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Valleywise Health Foundation Receives $220,000 Grant from the Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Community Reinvestment Grant Program
By Alison Bailin - Wednesday Dec 07, 2022
Valleywise Health Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting Valleywise Health, Arizona’s public teaching health system, has been awarded $220,000 through the Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Community Reinvestment grant program. The grant will support Cultural Health Navigators at Valleywise Health’s Refugee Women’s Health Clinic over a two-year period to help bridge cultural gaps and improve patient outcomes.

Mercy C.A.R.E.S., which stands for Community Action Resources Education and Service, is Mercy Care’s community giving initiative. Through grant funding, sponsorships, volunteer efforts and board participation, Mercy C.A.R.E.S. supports AHCCCS’ Whole Person Care Initiative, which addresses Social Risk Factors to improve health outcomes.

“Each Mercy C.A.R.E.S. community reinvestment grant supports organizations that directly address Mercy Care’s key community health focus areas, which are centered on advancing health equity by managing chronic conditions, supporting mental health and well-being, addressing housing security, and empowering recovery from substance use,” says Dr. Gagandeep Singh, chief medical officer of Mercy Care. “Since 2016, the Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Community Reinvestment grant program has invested nearly $15 million in local organizations.”

Since its inception in 2008, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic has been a medical home to more than 5,000 individual patients from 71 different countries speaking 67 different languages. Cultural Health Navigators are the cornerstone of the program’s success. From assisting refugees with navigating the health system by accompanying them to medical visits, to providing interpretation and transportation services, to providing home visits, Cultural Health Navigators play a critical role in establishing trust and educating families.

“Support for Cultural Health Navigators provided by the Mercy C.A.R.E.S. grant will assist our Refugee Health Services team to provide the culturally sensitive clinical care needed most by families starting a new life,” said Valleywise Health chief clinical officer Dr. Michael White. “These Navigators are an invaluable part of our refugee care team, working to reduce health inequities and cultural barriers to care.”

As one of the top 10 refugee resettlement states in the U.S., Arizona has hosted more than 75,000 refugees since 1975. An average of 4,000 refugees are resettled in Arizona annually.