The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has awarded more than $225,000 to help disadvantaged central Oklahoma residents receive essential health care services, a growing demand exacerbated by the global pandemic.
The grants are part of the Community Foundation’s Access to Health Care iFund program, an initiative providing annual funding for central Oklahoma nonprofits offering essential health care services. Since 2007, the initiative has given $1.9 million back to the community.
“The Community Foundation has productive partnerships with many organizations providing health care to underserved citizens,” said Nancy Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “We’re able to conduct due diligence and research so that our grant dollars can make the greatest impact on the issues affecting our community. It’s a collaborative effort, and we’re honored to be able to financially support these invaluable programs.”
New this year is a $20,000 grant to Mental Health Association of Oklahoma for their street medicine program – a fairly new national movement that makes health care more accessible by sending providers out to individuals experiencing homelessness and residents in the Association’s permanent supportive housing units instead of forcing them to find care. The program also helps direct individuals to community services assisting with health care needs.
“Mental Health Association Oklahoma is so grateful to the Community Foundation for investing in our new Community Health & Wellness program – Oklahoma City’s first mobile street medicine team,” said Terri White, the chief executive officer at Mental Health Association Oklahoma. “Our research has shown that individuals who experience the supportive intervention of an integrated mobile medical team are less likely to utilize emergency services for nonemergencies, more likely to achieve housing if needed and more likely to remain housed and stable due to the services they receive from the program. In light of the toll the pandemic has taken on physical and mental health across our community, now more than ever, we need to meet people where they are, to address their immediate physical and mental health care needs and bridge them to the resources that will help them achieve self-sufficiency and wellness.”
The following organizations are receiving an Access to Health Care iFund grant in 2021:
- Mercy Health Foundation Oklahoma City: $25,000 to provide mammograms, biopsies, ultrasounds, genetic counseling, translation services, MRIs and specialist appointments for Black and Hispanic females ages 40 to 65.
- The Oklahoma Caring Van: $10,000 to provide immunizations for youth who qualify for the Vaccines for Children program or who are uninsured.
- : $20,000 to provide street medicine and service navigation to individuals experiencing homelessness and in permanent supportive housing units.
- Planned Parenthood Great Plains: $25,000 to provide health care visits and STI testing for uninsured young adults.
- Calm Waters Center for Children and Families: $20,000 to fund grief-counseling scholarships.
- Pivot, Inc. – $34,000 to support a clinic drop-in center, in partnership with Variety Care, for young adults age 16 to 24 who are experiencing homelessness.
- Community Health Centers: $26,000 to provide mammograms and breast exams for uninsured women.
- Positive Tomorrows: $2,500 to provide lice treatments for youth experiencing an extreme case of lice.
- Oklahoma Dental Foundation: $30,000 to provide veterans with the oral care needed to receive dentures in partnership with D-Dent.
- City Care: $20,000 to provide oral health care in partnership with Oklahoma Family Dentistry to benefit individuals transitioning out of homelessness.
- Skyline Urban Ministry: $25,600 to fund a one-year nutrition and exercise education program in partnership with the Lynn Institute.