HealthMatters Alert Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1 (January/February 2017)

Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Awarded Grant from Ohio DD Council to Incorporate Health Matters Curriculum

Cincinnati, OH – Cincinnati Children’s has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council to study Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities. The goal of the project is to incorporate Health Matters Curriculum, a health education curriculum specifically designed for people with developmental disabilities, into Project SEARCH and create and test a clear set of guidelines for integration. The aim is to provide a general model for introducing health and fitness education into high school transition, a critical life stage for establishing patterns and habits for healthy and successful adult life.The proposed project leverages a partnership between Project SEARCH and UnitedHealthcare Community & State(UHC). Through this partnership, UHC purchased Health Matters Curriculum for distribution to all 430 Project SEARCH program sites.

Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will be the lead organization, and will partner with the following organizations to carry out this project:

“We know that good health is critical to successful employment, and that employment plays a huge role in promoting good health. Project SEARCH is all about employment, so it makes perfect sense to incorporate Health Matters, which gives young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the tools that they need to adopt a healthy lifestyle.”
-Erin Riehle, Director and Co-founder, Project SEARCH

“Health Matters is a perfect addition to Project SEARCH. It takes the community engagement that starts in the workplace, and expands it to the park, the gym, the pool, and beyond. It will build on the confidence and independence that young people gain in Project SEARCH and add a vital new dimension to quality of life.”
-Susie Rutkowski, Co-director and Educational Specialist, Project SEARCH

About Project SEARCH:
Project SEARCH is a program based at Cincinnati Children’s designed to help young people with developmental disabilities prepare for and achieve competitive employment. For more information, visit

Maryellen Daston, PhD

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