Governor Newsom Highlights Public Health Institute COVID-19 Equity Outreach and Education Initiative
California Public-Private Partnerships Focus on Community-Based Approaches to Vaccine Access and COVID-19 Prevention
During a visit to Fresno today, California Governor Newsom highlighted a statewide public-private partnership initiative to bring vital resources to communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is partnering with the Public Health Institute (PHI) and 18 major California philanthropic organizations on “Together Toward Health,” a nearly $30 million effort in support of 180 community-based organizations statewide to stop the spread of COVID-19 and strengthen health and resilience in California’s most impacted communities.
PHI’s Together Toward Health was created and funded through 18 major philanthropic organizations. The $29.4 million fund is supporting 180 local, community-rooted organizations across California, who serve as trusted experts for COVID-19 education, testing and vaccination access in their communities. Together Toward Health grantees have coordinated access to get thousands of California farmworkers vaccinated, conducted outreach to elders about vaccine access and appointments, hosted online live Q&A sessions, trained outreach workers and system navigators, and more. Together Toward Health’s efforts are not only addressing the immediate COVID needs but are laying the foundation for a strong community-public health platform to support resilient communities. Fund development is ongoing and additional organizations are being considered for funding on a rolling basis.
“Reaching communities who bear the burden of systemic inequalities and the most devastating COVID effects is our north star,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Meaningful partnerships with philanthropic organizations who share our values and sense of mission are key to reaching our destination. There is no question that we are stronger and more effective together.”
Also, in a new partnership, the Governor announced that the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) have awarded $23.3 million to a total of 157 CBOs via the California Community and the Center at Sierra Health Foundation. This funding builds on the $17.3 million announced earlier this month by CDSS and the LWDA in partnership with the Center for Sierra Health Foundation.
Funding awarded by the State will be used to support outreach to populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including workers in the hardest hit sectors, and will prioritize interactive engagements designed to connect individuals with resources related to the safety of the vaccine, public health guidance, workplace protections, and other state resources, including the public safety net programs, including information in multiple languages.
“The best way to get information about COVID-19 and vaccinations to neighborhoods in need is through people and networks they already know and trust,” said Susan Watson, program director of PHI’s Together Toward Health. “By supporting community-based organizations in the hardest-hit communities, we will stop COVID sooner. And, our investments in neighborhood networks will support more connected and more resilient communities in the long run, addressing some of the historical disparities that created such a disproportionate burden in the first place.”
Foundations supporting Together Toward Health include The Ballmer Group, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Health Care Foundation, Crankstart Foundation, Genentech, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Sierra Health Foundation, Sunlight Giving, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Tipping Point Community, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Weingart Foundation.
Additional information on the California Community Foundation COVID Outreach Project can be found here.