News Release

Khmer Health Advocates Awarded Grant to Support Racial and Ethnic Data Collection

Foundation Awards Over $527,000 to Nonprofits to Improve Health in Connecticut

HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) awarded Khmer Health Advocates, Inc. (KHA) based in Hartford, a one-year $48,990 grant to fund the Southeast Asian American Health Equity Project which advocates for the importance of granular data collection for race, ethnicity and language (REL). “We strongly believe that data must be granular enough to identify people from small ethnic groups in order to address all racial and ethnic health disparities,” says Theanvy Kuoch, founder and executive director of KHA. In Connecticut, granular data collection has helped us see that rates of diabetes and hypertension are significantly higher with almost 50% of Cambodians having diabetes or pre-diabetes. These numbers are in direct contrast to state wide reports that identified Asian Americans as the healthiest members of our state.

As the only Cambodian health organization in the United States, KHA was founded to address the critical health needs of the thousands of Cambodians who arrived into the state as refugees of war, torture and genocide. KHA’s Cambodian and American professional health workers provide care to individuals and their families, in the Khmer language and in a culturally sensitive manner.

“Strong policies and practices are needed to capture and segment health data by race, ethnicity and language (REL) preference to adequately identify and address health inequities,” said Garrick Wong, program officer at the Connecticut Health Foundation. “Support from the foundation will enable KHA to engage researchers to examine current policies and practices around REL data collection in the state, develop a set of policy recommendations to advance granular REL data collection and reporting, and engage their communities to advocate for those policy priorities”, Wong added.


Diverse Advocacy and Consumer Engagement Grants

Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut (New London), was awarded a one-year $50,000 grant to build on their Reaching, Engaging, Amplifying, and Partnering (REAP) Project in partnership with the African American Health Council of Southeastern Connecticut (AAHC), Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

Together, this group aims to mobilize local advocates and partners across the state to coalesce around a systems change effort that impacts health equity in CT: consumer engagement in hospital decision making and standards for and evaluation of community benefit programs.

Hispanic Health Council (Hartford), received a one-year $50,000 grant to build upon its Community Health Insurance Reform for the People (CHIRP) initiative. This next phase of the project will focus specifically on the development of policies regarding community health workers (CHWs). The Hispanic Health Council will engage subject experts and researchers to develop a set of policy recommendations to address: 1) sustainable funding for CHWs and 2) indicators and metrics to measure the efficacy of CHWs contributions.

Other Grants Awarded: Solicited

Center for Children’s Advocacy (Hartford), received a one-year $65,000 grant to continue their work promoting and protecting the legal rights of Connecticut’s poorest and most vulnerable children. With this grant, they propose to address two goals: 1. Increase systems’ adherence to laws and regulations that ensure children’s access to health care and a comprehensive array of services and supports, and 2. Improve access to mental and physical health care for youth reentering communities from juvenile justice and criminal justice facilities and homeless youth. The organization utilizes policy, litigation, advocacy to improve the lives of young people.

Connecticut Voices for Children (New Haven), was awarded a one-year $100,000 general operating support grant for their health work furthering their mission to provide high-quality research, policy advocacy, and communications that promote strategic investments in the health and well-being of all Connecticut’s children.

CT Hospital Association (CHA) c/o CT Healthcare Research and Education Foundation, Inc. (Wallingford), was awarded a one-year $100,000 grant to fund the Connecticut Social Health Initiative project. This project builds on CHA’s asthma work by connecting healthcare provider organizations to community-based social service providers. The integration of provider organizations with social services would better position practitioners to address social determinant of health in the clinical setting.

President’s Discretionary Grants

My Sister’s Place (Hartford) was awarded a one-year $15,000 grant to support due diligence process necessary to secure financing for the construction of two Asthma Homes for transitional living for vulnerable families in Hartford. This project is developing a model of a “healthy home”- one without classic triggers for Asthma that will provide two transitional homes for those with chronic asthma.

The Connecticut Forum (Hartford) was awarded a one-year $14,000 grant to support the CT Youth Forum – Campaign for Violence Free Schools. The goal of the program is to create a societal norm in five high schools that rejects all levels of violence in schools recognizing that violence is a health equity issue and disproportionately affects students of color.

The Legacy Foundation of Hartford, Inc. (Hartford) was awarded a one-year $10,000 grant to expand and update their database with all the primary care doctors that accept Medicaid in order to ensure referrals can result in appointments with primary care provider and to help them resolve transportation issues that limit their access.

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Southern CT (New Haven) was awarded a one-year $15,000 grant to support an organizational assessment to provide a basis of building their capacity. This assessment will engage board and staff to reach a common understanding of the needs of the organization and the challenges it faces in order to prioritize action steps.

CT Foundation for Dental Outreach (statewide) was awarded a one-year $25,000 grant to support the CT Mission of Mercy (CTMOM) project to provide free dental care to those in need.

Connecticut Health I-Team (New Haven) was awarded a one-year $25,000 grant to support the research and writing of stories that focus on health equity, access and health disparities in areas including mental, women’s and children’s health.

Community Solutions International was awarded a one-year $10,000 grant to execute a partner inclusive selection process for an evaluation partner to conduct an analysis of the Community Health Worker (CHW) pilot’s program and success as a business model.

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 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grantmaking, public policy research technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut. Over the past 17 years, CT Health has awarded grants totaling close to $59 million in 45 cities and towns throughout the state.

In 2013, CT Health announced a five-year strategic plan that made expanding health equity the foundation’s central focus. For CT Health, health equity means helping more people gain access to better care, especially people of color and underserved populations. Better care includes physical, mental, and oral health.

For more information about the foundation, please visit or contact Liz Kellner at or 860.724.1580, ext. 13.