March 6, 2013
Dear Community Stakeholder:
We want to thank you for your partnership and participation in L.A. Care’s award-winning Community Health Investment Fund (CHIF) grant making program. CHIF has funded hundreds of community projects since it was created by our Board of Governors in 2001.
Today however, we find ourselves unable to continue the CHIF program and have suspended our grant making until further notice. The rates that we (and other health plans) are paid by the State of California are insufficient to cover the complex medical needs of many beneficiaries enrolled in Medi-Cal managed care, including seniors and people with disabilities. This has created a financial challenge that prevents us from continuing to invest in the safety net as we have done for over a decade.
L.A. Care’s grant-making program has been innovative in anticipating and meeting the needs of the safety net, creating long-term impact that goes well beyond the funds provided. Below, please find a few examples of the positive difference our grant making program has made in Los Angeles County over the past twelve years:
Since its inception, CHIF has granted almost $41 million to implement over 340 projects at community clinics, community-based organizations and the Los Angeles County Departments of Health Services and Public Health.
We are one of the largest and earliest funders of oral health in Los Angeles County as we have supported 91 projects for over $9.1 million that has served thousands of children and adults with no other access to oral care.
We made our first health information technology (HIT) grant in 2006, in partnership with local funders, to assess the readiness of the safety net to adopt electronic health records (EHRs). This foresaw the importance of EHRs and support of technology, even before any major federal funding and incentives were in effect. To date, we have supported 35 HIT projects for over $6.7 million and leveraged at least 10 times that amount.
The Seniors and People with Disabilities (SPDs) initiative has provided adaptive equipment to over 90 safety net sites, including patient-centered medical homes. The equipment set consists of an adaptable scale, exam table, and assisted listening device.
Through the Robert E. Tranquada, M.D. Safety Net Infrastructure initiative, we have supported a number of sustainable projects with long-term impact, including a Small Clinics initiative to diversify funding and strategic planning and implementation; strategic remodeling for expansion; and infrastructure development to address 1115 Waiver and healthcare reform readiness. Through this initiative, we have funded 39 projects for over $7.5 million.
Given our robust grant making history and our deep roots in the community, it truly saddens me to suspend the CHIF program. I look forward to our continuing partnership in the years to come. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 213-694-1250 ext 4102, or Roland Palencia, Community Benefit Programs Director at email@example.com, or at 213-694-1250 ext 4243.
Howard A. Kahn