Health Foundation Invests More than $1.6 Million in January – June 2020 to Improve Health of Community, Address COVID-19 Needs

Harvest House

Pictured: team members from Harvest House, a recipient of funds from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund

The first half of 2020 brought unprecedented health care challenges to our community. In addition to our usual grantmaking activities, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York joined the collective effort to meet the needs of our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to supporting ongoing relief efforts as the long-term impact of the pandemic unfolds.

Between January and June 2020, the Health Foundation awarded new grants totaling more than $1.6 million to support programs that improve the health of people in western and central New York.

COVID-19 Related Projects and Programs

The Health Foundation provided extensive support to regional COVID-19 response funds and for other projects related to the crisis in both western and central New York, including the following grants through June 2020:

Catchafire Services for WNY/CNY CBOs
The Health Foundation partnered with other local philanthropic organizations through the Western New York Nonprofit Support Group to bring Catchafire’s volunteer services to dozens of community-based organizations in western and central New York during the COVID-19 crisis. Catchafire is providing new consultations for these organizations based on their most urgent needs, and will help them connect with skilled professionals who volunteer time and talent to assist them in fulfilling those needs. The goal of this work is to create a more sustainable nonprofit sector by providing access to critical infrastructure support.

Center for Elder Law & Justice
In response to an increase in need for services and a reduction in state and local funding as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Center for Elder Law & Justice (CELJ) was awarded $125,000 in emergency funding to support their Health Care Unit. CELJ’s Health Care Unit provides legal advice and counsel on issues concerning access to Medicare, Medicaid and managed long term care, vital services during this health crisis.

Healthy Community Alliance
This $99,000 grant will enable the Healthy Community Alliance and the CBO Consortium of Upstate New York to help build the technical capacity of regional community-based organizations in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and new remote work regulations. Goals of the program include reaching and recruiting new CBOs to take part in the consortium; developing technical training webinars; and determine additional resources CBOs may need in order to conduct business remotely.

Hearts and Hands
Hearts and Hands received a $35,000 grant to lead the formation of a Transportation, Delivery, and Social Connections Task Force in partnership with Erie County Senior Services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force works to meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers who have either had to increase or assume roles they didn’t before, or have limited ability to perform certain caregiving tasks due to their own requirement to self-quarantine and social distance.

Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative
This $66,000 grant allows WNYICC to expand the evidence-based program Healthy IDEAs to reach older adults in the communities of western and central New York. Healthy IDEAs is a one-to-one health coaching program to address depression symptoms in older adults, where trained health coaches deliver a targeted intervention over the course of up to twelve weeks. With this support, WNYICC can help address the growing need for these services associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small Grants Related to COVID-19 ($10,000 or less):

$10,000 – Long-Term Care Coalition ombudsman program to help inform family caregivers with loved ones in long-term care facilities
$10,000 – YMCA Buffalo Niagara – Essential Personnel Emergency Childcare Subsidy
$10,000 – St. Luke Health Services – PPE Purchase
$10,000 – Syracuse Community Center Collaborative Cleanings
$5,000 – Manlius Senior Activity Center Food Program
$8,500 – Onondaga County Emotional Support Outreach
$10,000 – Baby Supplies Drive Thru
$3,700 – Hamilton Senior Citizens, Inc. – Meal Program

Other Grants for January – June 2020

Community Connections of New York
This grant of $117,000 is part of the Health Foundation’s commitment to expanding the PEDALS social-emotional learning program in central New York. Expansion will include bringing the PEDALS program into additional Onondaga County classrooms; identifying local partners; and developing a hub to oversee and coordinate PEDALS activities in Onondaga County, and possibly elsewhere in CNY. Learn more about PEDALS here.

Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center
This $46,000 award enables Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center to lead the coordination of the Erie County Doula Pilot Project. The goals of this work include increasing community knowledge and understanding of doula services and the pilot project; training additional doulas who are representative of the Medicaid eligible community in Erie County; increasing knowledge of practice topics for additional doulas; and increasing healthcare provider understanding of doula services.

Health Leadership Fellows CALL to Action/Healthy Community Alliance

The Health Leadership Fellows CALL to Action program provides an opportunity for Fellows to work on collaborative projects that address persistent barriers to better health outcomes. One of the barriers most cited by Fellows is challenges associated with effective data collection and data sharing among social care providers. This $200,000 demonstration grant will build upon work done under DSRIP to address the need for better data systems, and promote a community-wide project to build a Community Information Exchange.

Integrated Community Alternatives Network
This $63,870 grant to the Integrated Community Alternatives Network (ICAN) will allow them to implement the Healthy Connections from the Start program. The program serves families with young children in Oneida County involved in family court by providing weekly, no-cost supervised visitation sessions for non-custodial parents. With this funding, sessions are enhanced with concepts from the Nurturing Parenting Program®, which is offered to participating families.

Say Yes Buffalo
Say Yes Buffalo received $156,000 in funding to support expansion of its Children’s Health Home Care Coordinators program. The program expansion is enabling Say Yes to meet the needs of its youngest students by placing two additional Care Coordinators in Buffalo Public Schools to focus on serving youth ages 3-5. BPS serves approximately 2,000 Pre-K students across 106 classrooms and has limited capacity to provide this type of service. Each care coordinator carries a caseload of 25-30 families and provide proactive family outreach within schools; insurance support; comprehensive care management; referrals to community support services; care coordination and health promotion; comprehensive transitional care; and patient and family supports.

Grants $10,000 or under were awarded to the following organizations during this period (red denotes a COVID-19-related grant)

Art Moves Me
Baby Supplies Drive Thru
Chautauqua County Office for Aging
Community Concern
Grassroots Garden WNY
Hamilton Senior Citizens, Inc
Healthy Community Alliance CBO Consortium
Long Term Care Community Coalition
Love Living at Home
Manlius Senior Activity Center Food Program
New York Funders Alliance
Olmstead Center for Sight
Onondaga County Emotional Support Outreach
Parish Outreach Center
Parkway Center
Social Work Practice Fellows
St. Luke Health Services
Syracuse Community Center Collaborative Cleanings
Syracuse Jewish Family Services
WBFO – Older Adults News Desk
YMCA Buffalo Niagara