Verdant Health Commission is dedicated to funding and supporting high impact programs that meet community needs and address health equity. This month, we highlight several grant partners as part of our focus on health access for all:

Lahai Health Dental Program ($395,000 grant award)

This program serves some of the highest needs in the Verdant Health district with 94% of its dental patients identified as “very low income” and over 60% of the program’s patients self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (communities that have been chronically under-reached with primary dental care).  Many patients have no dental insurance available while others have used all the benefits available to them. In three months time, Lahai Health Dental assisted 185 individuals in making dental appointments and helped 12 patients avoid ER visits.

Refugee Immigrant Services Northwest’s Refugee and Immigrant Navigation Program       ($100,000 grant award)

This program provides refugees, immigrants and their families with the wrap-around support that improves their mental and physical health. The navigator program provides the education and referrals that will allow them to learn the language and navigate the complex processes of selecting and utilizing primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services, as needed. Over a six-month period, the Navigator program provided over 200 individuals with 1:1 support.

YMCA of Greater Seattle’s Community Health Navigation to Support the East African Community ($93,300 grant award)

The Community Health Navigator conducts a variety of activities with the target population, including health screenings, exercise classes, nutrition workshops, culturally relevant chronic disease prevention, and referrals to health and wellness resources, including bilingual/bicultural medical practitioners, behavioral health specialists, and community meals and food banks. This program will serve 150 individuals this year.

As stated by Dr. Lisa Cooper of The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity, “Health equity is about more than individuals or individual behavior; it’s also about the history and context of places and systems.” As such, it is critical for local health interventions and policies to take into account the history, context, systems, and discrimination that contribute to disparities in health outcomes.