LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / September 28, 2020 / The COVID-19 pandemic not only harms those millions of people who have been infected, but it also has caused significant harm to the health of our communities. The pandemic has clearly shown once again that communities of color are disproportionately affected by social determinants, correlated with inequities and disparities in access to health care and health outcomes. These include lack of financial and educational opportunities, poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, to name a few.
As Community Health Committee chair for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals boards of directors, Dr. Cynthia Telles weighs in on the impact that COVID-19 has had on different communities: “The convergence of health and economic crises caused by the pandemic is widening the disparities due to race and economic status. As healthcare providers, we must work harder to bridge these gaps.”
As part of its commitment to creating economic opportunity for communities of color and addressing the systemic and structural economic disadvantages they face, Kaiser Permanente awarded a grant to Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. ICIC was founded in 1994 in the wake of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. Since then, ICIC’s principal goal has been narrowing the racial wealth gap in America by creating sustainable small business ecosystems in our most economically vulnerable communities.
This contribution is part of the more than $28 million in grants Kaiser Permanente has awarded in the first half of the year, as part of its ongoing commitment to improve health in the communities it serves. Many of these grants are designed to specifically address community health needs that have surfaced or been magnified during the pandemic.
“Kaiser Permanente recognized the need to support broad-based relief at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Dr. Cynthia Telles. “As the situation continues to evolve, we will maintain our commitments to supporting these efforts, preparing for the recovery period following this pandemic, and bolstering resiliency in impacted communities.”
Kaiser Permanente’s funding will help expand ICIC’s Inner City Capital Connections program to help businesses survive, recover, and grow by providing access to capital as well as business and management education. The program will be launched initially in 4 cities Kaiser Permanente serves and involves recruiting up to 75 local, under-resourced entrepreneurs in order to build their capacity to access capital and achieve sustainable growth in revenue and employment. The ICIC will look to expand this program to more cities in the coming months.
Kaiser Permanente has awarded additional grants this year to meet these needs, including:
- A grant to the CDC Foundation to strengthen the country’s COVID-19 public health infrastructure and response systems
- A contribution to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council to support implementation of enhanced COVID-19 infection control procedures and work with community partners to mitigate the spread of the virus across the continuum of care
In addition to the $28 million in community health grants in the first half of the year, Kaiser Permanente has committed $63 million to support contact tracing in California in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
For more information, contact Andrew Mitchell at Cambridge Global at 404-955-7133.
SOURCE: Scenic Figure
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