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Dignity Health Gives $928,658 in Community Grants


Dignity Health, which operates Mercy General Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Folsom, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Methodist Hospital, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Woodland Memorial Hospital in the greater Sacramento region, has awarded community grants to ten collaborative proposals across Sacramento, Yolo and Nevada counties. 

All ten projects address priority needs identified in the most recent Community Health Needs Assessments conducted by the hospitals, including access to behavioral health services, active living and healthy eating; and homelessness. “Dignity Health Community Grants will help the most underserved and vulnerable populations in our region receive much-needed services,” said Laurie Harting, senior vice president, operations, greater Sacramento service area. “These collaborative proposals allow our hospitals and community nonprofit organizations to work together to strengthen safety net capacity, leverage resources and build a greater continuum of care for those we serve.” 

In Sacramento County, $775,471 in community grants have been awarded to eight partnerships: 

1. Downtown Sacramento Homeless Mental Health Outreach: This collaborative focuses on connecting with patients who are experiencing homelessness while at Mercy General Hospital. The primary objective is to connect homeless individuals with the appropriate services such as mental health, emergency shelter/housing, and other resources as necessary through the coordinated entry system. 

  • Lead Organization: Sacramento Steps Forward
  • Partners: TLCS and Loaves & Fishes

2. Healthy Women and Families: Provides an easily accessible, strong safety net to victims of commercial sexual exploitation and at-risk young women. The program will help stabilize and ensure that the most vulnerable receive a coordinated system of support capable of addressing the individual and family needs that often lead to a pattern of continued abuse, exploitation, and poor health outcomes.

  • Lead Organization: Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH)
  • Partners: City of Refuge and Chicks in Crisis

3. Recreate for Health:  Focused on bringing youth, who may not otherwise have access to recreation, to the outdoors for positive, healthy experiences. The program will allow youth to relax both mentally and physically on the American River Parkway while participating in an activity led by adults who are positive role models. 

  • Lead Organization: American River Parkway Foundation
  • Partners: Always Knocking and Bike Lab

4. Navigation to Wellness:  The program focuses on decreasing the overutilization of hospital services by individuals with behavioral health problems through the use of a Wellness Navigation Team that supports the individual with linking to public general mental health services. The team is comprised of Hospital Intervention Specialists (HIS), a Peer Support Specialist, and Peer Advocate who will work closely with Dignity Health to assist in linking patients to outpatient behavioral health services that are necessary in order to prevent the need for further hospital services. The Navigation Team will also provide a warm handoff to appropriate linkages with public and general behavioral health services. 

  • Lead Organization: Turning Point Community Programs
  • Partners: Consumer Self Help Center, Strategies for Change and NAMI

5. WayUp Station: The program directly addresses access to high-quality health care and also addresses basic needs of families in the Oak Park community. The on-site referral kiosk (or station) links children and families to needed resources including education, health access, housing, nutrition and workforce development and employment. WayUp will expand the venues in which the station will operate including the Oak Park Community Center, Sacramento Food Bank and at the 10 Oak Park public and charter schools included in the WayUp Oak Park Smart Education Collaboration.

  • Lead Organization: WayUp Sacramento 
  • Partners: Sacramento Covered and WellSpace Health

6. Food Exploration and School Transformation (FEAST): The objective of this program is to increase vegetable consumption among low-income kids and families by creating a full circle connection for students in which they can grow their food, consume the same produce in the cafeteria, and learn to cook or prepare this food during the same month, which we call the Vegetable of the Month. Through this partnership, the FEAST team will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of their local food system, helping students understand the impact of their food choices on their health, economy and environment, and importantly, empowering students to increase their consumption of vegetables, including seasonal produce grown locally.

  • Lead Organization: Food Literacy Center
  • Partners: Soil Born Farms, Health Education Council and Sacramento City Unified School District (in-kind)

7. Patient Support Network, Reducing Barriers to Health: Focuses on increasing access to health care and healthy foods. The program expands the current patient navigator program at Sacramento Covered to co-locate health navigators at two Federally Qualified Health Centers to streamline the referral process. The project also incorporates a Food Pharmacy element which encourages the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as means to improve health outcomes by having produce “prescribed” to individuals by their physician. 

  • Lead Organization: Sacramento Covered
  • Partners: Peach Tree Health, Sacramento Native American Health Center and Sacramento Food Bank and Family Service

8. Health Access Response Team (HART) Partnership: Provides intensive case management to individuals with complex needs by assisting with access to appropriate health care services including both primary and behavioral health. The program will provide ongoing support and utilize community based resources that are most qualified to meet the specific needs of the target population with the goal to provide quality health care services and to help individuals meet their essential needs. 

  • Lead Organization: Wind Youth Services
  • Partners: Gender Health Center and Harm Reduction Services

In Yolo County, an $81,058 community grant has been awarded to one collaborative proposal: 

1. Enhanced Mental health Crisis and Follow-up: This strategic partnership aims to address the limited access to behavioral health services by improving communication and collaboration abilities of the nonprofit agencies involved.  This collaboration will facilitate direct referrals to lower levels of care which will increase the number of individuals served and decrease delays in service; moreover, it will further improve the quality of services by providing comprehensive follow up services designed to increase the efficacy of treatment and decrease recidivism due to a recurrence of symptoms.  The program focuses on building a continuum of care in the community for mental health care.

  • Lead Organization: Suicide Prevention of Yolo County
  • Partners: Yolo Community Care Continuum, and Yolo Family Service Agency  

In Nevada County, a $72,121 community grant has been awarded to one collaborative proposal: 

1. Integrated Care Coordination for Family Wellness: The partnership focuses on Care Transition Coaching (CTI) and Patient Navigation between organizations and services for a "no wrong door" system of referral, coordination entry, and navigation care across organizations to improve health outcomes. This proposal includes coordination of services on-site at the hospital by FREED and CoRR to increase access to behavioral health, quality health care, and disease prevention and management services. The collaboration will expand efforts to focus on increasing access to substance use resources. 

  • Lead Organization: FREED Center for Independent Living
  • Partners: Community Recovery Resource (CoRR) and Western Sierra Medical Clinic
Grants are funded by contributions from Dignity Health’s member hospitals. In the greater Sacramento region, Dignity Health hospitals that contribute to the grants program are Mercy General Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Folsom, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Woodland Memorial Hospital. Across the Dignity Health system, 94 community grants were awarded totaling $4.9 million.

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