County Distributes More Than $600K in Health Equity Grants

Health equity grants aimed at addressing disparities of Covid-19

Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan, which has provided hundreds of farmworkers in the Pajaro Valley with supplies and information during the Covid-19 pandemic, was one of 20 awardees of Santa Cruz County CARES Act funding. PHOTO: Tony Nuñez

The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division announced last week that it has awarded $619,900 in health equity grants to 20 organizations to help address disparities among populations impacted by Covid-19.

The funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Although the virus that causes Covid-19 does not discriminate, inequitable access to health and social resources can impact some communities more than others,” Mimi Hall, director of the Health Services Agency, said in a press release. “The effects of poverty, unemployment and inadequate access to affordable housing and other basic needs makes it more difficult for communities to seek healthcare, stay home from work, quarantine when needed, and sustain resiliency for themselves and their families.”

The awards range from $5,000-$70,000 depending on the scope of the organization’s work.

Grantees were chosen based on their plans to support those most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and address issues that contribute to health inequities, County Health Department spokeswoman Corinne Hyland said. 

According to Hyland, Covid-19 has revealed stark inequities in the health and economic security of California’s communities, with particularly alarming disparities based on race and ethnicity. In Santa Cruz County, the Latinx population makes up more than half of all Covid-19 cases, while only being one-third of the overall population.

Awards are representative of the geography of the virus, with the majority of funds going to South Santa Cruz County.

CARES Act Health Equity Grant Awardees:  

  • Cabrillo: Student Health Services 
  • City of Watsonville: Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan 
  • Coastal Watershed Council: Watershed Rangers 
  • Community Bridges: Elderday & Family Resource Collective 
  • Dientes Community Dental Care: Integrated Dental Care for Our Community 
  • Easter Seals Central California 
  • Encompass Community Services (PPE4CC) 
  • Family Services Agency of the Central Coast 
  • HOPE Services: Multiple programs 
  • Jacob’s Heart 
  • Janus 
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance, Inc. 
  • Physicians for a Healthy Central Coast 
  • Salud Para La Gente: Community Health Center 
  • Santa Cruz Community Health Centers: Cradle-Career 
  • Santa Cruz Community Ventures: Familias Con Mas: SEEDS 
  • Second Harvest: Esperanza Community Farms 
  • Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center: Community Programs/Diaspora Project + Community Connection thru COVID 
  • Teen Kitchen Project 
  • Watsonville Law Center

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