FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heritage University receives $350,000 grant award from Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity
Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University today announced it is among 71 awardees that received a grant from Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity, which mobilizes financial resources for organizations focused on non-clinical interventions that affect a person’s health. Commonly known as the social determinants of health, these factors include an individual’s physical, social, cultural, and economic environment.
The grants, which total $22.7 million and will be disbursed over two years, were awarded with funding from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the AbbVie Foundation, and Eli Lilly and Co. to support underserved communities across the United States.
Heritage University received $350,000 from the Fund for Health Equity for its work to increase the number of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color) students who achieve a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in the Yakima Valley.
“We are pleased to bolster the indispensable work of Heritage University and other grassroots organizations striving to reduce disparities and increase equity in vulnerable populations across the United States,” said Dr. Byron Scott, MD, MBA, Co-Chair of the Fund for Health Equity and Board Director of Direct Relief and Chair of its Medical Advisory Council. “It is a privilege to promote and support these organizations that are deeply connected to the communities they serve, know best what their patients and communities need, and the most effective means of providing it.”
Andrew Sund, Ph.D., President of Heritage University, expressed gratitude to Direct Relief for the funds to ensure Heritage’s efforts to contribute to a diversified nursing workforce. “A nursing workforce that closely represents the diverse makeup of the community it serves is able to provide culturally-sensitive healthcare that promotes recovery from trauma or illness to its patients,” said Dr. Sund.
The organizations in the latest round of funding were chosen for their efforts to enhance workforce diversification, reduce health disparities, and expand innovative models of care. A full list of winners can be found here.
The awardees were selected by the Fund for Health Equity’s Advisory Council, which includes the following members:
Co-Chair Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th U.S. Surgeon General of the United States, Founder Bayou Clinic, Inc.
Co-Chair Byron Scott, MD, MBA, Board Director of Direct Relief and Chair of its Medical Advisory Council
Martha Dawson, DNP, MSN, RN, FACHE, President and CEO President of the National Black Nurses Association, Associate Professor the University of Alabama at Birmingham
Jane Delgado, Ph.D., MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
Gail Small, JD, Head Chief Woman, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Since the start of the Fund in 2021, more than $42.5 million has been provided to support 149 organizations across the U.S.
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