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Dignity Health Gives $271,821 in Grants to Nonprofits

Recipients focus on building healthier communities

Checks were presented at a recent awards breakfast event.
Checks were presented at a recent awards breakfast event. (Dignity Health Central Coast )

Dignity Health Central Coast (Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and French Hospital Medical Center) has awarded $271,821 in grants to four community nonprofit partnerships in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

Representatives from each organization were given checks recently to assist in the critical health and human services they provide to county residents.

Grants are awarded through a Community Grants Program created by the Central Coast Service Area’s parent company Dignity Health.

The annual community grant program is intended to help nonprofit organizations with an interest in building healthier communities by improving health and living conditions.

Criteria for this funding cycle were based on the following priority areas identified in the hospitals Community Benefits Report and Plan and Community Health Needs Assessment:

Access to health care including mental health; education; homelessness/housing; cardiovascular disease and stroke; and cancer prevention and screenings.

This year, the Dignity Health Community Grants were awarded to the following local Accountable Care Communities:

» Collaboration to Focus on Unmet Health Needs of the Underserved in North SLO County

Program description: SLO Noor Foundation will expand free medical services to the underserved and uninsured through a weekly clinic at Canyon Creek Apartments in Paso Robles to serve the North County of SLO and provide expanded services through SLO Noor Clinics in SLO.
Fiscal agent: SLO Noor Foundation.

Members of Accountable Care Community: Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access, Inc., French Hospital Medical Center

Planned Impact: Help alleviate the five factors known to contribute to, or be barriers to, health care access that puts Paso Robles at greatest health needs in the county.

» Affordable shared housing provision and housing skills training toward housing security and improved health outcomes for San Luis Obispo County.

Project Description: HomeShare SLO creates affordable housing as it facilitates matches between providers — people with an extra room — with seekers — people in need of housing. Fiscal agent: HomeShare SLO.

Accountable Care Community: Options Family of Services, Transitional Food & Shelter, French Hospital Medical Center.

Planned Impact: Improved health through improved housing security. An increasing percentage of the SLO County population struggles with housing security.

HomeshareSLO matches and skills training aims to bridge the gap between the over-housed (20 percent of seniors, according to AARP and HUD estimates) and under-housed, creating affordable housing and social support networks with existing housing stock.

» Homeless Youth Project

Project description: Proposes to focus services on homeless youth in Santa Maria and 5 Cities regions, providing outreach within local school districts to identify homeless youth.

Good Samaritan Shelter will provide two after school programs that focus on improving academic outcomes among homeless youth in Santa Maria (at shelter campus on Morrison Avenue and new program at Rancho Hermosa housing complex on Inger Street).

The 5 Cities Homeless Coalition will focus on academic tutoring and targeted case management amongst unaccompanied youth within the 5 Cities region. Fiscal Agent: Good Samaritan Shelter.

Accountable Care Community: 5 Cities Homeless Coalition, Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County, Marian Regional Medical Center and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

Planned Impact: 100 percent of school-age youth will attend after school program; 30 percent of children living at Rancho Hermosa will engage in after school program; 60 percent of homeless youth engaged in the Reading Plus Program will improve reading level by one grade level.

Also, 30 percent of homeless youth will improve reading level by two grade levels; 50 of unaccompanied youth referred to 5 Cities Homeless Coalition will engage in case management and academic tutoring.

» 20 Now Santa Maria

Program description: The project will identify 20 chronically homeless people a year (in partnership with Marian) with comorbidity (drug and alcohol, mental health, physical disabilities, severe illness) and house 10 per year with supportive services.

This impacts homelessness and housing and will increase access to mental health services.

Fiscal Agent: United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County.

Accountable Care Community: Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness, Transitions Mental Health Association, Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Health Care for the Homeless, and Marian Regional Medical Center.

Planned Impact: Improve health and well-being of the uninsured through screening for early detection and education.

Reduce/avoid emergency room visits for uncontrolled diabetic hyperglycemia and preventable cardiac events for at-risk patients. via on-going monitoring, assisting patients gain self-management skills, and proactively promoting health education offerings.

For more information, visit: www.dignityhealth.org/centralcoast.

— Kailey Cox for Dignity Health Central Coast.


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