Grants totaling $697,627 in the form of 17 community and two research allocations have been awarded through UCare’s foundation fund. The grants, of $10,000 to $50,000 each, were awarded to Minnesota organizations working on the following issues: addressing diversity and disability issues, and promoting healthy lifestyles and quality medical care.
“We are very pleased to provide financial support to so many innovative health care, social service, and community-based organizations working to help Minnesotans facing different health and life challenges,” said Nancy Feldman, UCare’s president and chief executive officer. “We directed many of our UCare Fund grants this year to initiatives that help our growing and often underserved diverse populations. Our financial support helps these proactive programs close the health care gap that exists for a growing number of immigrants of all ages, aging citizens, newborns and new mothers, victims of torture, and people with physical and developmental disabilities.”
The UCare Fund is a community-directed initiative of UCare, the fourth-largest health plan in Minnesota. Established in 1998, the fund provides grants and staff support to projects that advance UCare’s mission to improve the health of UCare members through innovative services and partnerships across communities.
The two research grants to the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health are aimed at improving delivery of health care to newborns and people with diabetes.
UCare’s research grants are directed to health data collection, data analysis, and health care delivery initiatives.
Community grants support projects that promote health and health care access. The grants were made to a broad spectrum of organizations whose initiatives will help improve health and overall well-being of people with a wide range of physical, developmental, sensory or mental disabilities.
These grants, totaling $612.577 go to:
• Access Press, a non-profit newspaper serving Minne-sota’s disability community—For a redesign of its web site.
• Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Seton Services Prenatal Program –Seton Services Prenatal Program, to improve birth outcomes and the presence of quality care, and to offer consistent social services and medical care for high-risk, low-income pregnant women and teens.
• The Center for Victims of Torture—Development of another post-doctoral psychology fellow in trauma and torture survivor rehabilitation.
• Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) —Providing for linguistically appropriate and culturally proficient mental health services for the Latino community.
• Hennepin County Public Health Promotion—Supporting “Safe Routes to School” activities at five Robbinsdale elementary schools, promoting student walking and biking.
• Inter-Tribal Elder Services—For health promotion and nutrition programs for American Indian elders.
• Lifeworks Services, Inc.—For start-up costs associated with development of an income-generating business offering Lifeworks multi-sensory environments to community members with disabilities or other sensory disorders.
• Mesabi Family YMCA—To help expand child, adolescent and adult obesity reduction programs and positively impact individuals and families dealing with obesity. The Trim Kids Program targets children, pre-teens, and teens age 7-17 years; the Get Real Program is designed for adults.
• National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter –To support a two-phase development of two adult day programs in Greater Minnesota.
• The Na-way-ee Center School, Inc.—For a diabetes prevention program, the Healthy Choices Project, among American Indian youth. It will provide students and families with screening and follow-up services, health education classes, expanded exercise and healthy meals programs, and a school vegetable garden project.
• Nicollet Public School District 507—For a year-long walking activity program for elementary students, including pedometers and dedicated staff time.
• Portico Healthnet—For uninsured Latinos in the Twin Cities who need assistance to enroll in Minnesota Health Care Programs.
• Sawtooth Mountain Clinic—For continued primary, part-time physician services to the Grand Portage Health Services site on the Grand Portage Reservation in Cook County.
• Special Olympics Minnesota —For enhancing and expanding Special Olympics programs that promote healthy lifestyles for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
• St. David’s Child Development & Family Services—For the Teen Pregnancy Support Program, which improves birth outcomes of high-risk teen parents through various initiatives.
• Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota—For the Refugee Health Access Project for Vietnamese and Karen refugees and immigrants in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud.
• Volunteers of America Minnesota—For mental health services at a new satellite clinic at the Somali Education Center in South Minneapolis, as well as community and home sites.
UCare, www.ucare.org, is an independent, nonprofit health plan providing health care and administrative services to more than 147,000 members