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Regional Projects by Program Area: Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity

Recent Regional Awards


California: A $10,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation is helping the Native American Land Conservancy™ lay the groundwork for a new integrated health facility on Native American Trust land to bring health care to a large, underserved Native American and Hispanic population in the Coachella Valley in Southern California. The facility, planned for 2016, will combine state-of-the-art medical care, including a small hospital, primary care clinic, pharmacy, and lab facilities with Native American healing traditions, including a 10-acre medicinal plant garden.  This model of health care delivery has potential to be replicated on tribal Trust land in other parts of the United States, providing a new and more cost-effective model for health care delivery for underserved communities. 
Connecticut:  A $10,000 grant from Aetna to Hartford Food System supports the second phase of the organization’s initiative to increase the amount of fresh produce and other healthful foods for sale in corner grocery stores in Connecticut’s capital.  The city of Hartford, one of the poorest in the nation, has few full-service supermarkets, and many residents make their food purchases at small neighborhood retailers where soft drinks and snack foods dominate store shelves.

Florida: A $25,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation helps Hispanic Unity of Florida expand its Te Ayudo (We Can Help You) program that helps low-income, uninsured Hispanic residents of Broward County obtain clinical services from local providers.  Fluent in Spanish, Te Ayudo staff members educate patients on when to use and not use emergency care, the importance of preventive care and the impact of good nutrition on overall health and wellness. Te Ayudo reduces the language and transportation barriers to health services that are often experienced by its clients and provides translation services, information, referrals, and health care linkages.  About 200 individuals and families are receiving help from this program.

Illinois: A $30,000 Aetna Foundation grant is supporting Centro Comunitario Juan Diego’s Community Health Promoters program in low-income neighborhoods in South Chicago, where many community residents are uninsured, cannot afford preventative health and also suffer disproportionately from such health problems as obesity, poor nutrition, diabetes, and heart disease.  Through home visits and other outreach efforts, the Community Health Promoters program helps clients get the medical care they need and extends health care into their daily lives with management classes, support groups, group exercise, and cooking classes.  

New Jersey: A $40,000 award from the Aetna Foundation is assisting Boat People S.O.S. (BPSOS) in its effort to reach Vietnamese immigrant women about their high risk of cervical cancer, which is five times higher than the risk faced by white women.  Due to a variety of barriers - limited English proficiency, low income, cultural stigma, and lack of health insurance – Vietnamese women are less likely to have access to the information and preventive health screening services they need to protect their health.  The BPSOS campaign includes bilingual education and outreach, patient navigation and interpretation, and access to free or low-cost cervical cancer screening sessions.  Southern Jersey is home to roughly 3,000 Vietnamese immigrants and refugees, many of whom live in poverty and have limited proficiency with English.

New York: A $25,000 grant to Team Continuum from the Aetna Foundation helps the organization offer CookForYourLife!, a series of cooking classes that provide interactive, culturally relevant information about nutrition and healthy cooking to underserved, low-income breast cancer patients and survivors from New York’s Hispanic and Latino communities. CookForYourLife! teaches healthful eating habits through hands-on cooking lessons, one-on-one interaction and nutritious adaptations of popular Hispanic dishes.  Participants benefit from fun and delicious nutrition tips while enjoying the company of peers who share and relate to their life experiences with cancer, family and community.

Pennsylvania: A $35,000 grant from Aetna supports the American Diabetes Association’s Diversity Health Initiative in Philadelphia that reaches out to members of the African-American and Hispanic communities who are at greater risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  The program features health and wellness workshops and festivals, relevant health programming for faith-based communities, services which promote professional health intervention and community ambassador training for lay participants.

Texas: A $25,000 award from the Aetna Foundation is aimed to helping women have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. Gateway to Care, a health care collaborative based in Houston, is partnering with the Harris County Hospital District to work with high-risk maternity patients at the two largest public safety-net hospitals in the area.  The project, Navigating Through a High Risk Pregnancy-Healthy Moms Lead to Healthy Children, will evaluate the effectiveness of a Certified Community Health Worker as a paraprofessional member of the health care team to help reduce maternal and infant mortality. Community Health Workers are trained to work on a peer-to-peer basis with high-risk patients to guide them through their pregnancy, help them follow their care plan and overcome any socioeconomic obstacles that may prevent them from having a healthy delivery.

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