HSSA Announces 2019 $300,000 "Access to Care" Grant Competition

“Tom” had visited the three Hospital Emergency Department in the city of Spokane 176 times last year and as a result was referred to the “Hot Spotters” program, according to Stephen Miller, Volunteers of America adult services director. "The Hot Spotters program (funded by a grant from Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County) works with over utilizers of our emergency services and connects them to the appropriate care for the health issues they are dealing with. As a result of Hot Spotters and its collaboration with over twenty other agencies, Tom has only visited the emergency room four times in 2018 and all for legitimate health concerns. Multiply that 176 visits by the average cost of an ER visit, and you get a sense of the phenomenal amount of money and ER resources that are being saved by this innovative program. Hot Spotters connects people like Tom to primary care doctor, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, housing and numerous other services," said Miller.

“It happens much too often in our community and across the nation, said Miller.

We simply could not keep up with the caseload we experience without the assistance of the HSSA and the cost to the community would continue to rise,” Miller recently said. “If not in emergency costs at our hospitals, then in jail costs.”

One of the most cost effective programs HSSA funds is the Spokane Prescription Assistance Network that has provided more than $17 million in donated prescribed pharmaceuticals to those who otherwise cannot afford their medications, for a 28 to 1 return on investment, says Kelly Armstrong, SPAN Executive Director.

The Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA)of Spokane County is announcing that its annual “Access to Care”grant competition to non-profit and other organizations is open for its 2019 grants. This grant seeks applicants who provide innovative health service delivery and increased access to health care to at risk populations.

The HSSA RFP #14 2019 – Access to Care grant will award up to $300,000 for one or more grants that durably increase the efficiency of health service delivery and that increases access to health care for at risk populations in Spokane County.

Last year, HSSA funded $380,000 to five recipients through its annual “Access to Care” grant, including Volunteers of America mentioned above. Also receiving HSSA grants in 2018 were Catholic Charites/Empire Health Foundation for the “Rising Strong” family-centered treatment and housing project. Partners with Families and Children, the Providence dental program for equipment to serve low income patients, and Spokane Prescription Assistance also were funded.

“HSSA’s mission includes increasing access to health care through innovative and collaborative health care delivery in Spokane County, as well as to improve the capacity of the Spokane region to contribute to advances in health sciences research,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, HSSA Board Chair.

Here are key dates related to HSSA RFP #14 2019 “Access to Care”Grant applicant proposals for funding:

RFP posted date: August 30, 2018

Letter of intent due by 12 noon: September 28, 2018

Final Proposal due by 4 pm: October 25, 2018

Awards announcement: November 30, 2018

Applicants should submit a letter of intent (LOI) on the HSSA website at www.hssaspokane.orgunder the Grants tab and Access to Care. HSSA will acknowledge receipt and for those Applicants who meet HSSA criteria, HSSA will provide a link for the Applicant to use to submit a full proposal. This should expedite the process. HSSA also will coordinate directly with the applicants, if necessary. If the LOI is selected, a full proposal would be due via the HSSA website by 4 pm on October 25, 2018. In addition to the normal requirements of applicants, past recipients should reference in the current proposal the major outcomes in past HSSA grants.

HSSA’s grant competition helps to meet one of its strategic goals 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 $2 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 is to decrease costs while improving 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, the research grants are open year-roundfor proposals at any time, and HSSA has invested $5 million to date in health science research grants.

Together with its Access to Care grants, the organization estimates that it has created a total of 450 jobs and $70 million in total economic activity. This includes approximately $20 million in extramural federal grant funding to Spokane. More information about all HSSA grants may be found at www.hssaspokane.org.