Local community health facilities receive funding to advance equity in care

The Washington Community Health Plan announced that it is providing $ 750,000 to 15 federally licensed community health centers (CHCs) in Washington. Each would receive $ 50,000 to fund projects to remove barriers and increase access to health services statewide.

Locally, Sea Mar, which has both The Aberdeen and Ocean Shores sites, as well as the Valley View Health Center in Pacific County are part of this funding.

The Community Health Plan of Washington says the funds are part of a collaborative equity learning grant program designed to pilot approaches to care that are sustainable and address health disparities.

Leanne Bergé, CEO from Washington’s Community Health Plan, said she hopes the pilot will spark new ideas elsewhere in communities.

Each CHC that receives funding has applied for grants to meet the unique needs of their community, within the framework of health equity and holistic care (physical, behavioral and social determinants of health such as housing, nutrition and employment).

Each project falls under four categories of equitable care:

  • member experience and access
  • pregnancy care
  • depression management
  • management of other chronic diseases

CHPW says that a key element of the Health Equity Grants program is collaborative peer-to-peer learning in which participating community health centers come together in cohorts designed around thematic areas to share learnings and best practices during the course. of a year.

“I am inspired by the work done under this program to develop targeted interventions that meet the unique needs of the local community at each health center,” said Leanne Berge, CEO of Community Health Plan of Washington and Community Health Network of Washington. “We have gone through a rigorous process of creating a grant program that allows each health center to assess their own community’s barriers to equitable health outcomes and identify opportunities for effective interventions, using techniques that can be deployed long after the end of this pilot program. ”

The 15 CSCs and the areas of intervention of their equity projects are:

  • Advancing Pregnancy Care
    • Moses Lake Community Health Center (serving Grant County)
    • Neighborhood Health (serves King County)
  • Managing Depression
    • CHAS Health (serves Spokane County)
    • Country Doctor Community Health Centers (serving King County)
    • International Community Health Services (serving King County)
    • Yakima Neighborhood Health Centers (serving Yakima County)
  • Chronic disease management
    • Community Health Care (serves Pierce County)
    • Sea Mar (serves Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Island, King, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties)
    • Tri-Cities Community Health (served Benton and Franklin counties)
  • Improve member experience and access
    • Family Health Centers (serving Okanogan County)
    • HealthPoint (serves King, Pierce and Snohomish counties)
    • Peninsula Community Health Services (serving Kitsap County)
    • Unity Care NW (serves Whatcom County)
    • Valley View Health Center (serving Lewis, Thurston, Pacific counties)
    • Yakima Valley Farm Workers (serves Benton, Franklin, Spokane, Whitman and Yakima counties)

“According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, last year nearly 29% of homeless people in Washington state were identified as having severe mental health problems,” said Rhonda Hauff, president / director General of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services. “With the money we receive from CHPW, our team plans to help our homeless patients get a smartphone through government programs and teach them how to use it to schedule appointments, access telehealth, communicate with providers, order prescription refills, and more. We believe this will increase follow-up appointment rates and give people the support they need to treat and prevent escalation of mental health issues. ”

“At Unity Care NW, we work with patients of diverse origins and who speak multiple languages,” said Jodi Joyce, CEO of Unity Care NW. “The inspiration for our equity project came from the idea of ​​one of our front desk staff. She noted that those who needed interpretation services had to make longer appointments and wait longer. The grant funds we receive from CHPW will help reduce wait times for these patients by providing better interpretation services.

“HealthPoint’s mission is to strengthen communities, improve people’s health and break down barriers,” said Lisa Yohalem, CEO of HealthPoint. “Our work with CHPW and this funding helps us listen to our Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, patients and staff on how we can adjust our healthcare approaches to be a better partner in their overall health. We do our best when we work in partnership with the community. This investment is focused on improving the health of the entire community; starting with the Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in South King County. ”

CHPW’s initiative is part of the work it is doing in a national cohort called the Advancing Health Equity: Leading Care, Payment, and Systems Transformation (AHE) program.

In partnership with the Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) and the CHPW Washington Parent Community Health Network (CHNW), CHPW is one of the seven state teams leading this initiative. This learning collaboration builds a culture of equity by viewing changes in the delivery of care as one of its areas of focus.

Equity Learning Collaborative Grant Program funding brings CHPW’s investment in Washington community partners advancing equity work to a total of $ 1 million in 2021, after $ 250,000 in grants to 25 community organizations (CBO) in June.

To learn more about CHPW and how it serves communities in Washington, visit chpw.org.