By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Town officials will apply for two grants to support its public health efforts.
Derry’s Health Department will apply for a Medical Reserve Grant for up to $15,000 to support public health emergency planning activities for the 10 towns making up the Greater Derry Public Health Region.
If the grant is awarded, the money would help the town with emergency events including shelters, vaccination clinics and testing as in the recent Hepatitis C outbreak.
A second grant through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation would bring $30,000 to town to help pilot a community health assessment.
Derry Public Health and Parkland Medical Center would collaborate on the assessment effort and improvement plan to collect data and identify the community’s top health needs.
Derry is the first community to pilot the assessment program and would be a model for other communities statewide.
“The grant will provide the Derry Health Department the opportunity to lead a regional public health assessment and initiate an improvement plan for the town and region,” Garrett Simonsen, public health network coordinator, told the Town Council at a meeting Sept. 18.
Counciliors approved the applications of both grants.