Advancing Wellness: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care

California Wellness Foundation


Grant amount: Up to US $675,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit College / University Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: California

Location of residency: United States

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Overview:

Mission

The mission of The California Wellness Foundation is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded 8,265 grants totaling more than $950 million. 

Our Guiding Principles 

Guided by our mission, we pursue the following goals through our grantmaking: 

  • To address the particular health needs of traditionally underserved populations, including low-income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas. 
  • To support and strengthen nonprofit organizations that seek to improve the health of underserved populations.
  • To recognize and encourage leaders who are working to increase health and wellness within their communities.
  • To inform policymakers and opinion leaders about important wellness and health care issues.

Philosophy: Health Beyond the Absence of Disease

The Foundation's grantmaking is grounded in the social determinants of health research that states that where people live and work, their race and ethnicity, and their income can impact their health and wellness. It’s the Foundation’s desire to help “level the playing field” so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, safe neighborhoods and quality health care services.

We begin by defining health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. As the World Health Organization has noted, characteristics of a healthy community include:

  • A clean, safe physical environment.
  • Provision for basic needs.
  • An optimal level of appropriate, high quality and accessible public health services.
  • High-quality educational opportunities.
  • A diverse, vital and innovative economy.

Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care: What We Support

All Californians, particularly those living in the state’s most vulnerable communities, should have access to quality health care services. In order to achieve this, our health care systems and organizations must be strong, equitable and effective.

Advancing Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act presents the opportunity for many additional Californians to now obtain health coverage; however, many people within underserved populations still face barriers to obtaining and utilizing quality health coverage. Cal Wellness funds community-based organizations, research and advocacy groups, and others working toward effective implementation of the ACA. By taking a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to ensure that all residents of California know about, are able to enroll in, and are able to utilize health coverage that meets their needs.

Key Strategies

  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate health coverage education, outreach and enrollment for individuals and small businesses.
  • Efforts to help the newly insured retain and utilize health care coverage.
  • Research to build the knowledge base on the impact of the ACA in California.
  • Public policy efforts to ensure effective and equitable implementation of the ACA; coverage for people who remain uninsured, including those who are undocumented; and equitable and comprehensive coverage for women. Public policy efforts to ensure effective and equitable implementation of the ACA; coverage for people who remain uninsured, including those who are undocumented; and equitable and comprehensive coverage for women.
  • Communications activities that promote the importance of health coverage and the successes of health care reform in California.

Target Populations

  • Residents of low-income communities and underserved regions
  • People of color
  • The remaining uninsured, including those who are undocumented
  • Immigrants
  • Resilient youth
  • Formerly incarcerated adults
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities
  • Women and girls

Strengthening Community Clinics and Safety-Net Partners

In low-income areas and communities of color, people’s health is disproportionately affected by inadequate access to primary care services. Community clinics operate on the front lines of health care for vulnerable populations. Cal Wellness aims to help clinics maintain and expand their services and strengthen their capacity so that all people can have access to quality health care.

Key Strategies

  • Efforts to sustain and improve preventive and primary health care at community clinics.
  • Efforts to ensure that community clinics can meet increased demand.
  • Efforts that strengthen collaborations and partnerships among community clinics, government agencies, social service agencies and community-based organizations to address social determinants of health.
  • Efforts that strengthen and sustain clinic consortia.
  • Efforts to support clinics to become community health homes.

Target Populations

  • Newly insured through public programs or plans offered through Covered California
  • Remaining uninsured
  • Improving Oral Health Care for Low-Income Adults and Seniors
  • The state of oral health care in the U.S. and California exemplifies health inequity, with age and income status limiting access to quality oral health care. Medicare does not cover dental care, leaving seniors to scramble for access; Medi-Cal’s dental benefits for low-income adults is incomplete and subject to elimination; and the Affordable Care Act does not require dental care for adults to be offered as an essential health benefit. Cal Wellness seeks to address the well-documented gaps in access to, coverage for, and quality of, oral health care for low-income adults and seniors.

Improving Oral Health Care for Low-Income Adults and Seniors

The state of oral health care in the U.S. and California exemplifies health inequity, with age and income status limiting access to quality oral health care. Medicare does not cover dental care, leaving seniors to scramble for access; Medi-Cal’s dental benefits for low-income adults is incomplete and subject to elimination; and the Affordable Care Act does not require dental care for adults to be offered as an essential health benefit. Cal Wellness seeks to address the well-documented gaps in access to, coverage for, and quality of, oral health care for low-income adults and seniors.

Key Strategies
  • Efforts that sustain and increase the provision of oral health services.
  • Education about oral health care issues.
  • Efforts that increase the oral health care workforce.
  • Efforts to strengthen data collection and analysis.
  • Advocacy and education that informs policymakers and opinion leaders about the need to strengthen and expand quality oral health care.

Target Populations

  • Low-income adults and seniors

Increasing Diversity in the Health Professions

A workforce that mirrors the diverse population of California increases access to care and improves quality of care. Cal Wellness seeks to strengthen and develop new pathways to health care sector jobs for underrepresented minorities in the health professions.

Key Strategies

  • Programs that encourage careers in the health professions among underrepresented minorities at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Programs that improve admission and retention rates among underrepresented minorities and women in health professions schools and training programs.
  • Programs that support underrepresented minorities and women in health care jobs through workforce development and employment retention activities.
  • Education and outreach about careers in the health professions to increase the diversity of clinicians at safety-net institutions.
  • High-quality health care workforce development and academic programs to increase the number of underrepresented minorities employed at safety-net institutions.

Target Populations

  • Underrepresented minorities
  • Women and girls

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • To further the goal of advancing the wellness of all Californians, Cal Wellness makes grants to:
    • Nonprofit organizations;
    • Public agencies;
    • Religious organizations; and
    • Tribal governments.
    • To apply for funding, applicant organizations must generally have a valid tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be classified as a public charity, not as a “private foundation” under section 509(a). 

Ineligibility:

  • Cal Wellness will not consider organizations that discriminate by race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or national origin, nor consider activities that exclusively benefit the members of sectarian or religious organizations.
  • Grants are not generally awarded for annual fund drives, building campaigns, major equipment or biomedical research.
  • Cal Wellness does not provide international funding or fund organizations located outside the United States.
  • The Foundation does not fund Section 509(a)(3) Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations.


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