More than $1 million is being awarded to 58 organizations working to improve health and reduce health disparities in the San Joaquin Valley, according to the Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management.
The funding commitment follows nearly $630,000 initially awarded to 30 organizations in 2015 and reflects a total investment of more than $1,660,000 in the San Joaquin Valley.
The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund was launched in the fall of 2014 with initial support from Sierra Health Foundation and the California Endowment. Following the launch, a San Joaquin Valley Health Fund Briefing Paper and Mapping Report were released highlighting the Valley’s challenges and opportunities.
The Fund has evolved into a partnership of seven foundations, Sierra Health Foundation, the California Endowment, Rosenberg Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation and Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.
The goal is to create a network of 100 organizations to advance policy and advocacy to address serious disparities in health, economic and social conditions.
In December 2015, the Center for Health Program Management, which manages the Fund, received 105 proposals totaling more than $2 million in requests in response to the second release of request for proposals for this fund. Proposals were received from all eight targeted San Joaquin Valley counties – Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare.
The proposals received reflect that San Joaquin Valley Health Fund partner organizations are addressing health disparities and factors that impact health, such as food security, air quality, clean drinking water, affordable housing, health care, education, employment, immigrant rights, domestic violence, open space, neighborhood safety and other drivers of health outcomes, through capacity building, systems change and community engagement.
“This work is imperative if health equity is to be achieved in California. Social, environmental and economic indicators point to the San Joaquin Valley as being disproportionately burdened by poor health outcomes,” says Chet Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management.
“The challenges in this region are not insurmountable,” says California Endowment President and CEO Robert Ross. “and the San Joaquin Health Fund represents another significant step toward achieving health equity in this largely under-resourced region.”