Spokane County Community Health Centers awarded $ 50,000 to advance health equity
Two organizations in Spokane received $ 50,000 each as part of a Washington Community Health Plan grant initiative to improve health equity statewide.
Of the 15 award-winning health centers, the Spokane County Community Health Association of Spokane and Yakima Valley Agricultural Workers received grants of $ 50,000.
Grants for the centers’ new equity projects will focus on four areas: advancing pregnancy care, managing depression, managing chronic disease, and improving the experience and access for women. members. CHAS will focus its equity project on depression, while Yakima Valley Farm Workers will focus on member access.
Approximately 265,000 patients are enrolled in services provided by community health centers and community organizations in Washington State. Leann Burge, CEO of the Community Health Plan of Washington, said the grants are part of CHPW’s equity goals, which have been in place since its founding 27 years ago.
“We were founded by a network of community health centers and local nonprofit health centers, and we are here to serve unique communities in Washington state,” said Burge.
Learning sessions and connecting with community health centers was already part of CHPW’s strategy to identify inequalities, but COVID has brought issues like language barriers and transportation to the fore. The cessation of daily medical care marked the importance of the role of community health centers in health.
“COVID has brought (community health centers) values to the fore through their awareness and testing, spreading the word about prevention and how people might cope with distress from COVID.” , said Burge. “We have all seen how important community health centers have been in times of crisis. “
The breadth of the four categories creates a path to uncover more inequities exposed during and beyond COVID. Throughout the pandemic, patients with chronic diseases like diabetes have not always been able to receive treatment due to lack of resources.
Organizations can use the grants as they see fit. Jennifer Polello, CHPW’s senior director of quality and population health, said community health centers know their patient populations best and will develop their own plans based on their particular needs.
“We really designed this project to be general in nature, so the CSC can determine how they want to impact their entire patient population with their grants,” Polello said. “We just wanted to come together to solve these issues and learn from each other in the process. “
CHPW also awarded grants in September 2020 to local community organizations. Of these, The NATIVE Project and The Healing Lodge in Spokane received $ 10,000 each. These additional grants bring the Community Health Plan of Washington’s investment in advancing equity to $ 1 million in 2021.