Date: February 27, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Sykes
MERRIAM, KANSAS – Eleven Greater Kansas City area health and social service organizations will receive a year of technical assistance to help the organizations improve their capacity to serve diverse populations. The technical assistance is being underwritten by three local funding organizations – the REACH Healthcare Foundation, the Health Forward Foundation and the Jackson County, Mo., Community Mental Health Fund.
The awards are part of a Cultural Competency Initiative started by the REACH Foundation that aims to reduce health disparities by preparing organizations and workers in health, mental health and human service fields to meet the health needs of racially, ethnically and culturally diverse populations. The initiative focuses on policies, practices and other organizational changes that can influence culturally competent delivery of care.
The REACH Foundation introduced the initiative in 2009 and offered technical assistance to five organizations in the first year. The Health Care Foundation joined the initiative in 2010, expanding the number of participating agencies. The Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund, a tax levy fund, brought additional resources to the initiative in 2012 to support mental health providers in Jackson County, Mo. The latest awards bring the total number of participating organizations to 24.
“Through our investments in health and human services, we recognize that cultural competency is a major factor in how people receive health services and improve their health outcomes,” said Carla Gibson, Senior Program Officer, the REACH Foundation. “Area nonprofit leaders understand the link between cultural competence and health, but don’t have the financial resources to bring in expertise to guide them.”
The eleven organizations selected for 2012 are:
Child Abuse Prevention Association
Johnson County Mental Health Center
Niles Home for Children
University of Kansas School of Medicine
Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center
Cornerstones of Care
Mattie Rhodes Center
Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault
Rose Brooks Center, Inc.
The selected organizations will work with a team of technical assistance consultants to identify areas of need and develop an individualized work plan. In addition, representatives of each organization are invited to participate in a monthly learning community group that provides additional education and connects organizations to local and national resources, and regional conferences on related topics.
To learn more, contact:
Carla Gibson, Senior Program Officer, REACH Healthcare Foundation, www.reachhealth.org
Adriana Pecina, Program Officer, Health Forward Foundation, www.healthforward.org
Theresa Reyes-Cummings, Director of Program Development, Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund, www.jacksoncountycares.org