HSSA Announces 2019 "Access to Care" Grant Awardees

The Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County just announced the organizations who will receive nearly $300,000 in total grants in 2019 for the important access to health care work they do. HSSA said it received well over $700,000 in grant requests for its Access to Care grant funds, the highest amount ever requested.

In a unique “Coordinated Health Initiative” promoted by HSSA, three local organizations – Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP), Pioneer Human Services and Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington-- will collaborate to provide community health workers to meet the needs of homeless households presenting for services across these agencies. The three will share a $120,000 grant from HSSA. “We are honored to partner with HSSA to implement a joint program that braids together funding sources, existing resources, and our blended knowledge and skills to improve access to care,” said Cameryn Flynnof SNAP.

Partners with Families and Childrenwill receive $75,000 in 2019 to help it keep meeting the needs of our community’s most vulnerable populations, children who are victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. The funding supports specialized pediatric examinations and physician training, according to Carol Plischke, Executive Director. “Unfortunately, the demand for our services continues to rise, with both medical and forensic services showing an increase of 45% for 2018 over 2017. Of note is the acuity of the injuries requiring hospital consultations, which have increased by nearly 24% this year alone,” Plischke said.

YWCA Spokanewill receive from HSSA $52,927 to grow its mental health services capability for victims of domestic violence. Regina Malveaux, YWCA Spokane CEO, said “these funds are critically important to help us meet the growing demand for in-house psychological support through mental health therapy for victims.”

Spokane Prescription Assistance Networkwill receive $30,000. It is one of the most cost effective programs HSSA has funded in that it has provided more than $21 million in donated prescribed pharmaceuticals in the Spokane region to those who otherwise could not afford their medications, for an 18 to 1 return on investment, says Kelly Armstrong, SPAN Executive Director. HSSA’s grant helps fund full-time employees.

Priority Spokane’sRyan Oelrichsaid his organization will use its $15,000 grant for women currently enrolled in the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program who need housing and support services. “This important funding completes the budget to operate the pilot program,” Oelrich said.

“HSSA’s mission in addition to funding scientific research and infrastructure to grow the life sciences industry in Spokane, includes increasing access to care through innovative and collaborative health care delivery in the County,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, HSSA Board Chair.

HSSA’s grant competition helps to meet one of its strategic goals that is to increase access to health services in Spokane County for at risk populations and represents a fund of about 15 percent of annual revenues designated for this purpose.

“To date we have awarded approximately $2.3 million in this category, providing resources to those organizations in our County who do the important work with people who otherwise would not receive health care services or would seek these services from the area’s emergency rooms and other expensive options,” Isserlis said. “Some end up incarcerated at taxpayers’ expense, so one of HSSA’s intents with its Access to Care grant program is to decrease costs and improve health care services,” Isserlis said.

HSSA’s other strategic initiative is to increase local health sciences researchand the infrastructure that supports it and designates 75 percent of its revenues for that purpose. In the latter case, which are open year-roundfor proposals at any time, HSSA has invested approximately $5 million in health science research and infrastructure grants to date. The HSSA’s authorization concludes in a few years and HSSA will seek reauthorization in the upcoming legislative session, Isserlis said.

Together with its Access to Care grants, the organization estimates that it has created over 450 jobs and over $70 million in total economic activity. This includes over $35 million in extramural federal grant funding to Spokane. More information about all HSSA grants may be found at www.hssaspokane.org.