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Kresge awards new grant funding to support local public health departments leading COVID-19 response efforts

COVID-19, General Foundation News, Health

The Kresge Foundation has awarded a total of $837,938 in grant funding to support 25 local public health departments that are leading in the midst of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and working to solve issues of racial injustice in communities across the country.

These grants, made to organizations that participated in Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health program, reflect the Foundation’s commitment to invest in local COVID-19 response activities and support continuing efforts to address health inequities in America’s cities.

“We rely on our nation’s public health experts to advance and promote community health,” said Monica Valdes Lupi, managing director of Kresge’s Health Program. “In a rapidly changing environment, our ELPH partners have been able to adapt and pivot their work and advance strategic approaches to health in their communities.”

Kresge awarded the following organizations a total of $295,263 in new grant support:

  • City of Jersey Health Department, Jersey City, New Jersey – The City of Jersey Health Department will continue its expansion of an emergent health intervention platform, increase staff training and further its efforts to deliver equitable, racially and ethnically appropriate services to diverse communities within the entire city.
  • Douglas County Health Department, Omaha, Nebraska – The Douglas County Health Department will establish an Office of Health Equity and Racial Justice; facilitate a Health Equity and Social Justice workshop for department staff and partners; build alliances with community organizations; and increase community engagement and accountability for the Health Department and Douglas County.
  • Hennepin County Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota – Hennepin County Public Health will develop a toolkit to improve infection control practices in long term care facilities. The toolkit will provide a framework to support local public health departments in deciding when and how to use checklists, educational resources, trainings, and other materials in providing COVID-19 infection control guidance for long term care facilities.
  • Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Lawrence, Kansas – Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department will work to address the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism by providing training to all LDCPH staff on the role of systemic racism as a determinant of health; establishing a Health Equity Advisory Board; and adding a new priority issue area to the Community Health Improvement Plan explicitly targeting justice and systemic racism.
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California – The San Francisco Department of Public Health will provide wraparound navigation services focused on the needs of the city’s Black community at COVID-19 test sites. This effort will help improve access to mental health services, food, health insurance, hand sanitizers and masks, voter registration and U.S. Census participation.
  • San Mateo County Health Department, San Mateo, California – Building on previous efforts, San Mateo County Health Department will create a racial equity curriculum and provide training to all department employees, community partners, county organizations and board of health members throughout the county.
  • Seminole County Health Department, Sanford, Florida – The Seminole County Health Department will increase its COVID-related outreach, testing and supportive services for hard to reach groups of people, especially those with chronic diseases and without health insurance.
  • Southwest District Health, Caldwell, Idaho – The Southwest District Health department seeks to identify opportunities and co-develop solutions with the Latinx community to address COVID-19 related racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Wayne County Health Department, Goldsboro, North Carolina – This grant will enable the Wayne County Health Department to respond to emerging resident needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including telehealth for maternal-family services and remote student learning capacity for K-12 students.

The Foundation is also providing supplemental financial support in new grant amendments to help local health departments meet challenges wrought by the pandemic.

Kresge awarded the following organizations a total of $542,675 in grant amendments:

Grantee Location
Tompkins County Health Department Ithaca, New York
Black Hawk County Health Department Waterloo, Iowa
City of Lubbock Health Department Lubbock, Texas
City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Service Nashua, New Hampshire
City of Pasadena Public Health Department Pasadena, California
Ingham County Health Department Lansing, MI
Lane County Public Health Eugene, Oregon
Las Animas-Huerfano Counties District Health Department Trinidad, Colorado
Oklahoma City-County Health Department Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Orleans County Health Department Albion, New York
Salt Lake County Health Department Salt Lake City, Utah
Snohomish Health District Everett, Washington
Spokane Regional Health District Spokane, Washington
Thomas Jefferson Health District Charlottesville, Virginia
Yakima Health District Yakima, Washington
Yuma County Public Health Services District Yuma, Arizona

Since April, Kresge has granted nearly $15 million to nonprofit organizations confronting the COVID-19 crisis around the country.

To learn more about the ELPH program, click here.