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Cedars-Sinai Support Strengthens Safety Net Organizations

Record $30 Million in Grants Helps Nearly 200 Organizations Address Range of Needs, Including Homeless Services, Food Security, Mental Health and Access to Healthcare

Cedars-Sinai has significantly increased its financial support for programs serving vulnerable communities across the Los Angeles region, providing $30 million in grants during the last fiscal year to nearly 200 organizations that address access to care, housing stability, food security and health equity.

“Cedars-Sinai is improving the health and wellbeing of our local communities by making strategic philanthropic investments in organizations and agencies that truly drive change,” said Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai. “These grants help our partners grow and realize their critical missions of transforming the lives of vulnerable Angelenos.”

Through its grant-making, Cedars-Sinai provided more financial support for community organizations in fiscal year 2020-21 than in any other year to date.

The grants provided more than $10 million to organizations that offer crucial access to medical care services. The California Community Foundation received more than $1.5 million to help behavioral health organizations build capacity for increased mental health needs, while $800,000 went to The Los Angeles Trust for Children's Health for a health and wellness initiative in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Additionally, the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County received nearly $2 million to support its network of clinics in preparing for new healthcare reform initiatives. Louise McCarthy, the foundation's president and CEO, described the grant as transformational.

"We are thrilled to receive this critical investment from Cedars-Sinai," McCarthy said. "We will use our grant to directly support health centers in transforming their operations and models of care to optimize their ongoing sustainability and impact. Cedars-Sinai takes a forward-thinking approach to giving by supporting interventions that will help health centers in the long term."

Cedars-Sinai's grant-making reflects its continued commitment to supporting the needs of Los Angeles’ homeless population. The UniHealth Foundation received $5 million to establish linkages between the health and housing sectors. The funding will build the capacity of organizations to ensure access to clinical support services for people with complex health needs as they transition out of homelessness.

“UniHealth Foundation is incredibly excited about this new stage of partnership with Cedars-Sinai," said Bradley C. Call, CEO and chair of the board of UniHealth Foundation. "We have been working closely together over the last few years to address the health challenges facing our unsheltered neighbors and this grant firmly cements our collaborative relationship. The funds will be directed toward our new effort called A Pathway to Health and Home to address the healthcare needs of homeless individuals in Los Angeles County."

Food insecurity, another identified area of need, has affected neighborhoods and populations all across Los Angeles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hollywood Food Coalition received $50,000 to help feed food-insecure seniors. The Nonprofit Finance Fund received $225,000 to identify how to sustain local food access efforts, while Food Forward received $75,000 to help recover, rescue and repurpose fresh produce.

An overarching priority of this year's philanthropic work involved the promotion of health equity among grantees.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science received $100,000 for its new Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence, which launched in April. The center will work to improve birth outcomes and address racism in South Los Angeles by training women’s health professionals on how to support Black birthing persons. It will integrate communication between hospital and community-based birth workers and create interdisciplinary teams across specialties such as lactation support, mental health support, doula care and maternal health.

The center will focus on demonstrating the benefits of community-based midwifery bolstered by multidisciplinary teams as an alternative way for providers and patients to relate to each other and to realize a collective vision of safe and joyous births.

"Existing care models were not designed to meet the needs of Black birthing families and historical injustices are still present," said Bita Amani, PhD, co-director, Black Maternal Health Center Of Excellence.

"With the funding support of Cedars-Sinai, we are addressing system gaps across workforce development, research and programmatic supports while strengthening relationships across the stakeholders that serve our families."

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center received $25,000 in funding to evaluate the grief support group experience among members from the Latinx, Black and LGBTQ+ communities.

Other grants included $85,000 for the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation to support a pilot program aimed at creating a greater sense of awareness of differing perspectives and systemic inequities among Los Angeles city firefighters to better meet the changing needs of the local communities they serve.

“When Cedars-Sinai strives to provide excellent care, we don’t only look inside the walls of our hospitals. Our commitment is to dramatically improve the health of our broader community," said Jonathan Schreiber, Cedars-Sinai vice president of Community Engagement. "That’s how we can make Los Angeles a more equitable, just and healthier place." 

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: A Giving Mission: Cedars-Sinai Community Benefit Program