Several disability and elder service organizations were among the 33 groups receiving UCare Fund community and research grants this fall. Community grants totaled $885,116 and research grants totaled $295,460. The funding will help Minnesota organizations working to improve the health of people of all ages, cultures, and abilities. Organizations awarded grants must meet one of four health improvement-related grant criteria. These include access to health care coverage, reduction of health disparities for people living with disabilities: healthy lifestyles and medical home initiatives.
“UCare creates and maintains partnerships with community organizations to improve not only the health of our members in Minnesota but also the underserved in communities across our service area,” said Ghita Worcester, UCare’s senior vice president of public affairs and marketing. The UCare Fund is a community-directed initiative of UCare, the fourth-largest health plan in Minnesota.
Disability and elder service groups receiving community grants are:
• Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota, Minneapolis—Twin Cities Enhanced Care Consultation Pilot Project, which builds stronger connections with physicians and clinics, and provides care plan/consultation sessions with Alzheimer’s patients and care partners about community resources.
• Carlton County Public Health & Human Services, Cloquet—The Building a Stronger Self Program of health promotion, chronic disease prevention and management education, and support to developmentally disabled adults in Carlton County.
• Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, St. Cloud—The Health Promotions Program to build the health and functional capacity of persons age 60 and older who may be at risk of nursing home placement in nine central Minnesota counties.
• Como Park/Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program, St. Paul—Expansion of program staff hours to allow for recruiting and training 15 volunteers in Expanded Healthy Moves, a home visit program to improve the well-being of frail and low-income seniors.
• Fraser, Minneapolis—Expansion of Fraser’s innovative wellness initiative for adults with disabilities who live in five independent living apartments.
• Interfaith Caregivers—Faith in Action in Faribault County, Blue Earth—A senior wellness initiative to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on making better choices about nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, fall prevention, and self-management of chronic conditions.
• Living Well Disability Services, Eagan—The Be Connected Be Well initiative for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group home settings, and the program’s expansion to people served by county non- residential services.
• Opportunity Partners, Minnetonka—Specialized training and development of Safe Boundaries, a program for open communication, positive work relationships, anti-bullying and healthy self-concepts to help deter physical, emotional and social harm for adults with disabilities.
• Washburn Center for Children, Minneapolis—Children’s school-based mental health services that provide therapeutic care in 18 schools in Minneapolis, Bloomington and Eden Prairie to improve the health of underserved populations. Disability and elder service groups receiving research grants are:
• Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis – A test of whether embedding case management and mental health services onsite at a primary care clinic will lead to better treatment outcomes and cost effectiveness compared to clinic-based treatment for refugees with serious and persistent mental illness.
• University of Minnesota, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Minneapolis—A mental health screening questionnaire validation study for Karen-speaking clients to estimate the prevalence of four mental health disorders: depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol addiction; and to determine the validity of a structured diagnostic interview that uses culturally appropriate terms and conforms with criteria.