OHA awards $45 million in health equity grants

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced on Friday it had awarded nearly $45 million in health equity grants to 205 nonprofit organizations and tribal governments across the state. The grant money, which comes from CARES Act relief funds, will be used to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic including tribal communities and communities of color.

 

 

OHA announced the grant funding on August 18th and received hundreds of applications. In total, the agency received almost $170 million in funding requests.

“We look forward to partnering with these remarkable organizations and communities, who do such vital work to serve their communities,” said Patrick Allen, OHA director in a release. “We are deeply aware how these organizations’ linkages and knowledge of their communities and the challenges they face are so important to bringing resources to help. We look forward to the collective work to continue to meaningfully address the systemic racism and structural inequities that have caused so much health disparity, especially relating to COVID-19.”

According to OHA, the grant funding will be used for programs that address food insecurity, health and economic disruptions, housing, safety and violence prevention, and other needs. Specifically, funds might be used to provide shelter, transportation, personal protective items, child care supports, technology needs, or wage relief.

The funding rewards range from $5,000 to $5 million. The largest awards went to Oregon Latinx Leadership Network ($5 million), Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs ($1 million), and Doulas Latinas International ($800,000).

“While OHA relationships with many of these groups have existed in the past, this grant program represents a deepening and a broadening of the partnership,” said Leann Johnson, director of OHA’s equity and inclusion division. “In some cases, the partnership is new.  But whether new or existing, the relationships with these groups, the funding of their work, and their knowledge of the needs of their specific communities are the keys to breaking the hold of structural and systemic racism and oppression. We’re grateful for the work these organizations have engaged in already and will look to learn further from their wisdom.

The full list of awards is available here.