Community Health Plan of Washington donates $250,000 to community-based organizations serving communities of color

25 community-based organizations (CBOs) in Washington state are receiving a total of $250,000 to address health equity disparities in their communities thanks to a donation from Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW), Washington’s local not-for-profit Medicaid (Apple Health) and Medicare managed care plan. The donations were announced [on Friday] at a virtual press conference featuring community leaders, including remarks from Leanne Berge, Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Plan of Washington/Community Health Network of Washington; Diana Avalos-Leos, Executive Director, Clark County Latino Youth Conference; Joseph Alonzo, Chief Executive Officer, Cocoon House; Jamila Coleman, Executive Director, You Grow Girl; and Mi-Yeoung Lee, Director of Social Services, Korean Women’s Association. 


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To address systemic health care issues in Washington, CHPW is investing in local partnerships to increase access to vital, community-based healthcare and social supports for people of color and those disproportionately affected by health care disparities. Each of the organizations provides direct services to support people of color in meeting their needs in a culturally-responsive way. This is the second year CHPW has provided grants to advance equity from this fund; last year, CHPW donated $230,000 to 23 organizations.

“To achieve a more equitable health care system, we must first recognize both the health disparities that exist in our communities, as well as the systemic barriers that perpetuate those inequities, particularly for people of color,” said Leanne Berge, CEO of Community Health Plan of Washington and Community Health Network of Washington “CHPW recognizes that advancing equity is a collaborative effort – it is in coming together with Washington’s CBOs to harness the power of community that we can address people’s many and distinct needs. This funding recognizes that these organizations are on the front lines of meeting those needs.”

Health disparities disproportionately affect people in racial/ethnic minority populations in Washington state and across the U.S. We have noted this over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, compounding the systemic inequities people of color regularly experience in seeking care for their physical, behavioral and social determinants of health. According to recent data from The Washington Department of Health, White populations have experienced the lowest death rates among confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases across ethnicity groups.

Comparatively, Hispanic populations experienced death rates six times higher than White populations, while those who identified as “Black” experiences rates 2.5 times higher than White populations. 

The following organizations each received a $10,000 check and have offices at the following locations

  1. Lutheran Community Services NW (Benton County – Kennewick, Clark County – Vancouver, Kitsap County – Bremerton, Pierce County –Tacoma, Spokane County – Spokane) * 
  2. Korean Women’s Association (Clallam County – Port Angeles and Sequim, Clark County – Vancouver, Cowlitz County – Longview, Grays Harbor County – Aberdeen, Jefferson County – Port Townsend, King County – Federal Way, Kitsap County – Bremerton, Lewis County – Centralia, Mason County – Shelton, Pierce County – Tacoma, Snohomish County – Lynnwood, Thurston County – Lacey, Whatcom County – Bellingham) 
  3. CAFE – Community for the Advancement of Family Education (Chelan County – Wenatchee) 
  4. Parque Padrinos (Chelan County – Wenatchee) 
  5. Clark County Latino Youth Conference (Clark County – Vancouver) * 
  6. SW WA LULAC Council 47013 (Clark County – Vancouver) * 
  7. Sea Mar CHC – La Posada East and West (Franklin County – Pasco) * 
  8. Consejo Counseling Services (King County – Bellevue, Kent, Renton and Seattle; Mason County – Belfair and Shelton; Pierce County – Graham and Tacoma) * 
  9. Latino Community Fund (King County – Burien, Yakima County – Yakima) 
  10. Mother Africa (King County – Kent) * 
  11. ReWa – Refugee Women’s Alliance (King County – Kent and Seattle) 
  12. Asian Counseling & Referral (King County – Seattle) * 
  13. El Centro de la Raza (King County – Seattle) * 
  14. Seattle Indian Health Board (King County – Seattle) * 
  15. You Grow Girl! (King County – Seattle) * 
  16. Somali Health Board (King County – Tukwila, WA) * 
  17. Kitsap Immigration Assistance Center by Kayak Agency (Kitsap County – Bremerton) 
  18. Project Girl Mentoring Program (Snohomish County – Everett) * 
  19. Cocoon House (Snohomish County – Everett) 
  20. Latino Education Training Institute (Snohomish County – Lynnwood) * 
  21. NATIVE Project (Spokane County – Spokane) * 
  22. The Healing Lodge (Spokane County – Spokane) * 
  23. Nuestra Casa (Yakima County – Sunnyside) * 
  24. La Casa Hogar (Yakima County – Yakima) * 
  25. PNUAA – Pacific North American Ugandan Association

The funds are unrestricted as CHPW believes the organizations can best determine how they may be used in service of their communities. 

*Organization was also a recipient of CHPW’s $230,000 donation in 2020

This press release was provided by the Community Health Plan of Washington.