Communities Fund Social Determinants of Health

Original story posted on: November 4, 2020

Medline grants bridge the SDoH gap.

Among the most effective funding initiatives for addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH) are those in which communities step up to take care of their own populations. That effort received a big boost last week.

Medline awarded grants of $250,000 to 13 organizations around the U.S. that target community health. Big program winners were for breast cancer awareness, heart disease, and population health initiatives, including victims of domestic violence, at-risk youth, and individuals with developmental disabilities.

The programs span the U.S. and the SDoH, addressing food insecurity, isolation and socialization, education quality and access, plus health quality and access. Specifically, the grants will fund the following:

  • Center for Enriched Living of Illinois will enhance its virtual programming for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities so they can socialize amid the pandemic. 
  • Common Pantry of Chicago will provide grocery gift cards and disposable medical masks to families with remote learners impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • Cradles to Crayons of Chicago will deliver hygiene starter kits to low-income families with newborn babies. 
  • ElderCARE Lake County in Illinois will provide older adults free transportation to and from their medical appointments to promote health access and self-sufficiency. 
  • A Safe Place will help victims of domestic violence gain access to housing and counseling services.
  • Curt's Cafe in Illinois will expand their programming to teach life and job skills to highly at-risk young men and women. It will also provide food boxes to over 1,000 people per week. 
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank will provide healthy food to patients with health issues and/or risk of chronic diseases.
  • CASA Lake County, Illinois will recruit and train 75 new court-appointed special advocate volunteers to address a rise in child abuse and neglect.
  • Feeding GA Families will support Operation E.F.F.O.R.T., a program that supports a drive-thru food pantry, door-to-door food delivery, emergency food box shipments, and children/senior housing meals. 
  • Communities in Schools and Partners in Education of Douglas County, Georgia will deliver COVID-19 care kits to school-age children of families struggling with unemployment and lost wages.
  • Gilda's Club South Florida will expand Women of Color: Strengthened by Action, an initiative that raises awareness of breast health and encourages follow-up action among women of color. 
  • Rutgers University Foundation in New Jersey will expand their educational health sessions on breast cancer awareness, physical activity, and nutrition within low-income communities.
  • Susan G. Komen Oregon and Southwest Washington will collect healthcare data among African-American communities to help reduce disparities and mortality associated with breast cancer.

Each grant demonstrates the impact one agency can have for their community, and there are more of these efforts on the horizon. With hospitals still unable to obtain reimbursement for ICD-10-CM Z codes, the smallest grants can make the biggest difference to enhance health outcomes across populations. This week’s Monitor Mondays Listeners Survey asked which ICD-10-CM Z code our audience would advocate for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve as a CC, with the responses here.

Programming Note: Ellen Fink-Samnick is a permanent panelist on Monitor Mondays. Listen to her live reporting every Monday at 10 a.m. EST.

Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP

Ellen Fink-Samnick is an award-winning healthcare industry expert. She is the esteemed author of books, articles, white papers, and knowledge products. A subject matter expert on the Social Determinants of Health, her latest books, The Essential Guide to Interprofessional Ethics for Healthcare Case Management,  Social Determinants of Health: Case Management’s Next Frontier (with Foreword by Dr. Ronald Hirsch), and End of Life Care for Case Management are published through HCPro. She is a panelist on Monitor Mondays, frequent contributor to Talk-Ten-Tuesdays, and member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Professional Case Management, Case Management Monthly, and RAC Monitor. Ellen also serves as the Lead for Rise Association’s Social Determinants of Health Community.

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