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Cedars-Sinai Gives $3.3 Million to Local Groups Strengthening Public Safety and Healthcare

Largest Grant Goes to Charles Drew University for Scholarships to Train Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals Committed to Caring for the Underserved

Los Angeles - Oct. 16, 2013 – Cedars-Sinai is awarding $3.3 million in grants to organizations dedicated to community health, education and safety for projects that will benefit residents in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, including South Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Venice.

The grants fund a variety of projects in neighborhoods where Cedars-Sinai is engaged in wide-ranging, long-term initiatives to improve community health and safety. The largest grant, $1.5 million, goes to Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in the Watts-Willowbrook section of South Los Angeles to help educate future healthcare providers for community residents. Several other projects involve upgrading facilities, technology and essential equipment. For example, one community clinic will be able to overhaul an elevator and air conditioning system to ensure access and comfort for patients. Firefighters in the City of Los Angeles will gain more than 70 evacuation stair chairs that make rescues faster and safer.

"These grants focus on infrastructure to help strengthen and sustain organizations that share Cedars-Sinai's commitment to building a stronger, healthier community," said Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai. "It can be difficult to get support for practical things like renovating clinic facilities and updating technology, but as a healthcare provider, we understand how important this is to improving health in Los Angeles neighborhoods.

"We also wanted to support our first responders, who put themselves on the line every day and do so much to help people in need – including offering education and donating infant car seats and bicycle helmets to make our community safer."

The grant to Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science includes $1 million for scholarships and $500,000 for program infrastructure to strengthen admissions and fundraising efforts so more low-income students can be trained to address the medical needs of those who have little or no access to healthcare.

Other grant recipients include community clinics that provide free and low-cost healthcare:

  • Saban Community Clinic (formerly the Saban Free Clinic): For implementation of an electronic health record system, including new computers and technology.
  • Venice Family Clinic: For infrastructure improvements to increase capacity and comfort, including upgrading the phone system, technology and security as well as overhauling an elevator and air conditioning system.
  • Planned Parenthood Los Angeles: For renovations, technology and medical equipment at clinics in areas including South Los Angeles, Hollywood and Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw.
  • The Maple Counseling Center: For capital improvements to provide a more comfortable and safer environment for offering low-cost, comprehensive mental health services.

Grants also were awarded to a number of first-responder agencies, which protect public safety through many ongoing efforts that go beyond responding to emergencies:

  • Los Angeles Fire Department: For evacuation stair chairs to help firefighters rescue people trapped in buildings.
  • Los Angeles Police Department: For equipment to increase the impact of the Sober Graduation program, which educates teens on the dangers of drinking and driving. This grant will fund a Plexiglass trailer to transport a DUI crash vehicle to presentations as well as iPads, laptop computers and video projection equipment. Funds also will be used to provide free child passenger safety seats and bicycle helmets and lights for community members who can't afford to buy them.
  • Beverly Hills Fire Department: For medical equipment for the Community Emergency Response Team and CPR training materials.
  • Beverly Hills Police Department: For chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear detection equipment to help safeguard the community from terrorist attacks, and for the Explorer Post Program, which mentors high school students who are interested in law enforcement careers.
  • Los Angeles County Fire Department-West Hollywood: For two off-road firefighting/emergency medical/rescue vehicles that improve responders' access to hillside areas.
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department-West Hollywood: For approximately 50 new computer monitors.

Cedars-Sinai also gave funds to the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region for basic supplies needed by the Prepare LA program to fill emergency earthquake resource containers for the community at four sites: West Hollywood Park, Fairfax High School, Beverly Hills High School and Pan Pacific Recreation Center.

The grants are part of Cedars-Sinai's broad-based community benefit commitment. As a not-for-profit academic medical center, Cedars-Sinai contributes hundreds of millions of dollars each year for free and part-pay hospital care for the uninsured and those with limited means, unfunded costs of caring for Medi-Cal patients, research that advances medicine, education for the next generation of healthcare professionals, and hundreds of programs in local schools, homeless shelters and community centers that involve partnerships with community organizations.