Connecticut Advocacy Organization Receives $45,000 Grant to Train Low/Moderate Income Families to Advocate for Health Care Reform
December 21, 2011
“Only 25 percent of Americans can score a “C” or better when it comes to accurately recalling and understanding facts pertaining to the Affordable Care Act.”
HARTFORD, CONN. – Dec. 21, 2011 The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) Board of Directors today awarded Hartford-based United Connecticut Action for Neighborhoods, Inc. (UCAN) a one-year $45,000 grant to provide low/moderate income families the skills and resources to advocate for their health and health care issues throughout the implementation of health reform in Connecticut. Their advocacy efforts will focus on ensuring that oral health and mental health are part of patient-centered medical home initiatives.
“UCAN is an established advocacy organization whose commitment to impacting public policy benefits the state’s most vulnerable populations,” says Patricia Baker, President & CEO of the foundation. “They have a strong, solid history of success in mobilizing community advocates to change health systems.”
“We at UCAN are pleased to receive the grant award from the Connecticut Health Foundation,” says Alta Lash, executive director of UCAN. “In the coming years, Connecticut will be making choices about the kind of health options that will be offered. This grant will provide the resources needed for UCAN to organize consumers to ensure that their voices, especially those who face mental health challenges and low-income people are heard.”
A 2011 poll performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that 52 percent of respondents do not have enough information about health reform to know it will have an impact on them, much less benefit them.
This project will operate under UCAN’s “Caring Families Coalition,” which was established to carry out community organizing work around health care. Through this project, consumers will have access to clear information about health care issues and how policies will have an impact on individual communities. UCAN expects to build a powerful health care consumer organization that can influence public policy related to health care.
OTHER GRANTS AWARDED
Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
- Aspen Institute (New York) was awarded a one-year $260,000 grant to supports its Health Equity Education and Leadership (HEAL) initiative to stimulate and support community-driven change efforts to decrease health disparities in access and treatment for African American males in Connecticut.
- Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (Bridgeport/Fairfield County) received a one-year $40,000 grant award to support its “Building Public Will: Engaging the Suburbs to Address Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Bridgeport’s Children” program, which seeks to create a network of suburban residents living in Westport and Fairfield to advocate for policies to create health equity. The grant will support the development and implementation of a campaign to educate and raise community and media awareness about factors that contribute to health disparities.
- Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) (Willimantic) received a two-year $80,000 award to study public policy options that support less costly community alternatives to nursing home care for elders of color. In long term care facilities, Connecticut experiences more segregation than other states, and those serving people of color are lower performing on quality and disparities measures. Once the research is conducted, an issue brief would be published, and CMA plans to shift into advocating for change through policy advocacy and alliance building.
- Society for New Communications Research (Statewide) was awarded a one-year $175,000 grant to continue its work through healthjusticect.org, an online social platform that informs and connects Connecticut residents online and offline, and encourages productive and dynamic public discourse and debate to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.
Children’s Mental Health
- Clifford Beers Guidance Clinic, Inc. (New Haven) was awarded a one-year $40,000 grant to develop a plan to institute a service for families exposed to chronic, toxic stress by integrating primary care, mental health and other services.
- Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance (CJJA) (Bridgeport) received a one-year $75,000 general operating grant award to help CJJA continue its focus on reducing school-based arrests, by working with stakeholders and state-level partners to address this issue.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness of Connecticut (Hartford) was awarded a $25,000 grant to build the Keep the Promise Coalition Children’s Committee’s capacity to advocate for children’s mental health public policies, as well as develop and implement a marketing campaign that promotes the importance of school based mental health.
Children’s Mental Health Community-Based Approach Initiative
CT Health has funded four pilot communities under its community-based approach initiative to identify and treat children ages 6-14 who are at risk of mental health problems. These communities, now in their third year, designed their pilot site to fit the particular needs of their community:
- Family Services of Greater Waterbury, which involves the education system, Youth Service Bureau, mental health system, and a strong link to the city-wide initiative, Bridge to Success, was awarded $135,000 to broaden linkages into the community with other organizations.
- Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent /Child Resource Center – Derby Community, which involves education and mental health systems, as well as the Derby Police Department, received a $200,000 award to support a successful change where police now refer children to community mental health supports rather than automatic arrest. It will also expand portals to care into the neighboring town of Ansonia as well as with pediatric providers.
- Manchester Youth Service Bureau – Manchester Community, which involves the education system and the Youth Service Bureau, received a $137,186 grant to support their efforts to formalize linkages, and increase parent participation.
- Middlesex Hospital- Middletown Community, which involves the education system, faith-based community and Middlesex Hospital, was awarded $220,166 to support their efforts to finalize its expansion into another school, and develop a manual to help other parts of the community repeat this success.
OTHER GRANTS AWARDED
- Actual Food LLC New Haven) was awarded a one-year $20,000 grant to pilot a new business model to bring healthy, fresh food to low-income neighborhoods. Residents can order their food online, which is delivered locally and available for the resident to pick up. Actual Food will also make use of pedestrian or bicycle powered delivery for a nominal fee.
- Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers (North Haven) received a one-year $50,000 grant to support its general operating costs to continue representing the 78 school based health centers and advocating for the health care needs of Connecticut’s school children.
- Connecticut Voices for Children (New Haven) was awarded a one year $150,000 general operating grant to provide research, policy advocacy, and communications that promote strategic public investments in the health and well-being of children in Connecticut.
- Connecticut Food Bank (New Haven) was awarded $40,000 to distribute food and other resources to approximately 600 local emergency food assistance programs in six of Connecticut’s eight counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham.
- Connecticut Mission of Mercy (Southington) was awarded a one-year $25,000 grant to support its annual free statewide dental clinic to the underserved and uninsured in Connecticut, which will be held in Danbury, March 23 – 24, 2012 at the O’Neill Center on the campus of Western Connecticut State University.
- Foodshare (Hartford) was awarded $20,000 to support more than 300 community kitchens, emergency shelters, food pantries and other anti-hunger programs in Hartford and Tolland counties.
- Operation Fuel (Bloomfield) was awarded $40,000 to provide access to year-round energy assistance to Connecticut families in need.
About the Connecticut Health Foundation
The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving lives by changing health systems. Since it was established in July 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grant-making, public health policy research, technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut.
Over the past 11 years, CT Health has awarded grants totaling over $45 million in 45 cities and towns throughout the state in three priority areas:
- Improving access to children’s mental health services
- Reducing racial and ethnic health disparities
- Expanding access to and use of children’s oral health services