Reducing health disparities disproportionately experienced by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), Latinx, and immigrant or refugee communities in Seattle is the focus of a new effort jointly announced by HealthierHere and the City of Seattle today. Three Seattle-based Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) and HealthierHere will receive a total of $1.5 million from City of Seattle Human Services Department. The funding will support Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Health Care – Addressing Health Disparities Through Partnerships Fund to develop and implement inventive approaches to improving health equity in Seattle.
The collaborative effort, coordinated and overseen by HealthierHere, aims to enhance access to care for Seattle residents who are uninsured or underinsured, improve health outcomes, and reduce health disparities in marginalized communities. The FQHCs, which include Neighborcare Health, Seattle Indian Health Board, and Sea Mar Community Health Centers, will partner with community-based organizations (CBOs), Tribal health care organizations, Native-led/serving CBOs, and behavioral health agencies to create, test, or expand innovative, wholistic health and well-being services.
"We are pleased to partner with the City of Seattle and to work with our FQHC partners to foster new collaborations that improve access to and engagement with culturally responsive healthcare for their diverse patient populations," said Michael McKee, HealthierHere’s Director of Clinical Practice Transformation.
“We are excited to be in partnership with Federally Qualitied Health Centers and community-based organizations, in ensuring that our residents receive appropriate and patient-centered care. We applaud efforts focusing to address health disparities in BIPOC communities,” said Acting Director Tanya Kim, City of Seattle’s Human Services Department.
Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) is partnering with Chief Seattle Club and North Helpline. The funding will support increased access to health and human services at SIHB’s new community health clinics in Pioneer Square and Lake City and help launch a mobile clinic to bring dental and other health services such as vaccinations to the Seattle area and tribes across the region. “SIHB is grateful for the continued support and partnership with HeathierHere and the City of Seattle. Now more than ever, it is important to support community health efforts,” said Andrew Guillen, Seattle Indian Health Board’s Grants and Contracts Director.
Neighborcare Health is bringing health care directly to those living homeless in downtown Seattle, many of whom are BIPOC, as they seek care for their animal companions. “Thanks to this funding we have partnered with Doney Coe Pet Clinic, which provides free veterinary care for the pets of low-income individuals and families as well as those experiencing homelessness,” said Sarah Vanston, MD site medical director for Neighborcare Health's Pike Place Market Clinic, and its Housing and Street Outreach programs. "Neighborcare will provide primary care with an emphasis on trauma-informed care, sexual health, mental health and substance use, including medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder and gender-affirming care for transgender patients. At the same time, pet owners can get care for their beloved pets. In August, we’ll see our first patients, many of whom would never seek medical attention for themselves.”
Sea Mar Community Health Centers is partnering with Consejo and the University of Washington’s OBGYN Specialty Care Department to increase access to specialty care for underserved communities. “We are working to reduce barriers by providing specialty services for Medicaid, uninsured and Spanish-speaking patients, which leads to improved health outcomes,” said Dr. Ricardo Jimenez, Sea Mar Community Health Centers Chief Medical Officer. “Our partnership with Consejo further enhances our ability to connect with the Spanish-speaking community to get them the care they need. HealthierHere and the City of Seattle’s investment in this endeavor further emphasizes their commitment to health equity for all.”
These projects are currently funded through December 31, 2022.
HealthierHere is a non-profit, multi-sector collaborative dedicated to eliminating health disparities in King County through collective action. Our work centers on and is guided by those who experience inequity and racism in our health and social systems. We collaborate with cross-sector partners to develop and champion community and tribal-driven solutions that reflect the cultures and needs of the people they serve. More at https://healthierhere.org/
About The City of Seattle Human Services Department
Seattle Human Services Department is one of the largest contributors to Seattle's safety net. The department invests hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to more than 200 community-based organizations and programs that support strong and healthy communities. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/humanservices.