformative research that reaches beyond institutional walls and touches lives in the community.


“The Center for Health Policy at Meharry is a focal point for innovative thought,” said Meharry President James E.K. Hildreth Sr., Ph.D., M.D. “The center is making a difference in the lives of those we benefit, congruent with our mission to the underserved. The BRIDGE to Success program is one more way we can do that.”


Samuels said the Center for Health Policy team is in the beginning stages of the program. “We are excited to partner with the Tennessee Department of Human Services over the next four years on this note worthy endeavor and look forward to effecting lasting change in the families we will serve,” he said.