Kaiser Permanente has awarded $1,051,000 in grants to 18 community organizations and nonprofits throughout the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Baltimore to improve community health. These grants address social factors that impact a person’s total health, such as access to safe housing, nutritious food and economic opportunity. Evidence shows that social determinants of health account for approximately 70% of health outcomes and are also contributing factors of health inequities.
“Health doesn’t start or end at the doors of our medical centers,” said Celeste James, Executive Director, Community Health at Kaiser Permanente in the mid-Atlantic region. “Health starts with access to safe and affordable housing, well-paying jobs, access to food, and racial equity. We’re proud to partner with other community-minded organizations to meet the critical social needs of communities that have historically faced inequitable access to healthcare and opportunity because we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to have good health.”
The grants will support the following organizations and initiatives throughout the Washington, D.C., Suburban Maryland, Northern Virginia and Baltimore regions:
- Asian American Center of Frederick County dba Learning Institute for Enrichment & Discovery: Improving Health Care Access – Integrated Connection: I-Connect4Health, which will reach an estimated 2,000 people in seven counties throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with the goal of reducing barriers to healthcare for vulnerable populations.
- Associated Catholic Charities, Inc.: Expanded School Mental Health, which will reach about 255 students and families in the West Baltimore area with mental health assistance to help process trauma.
- Baltimore Community Foundation: Greater Baltimore Social Health Impact Fund
- Loudoun Free Clinic: Collaborative Care, which will be able to add a nurse care coordinator to help with coordinating free medical care for about 1,100 patients
- Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.: Black Farm CSA: Building Capacity for Scaling Wholesale Produce Distribution which will help an estimated 20,000 farmers through developing new market opportunities for regional and urban socially disadvantaged farmers via wholesale and retail produce distribution.
- Greater Washington Community Foundation: Greater Washington Social Health Impact Fund
- Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland: Garland Ave Project
- Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations: Greater Riverdale Initiative Cohort
- Maryland Family Network, Inc.: The Power of Connection: THRIVE and LOCATE Supporting Families, which will reach about 1,000 people and families in the greater Baltimore area.
- Muslim Community Center, Inc.: Community Navigator Project
- Parity Baltimore, Inc.: Parity Development Without Displacement – Home is Where the Health Is, which will reach about 125 individuals and families in Baltimore with equitable housing redevelopment projects.
- Sowing Empowerment & Economic Development, Inc: SEED Food Distribution Hub
- Sowing Empowerment & Economic Development, Inc: SEED School Pantry Program
- Sowing Empowerment & Economic Development, Inc: Headen Spring Development: An Affordable Housing Campus, which will create a mixed-use development in the Riverdale area that supports the mental, social and physical health of Riverdale residents.
- The Green Scheme: Code Green Summer Program, which will reach about 100 DC residents with health and gardening education and access to healthy meals for six weeks.
- Total Health Care, Inc.: C2C – Connecting to Communities
- University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc.: University of Maryland SMHP School Mental Health Expansion at Vivien T. Thomas Project- Y2
- Wesley Housing: Bringing Affordable Housing and Healthcare Access to Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia, which will create about 68 affordable housing units for seniors in the Falls Church area.
Two of the grants will support the expansion of the Mid-Atlantic Community Network (MACN), a shared social services network launched in 2020 by Kaiser Permanente in partnership with Unite Us to offer critical health care and social services such as housing, food, employment, transportation, behavioral health and utilities assistance by connecting community residents to service organizations and health care providers.
“We are honored to accept this grant and partner with Kaiser Permanente to eliminate health disparities and advance racial equity in our community,” said Elizabeth Chung, executive director, Asian American Center of Frederick. “This grant will enable us to advance our mission to support the total health of those we serve; it will give us the resources we need to support their meeting the physical, mental, spiritual, and economic well-being.”
Kaiser Permanente also committed $200,000 to Parity, an organization that supports equitable housing redevelopment projects. Bree Jones, the organizations’ founder, is also an alumnus of the free mini-MBA program for small business owners called Inner City Capital Connections, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
“I deeply appreciate the relationship I’ve been able to build with Kaiser Permanente from the onset of my entrepreneurship journey, and for not only believing in Parity, but also believing in me as a leader and nurturing my growth,” said Jones. “Kaiser Permanente is a shining example of how healthcare organizations and large institutions can be a catalyst for affordable housing and advancing racial equity. With this generous grant to Parity, we are one step closer to closing the racial wealth disparity in Baltimore City. I’m looking forward to what’s next with Kaiser Permanente as a continued partner.”
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.