Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at Northwest Health Foundation Awards Over $2M to Improve Health

February 10, 2012 -- As part of its annual grant initiative funding projects, The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund awarded more than $2 million in grant funds to aid 19 organizations that address the social determinants of health in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund is a philanthropic partnership between Kaiser Permanente Northwest and the Northwest Health Foundation. Funded by Kaiser Permanente Northwest and distributed by Northwest Health Foundation, the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund’s objective is to advance the health of local communities served by Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

“Healthy people and communities begin with the underlying social determinants of health,” said Sue M. Hennessy, Vice President, Strategic Planning & Health Plan Services at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “Each of these grantees is addressing issues that will positively impact the health of our region.”

Each organization selected for a Kaiser Permanente Community Fund grant seeks to enhance the social factors that promote health equity and/or eliminate the factors that contribute to health disparities in our communities. Projects range from providing support for at-risk urban youth, to incorporating healthy community measures into policy-making, to creating affordable access to local food. Many of the projects take a preventive or “upstream” approach to improving communities’ health by addressing the root causes of health disparities.

“I think we all agree that everyone should have the opportunity to live a healthy life,” said Thomas Aschenbrener, president of Northwest Health Foundation. “I’m proud to note that many of the grants awarded in this cycle focus on the intersection of social equity and community health.”

The following organizations received grants.

- Adelante Mujeres (Nourish the Community Program):  $200,000
- African Women’s Coalition (Economic Justice & Entrepreneurship Program):  $50,000
- Basic Rights Education Fund (Path to Stronger & Healthier LGBT Families Project):  $200,000
- Cascadia Behavioral HealthCare (Peer Wellness Program):  $200,000
- Casa Latinos Unidos de Benton County (Enhancing Latino Leadership):  $120,000
- Center for Intercultural Organizing (Capacity for Associations of Newcomers Project):  $100,000
- Children’s Justice Alliance (Public Safety, Health and Health Equity Project):  $50,000
- Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (Health through Multi-family Housing):  $150,000
- Cowlitz County Community Network (Adverse Childhood Experiences Project):  $25,000
- Family Forward Oregon (Paid Sick Days Campaign):  $50,000
- Hacienda Community Development Corporation (Latino Public Market):  $50,000
- “I Have a Dream” Foundation (Dreamer School Project):  $200,000
- Iraqi Society of Oregon (Wellness for Newcomers project):  $50,000
- Oregon Food Bank (Improving Health Equity Through Community Food Systems):  $50,000
- Oregon Public Health Institute (Embedding Health Equity into the Portland Plan):  $80,780
- Organizing People, Activating Leaders (Transit Justice and Health Equity Campaign):  $150,000
- Pedagogy Institute/MESO (Family and Community Empowerment Program):  $200,000
- Rural Organizing Project (Welcoming Campaigns):  $50,000
- Self Enhancement, Inc. (Youth Potential Realized Program):  $200,000

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at Northwest Health Foundation was established with $28 million in 2004. To date, the Community Fund has awarded $20 million in public health grants to more than 100 organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The fund was established to support community-based efforts to enhance social factors that promote health equity and help eliminate factors that contribute to health disparities.

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund is achieving real, effective health-care reform right here in the Northwest by addressing the critical factors that lead to healthier people and healthier places.

More information about the fund, and the projects listed above, can be found at www.nwhf.org/kpcf.

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