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Equity in Access

All people deserve to be healthy and experience wellness. And all Californians should be able to receive the health benefits and services they need to live healthy lives. We believe that health care is a human right. While California has made significant progress in expanding quality, affordable health care coverage and access, we recognize that due to systemic racism, persistent health disparities remain for people of color. Therefore, we center racial justice in our work as we work toward high-quality universal health care that expands the ability of all Californians, especially people of color, to obtain necessary health care and related services.

Our Equity in Access portfolio champions health care coverage and access for all and defends the rights of immigrants to enjoy access to health services, coverage and other benefits. All people, regardless of immigration status, deserve access to public benefits. Our portfolio also supports the rights of women to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services.

We will support:

Universal coverage and access to care.

All Californians should have the ability to see a medical provider when and how they need to. But there are currently many barriers in place that make it difficult for people of color and immigrants to access needed high-quality health care. And universal coverage means more than seeing a doctor once a year. It means having the access to comprehensive services for staying healthy, such as oral and behavioral health services, as well as having medical providers close by — whether in person or via telemedicine — and the means to get to them. We are one of the -few funders in the country investing in oral health care for low-income adults and seniors, despite the critical importance of oral health to overall physical well-being. Finally, people without health insurance need to know their options for getting coverage, and how to use their benefits once they’re enrolled. That’s why we invest in organizations that reach out to communities to both educate and help eligible people sign up for health insurance, help patients retain coverage from year to year, and facilitate full use of benefits.

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What We Fund

  • Public policy, research, and communications efforts to supporting expansion of health coverage (including oral health care services) to low-income adults and seniors, and the uninsured without regard to immigration status.
  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate health coverage outreach, education, retention and utilization activities for Medi-Cal and Covered California. 
  • Research and communications activities to help build the case for universal coverage, such as:
    • Expanding Medi-Cal coverage and oral health services for low-income adults and seniors. 
  • Core support for clinics providing oral health care services and serving as a dental home for low-income adults and seniors.
  • Project support for larger community health centers and clinics to address health-related social needs of patients. 
  • Core support for small community health clinics that provide a broad range of primary health care services to low-income individuals, or clinics providing oral health care services and serving as a dental home for low-income adults and seniors.
  • Project support for larger community health centers and clinics to address health-related social needs of patients.
  • Core or project support for other organizations providing support for community health centers and clinics such as statewide and regional clinic consortia.

What We Don't Fund

  • General health education or disease-specific efforts, such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer treatment and prevention efforts.   
  • Specialized clinics or other organizations focused primarily on behavioral health, substance abuse, vision care, or specialty care, rather than comprehensive primary care services.
  • Dental programs that focus solely or predominantly on children/pediatric dentistry, unless they seek to expand their capacity to serve low-income adults and seniors.

Grantee Organizations We've Funded

Take a look at these grantee organizations to get a better sense of what we fund.

Health Access Foundation
Sacramento
$600,000/3 years

For core operating support for the new Care4All California campaign and coalition to create a high quality, affordable and equitable universal health care system in California.

UFW Foundation
Los Angeles
$295,000/3 years

For core operating support for health coverage and public benefits outreach and enrollment for farmworkers, and leadership development and public policy efforts to improve access to care for California’s farmworkers.

Dientes Community Dental Care
Santa Cruz
$200,000/3 years

For core operating support to sustain comprehensive oral health services for uninsured and publicly insured low-income adults and seniors throughout Santa Cruz County.

Tri-State Community Healthcare Center
Needles
$200,000/3 years

For core operating support to continue to provide primary medical services to underserved residents of rural San Bernardino County.


System transformation.

To realize our vision, we will have to help transform the health care system. But what does transforming the health care system require? It requires designing and implementing new models of health care that take a whole-person view while integrating the patients’ clinical and social needs. This also includes intentionally allocating resources and interventions to improve health and wellness for Black, Brown, and indigenous communities that are due justice for past systemic harm. Transforming the health care system also means improving the programs currently in place, such as making Medi-Cal and Covered California easier to access for those who need it. Transformation also requires reimagining how direct service providers collaborate and partner to better meet the needs of community residents . Government health coverage programs, community-based organizations and safety-net health care providers all need to work better together to improve health and equity for vulnerable populations.

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What We Fund

  • Innovative new models of health delivery system transformation including:
    • Improving the provision of services through Medi-Cal;
    • Helping health care safety-net organizations transition to value-based care and alternative payment methodologies;
    • Supporting approaches for providing holistic and healing centered care and addressing the social determinants of health.
  • Efforts to better connect individuals to needed health and social services as well as other public benefit programs.
  • Public policy or communication efforts to increase investments in public health infrastructure and prevention activities.

Grantee Organizations We’ve Funded

Take a look at these grantee organizations to get a better sense of what we fund.

Community Partners
Los Angeles

$500,000/3 years

For project support for the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, which aims to build a more expansive, connected, prevention-oriented health system in a number of communities throughout the state.

Alameda Point Collaborative
Alameda
$300,000/2 years

For project support for the planning and development of the Alameda Wellness Center campus serving medically vulnerable and homeless adults in Alameda County.

Transitions Clinic Network
San Francisco
$422,500/3 years

For project support to expand the Transitions Clinic Network model of primary care to clinics in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and the Central Valley.

CareMessage
Los Angeles
$125,000/2 years

For project support for a pilot project to enhance CareMessage’s patient engagement platform to improve the health of low-income individuals in Los Angeles County.


Priority populations.

We want to overturn decades of injustice so that communities too long ignored receive both the health care and social services they need. And we want to see communities of color, immigrants, and low-income communities treated with respect and dignity by all governmental and private institutions, including health care institutions.

Because California is a border state and home to the highest number of immigrants, it is important that we pay attention to immigrants’ needs. We’re determined to champion the rights of immigrants. That means supporting organizations that are working to advance and defend immigrant rights, beating back deportation efforts, helping to counter the surge in negative narratives about immigrants, and challenging the rise in racially charged attacks and threats against immigrants.

In this portfolio, we also support the rights of women to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services, which have been under intense attack during the past few years. In particular, we strive to ensure that women of color have access to the care they need.

Please note we currently are not accepting unsolicited letters of interest for the priority populations goal of this portfolio.

More Information

What We Fund

  • Policy, advocacy and direct service efforts to defend immigrant rights.
  • Policy, advocacy, communication and direct service efforts to protect access to sexual and reproductive health care services, especially for women of color.
  • Communication efforts to create positive narratives about the role of immigrants in society.

Grantee Organizations We’ve Funded

Take a look at these grantee organizations to get a better sense of what we fund.

National Immigration Law Center
Los Angeles
$850,000/3 years

For core operating support to promote the rights, opportunities and health of low-income immigrant and refugee families in California and across the nation.

California Immigrant Policy Center
Los Angeles
$250,000/1 year

For project support to continue to bring to scale the findings of a Deep Research Project on immigration messaging in Orange and Fresno counties to inform the creation of positive narratives about the role of immigrants in creating healthy communities.

Essential Access Health
Los Angeles
$250,000/3 years

For core operating support to engage in advocacy statewide and nationally to address the threats to the reproductive health safety net.

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Los Angeles
$250,000/3 years

For core operating support to engage in statewide and national advocacy to strengthen the reproductive health safety net and increase access to reproductive health services.


Our Equity in Access portfolio champions health care coverage and access for all and defends the rights of immigrants to enjoy access to health services, coverage and other benefits. Watch the above video to learn more.
Cal Wellness Issues in the News

Each week, we collect news relating to each of our four portfolios. Read on to learn more.

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PROGRAM DIRECTOR Earl Lui

Earl Lui is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation where he currently manages grantmaking related to the Equity in Access portfolio.

Jennifer-W-Large
PROGRAM OFFICER Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright is program officer for Cal Wellness’ Equity in Access portfolio.

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