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TSET Board Awards Approximately $5.5 Million for Health-Promoting Projects

Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Board of Directors approved grants for seven organizations to support innovative health programs across the state at its quarterly board meeting Thursday.

“Many organizations in Oklahoma are working to improve health and quality of life for the people of this state,” said Michelle Stephens, TSET Board of Directors chair. “TSET is proud to partner with these grantees and support effective, impactful programs that align with our mission to improve the health and wellness of our state.”

TSET Discovery Grants support emerging opportunities to partner with organizations to improve the health and lives of Oklahomans. These grants are aimed at immediate, impactful programs relating to the agency’s Constitutional areas of focus of tobacco cessation and prevention, health care access, senior health and improving the overall health of all Oklahomans. The grants will last 3 years to awarded organizations.

Across Oklahoma, newborns will receive better emergency care because of a TSET grant for up to $863,934 to the OU Health Sciences Center. The project, called Saving Tiny Sooners, will develop a telemedicine program to train and support health professionals in rural areas in the critical skill of newborn resuscitation. Oklahoma has the fifth highest infant mortality rate in the country, and nearly 25% of neonatal deaths worldwide are caused by asphyxiation.

In Tulsa, the River Parks Authority will receive up to $2.1 million to improve the Turkey Mountain trail system. Planned improvements include developing 12 miles of new sustainable trails that are wider to allow greater accessibility and repairing erosion and other hazards on older paths. Turkey Mountain has more than 1.2 million people visit each year for events, fitness and recreation.

NewView Oklahoma, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit for Oklahomans with vision loss, will receive up to $495,000 over 3 years for a comprehensive wellness initiative for blind and low-vision residents. The initiative will include an accessible outdoor wellness space for employees, clients and community members experiencing low vision, physical activity programming for blind youth and adults, and wellness programs for blind employees at NewView. Studies show visually impaired individuals experience a higher prevalence of chronic diseases. This project aims to connect vision services with other health-promoting activities.

Approximately $2 million in remaining funds were awarded to:

Grantee Service Area Amount (up to) Project

The City of Sallisaw

Sequoyah County

$362,000 - one-time funding

Improvements to the Sallisaw Aquatic Center and Skate Park

Life Senior Services

Tulsa County


The Senior Center and Adult Day Health Wellness Program improvements and activities

Oklahoma Senior Games



Program for Coaching Seniors (50+) in Lifetime Sports Statewide

Oklahoma State University



OSU Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Health Disparities Project

“The projects proposed by these grantees have the potential to impact a wide range of people in Oklahoma, from seniors in Tulsa to newborns in Durant,” said Julie Bisbee, executive director of TSET. “These partnerships focus on a variety of locations, age groups and different aspects of health, but all hold a common goal at their center, which is creating a healthier, more vibrant future for our state.”

For more information about TSET programs and grants, visit


The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, cultivating innovative and life-changing research and working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. To learn more, go to

Last Modified on Nov 17, 2022
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