News Release

Grants to support advocacy on oral health care, maternal health, Medicaid

Connecticut Health Foundation awards five grants this quarter

HARTFORD, Conn. (April 11, 2023) – Funding from the Connecticut Health Foundation will support advocacy to address disparities in oral health care, maternal health, and Medicaid.

The grants are among five awarded this quarter, totaling $360,000. (In addition, earlier this year, the foundation along with three other funders awarded 33 grants to organizations serving as trusted messengers in their communities.)

The grants awarded are:

Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Hartford: $85,000
This funding will support the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, or COHI, in advocacy to improve access to oral health care. COHI’s work will focus on expanding Medicaid coverage of oral health services, building support for the use of dental therapists as a way to improve equity, addressing barriers that keep people from getting needed oral health treatment, and community engagement.

Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Hartford: $125,000
This funding will support the second year of a two-year health equity advocacy fellowship focused on Medicaid. The fellowship is designed to support the development of emerging leaders by helping them to build their experiences and knowledge about Medicaid, advocacy, and health equity. During the two-year program, the fellow rotates through several organizations that work on different aspects of Medicaid, gaining exposure to multiple parts of the policy and advocacy landscape.

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, Bridgeport: $100,000
This grant supports the work of Doulas4CT, a coalition working to address maternal health disparities by improving access to doula services. Doulas provide support to pregnant people before, during, and after birth, and help advocate for their clients throughout the process. With this funding, Doulas4CT will support doulas to participate in the development and implementation of state policy to assure that decisions include the perspectives of doulas and a focus on equity. This includes the design and implementation of a Medicaid bundled payment for maternity services and the development of a certification process for doulas. Doulas4CT will also provide community education about doula services and maternal health.

Discretionary grants

President’s discretionary grants are awarded to organizations and institutions that respond to the foundation’s overall mission or priority areas.

Keney Park Sustainability Project, Windsor: $25,000
While time spent in nature can help mental and physical health, many Hartford residents have limited access to nature. The Keney Park Sustainability project was created to connect Hartford residents to locally grown food and provide access to nature. This funding will support the organization’s work with Outdoor RXCT, a model created by West Hartford pediatrician Della Corcoran, to train health care providers to make referrals and write “prescriptions” for patients to participate in nature activities. It will also support efforts help area residents explore nature in Keney Park, including the development of a smartphone app.

Make the Road CT, Bridgeport: $25,000
This funding will support Make the Road CT in building the sustainability of its community health worker model, which is designed to connect community members – many of whom are immigrants, undocumented, or in families with mixed immigration status – with culturally and linguistically relevant information about services and resources available to them. Community health workers also support people in applying for health care coverage, financial aid or care offered on a sliding scale, and other resources, as well as provide education and training about health issues and people’s rights when accessing care.

For more information, please contact Arielle Levin Becker at or 860-724-1580 x 116.