EHF announces $4 million investment to raise community voices to become advocates for their own health

New grants strengthen organizations across Texas that work with populations at greater risk for poor health.

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The Episcopal Health Foundation is investing $4 million with coalitions, nonprofits and other organizations that are driving low-income and at-risk communities to take charge of their own health.

The investment is part of EHF’s new five-year effort that includes a sharpened belief that successful, long-lasting solutions to complex health challenges in Texas require the input of those most affected by the issues.

“Too often, when a group wants to help others, they develop programs they assume the community wants and needs—without even engaging with them,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “That’s why we’re helping organizations work alongside communities to identify, apply, and better align ways to address the root causes of poor health.”

EHFs new Activate Communities investment includes:

  • $1.2 million to Austin Interfaith Ministries and The Metropolitan Organization of Houston (TMO) to train and mentor community leaders who will identify issues that affect health and well-being and develop practical strategies to address them.
  • $400,000 to BakerRipley in Houston to develop health and wellness programs, leadership development, and civic involvement to address neighborhood health issues in the Greater Hobby area.
  • $219,512 to GO! Austin/ VAMOS! Austin to improve health, not just healthcare in South Austin by using community-driven solutions to address non-medical factors such as neighborhood safety, access to healthy food and economic stability.
  • $200,000 to Avenue Community Development Corporation in Houston to strengthen the Greater Northside Health Collaborative’s effort to expand active living resources, increase access to quality healthcare and healthy food by promoting resident leadership and civic participation.
  • $150,000 to Healthy Futures of Texas to support the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition’s effort to strengthen women’s preventive healthcare and Texas’ family planning safety net through increased community engagement with providers and clients.
  • $184,500 to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Houston to strengthen efforts in 13 under-resourced neighborhoods to address health systems change through health equity leadership training.
  • $290,000 to Mi Familia Vota in Houston to train community youth leaders to promote increased health and wellness in their neighborhoods.
  • $324,706 to Neighborhood Recovery CDC in Houston to organize a multi-sector coalition to involve residents in the OST-South Union neighborhood with evidence-based programs and services for improving health outcomes and healthy behaviors.
  • $150,000 to Northeast Texas Public Health District in Tyler to help residents achieve improved physical and behavioral health through a coordinated system of community partners.
  • $500,000 to Texas Organizing Project Education Fund (TOP) in Houston to develop community leaders in five Houston neighborhoods to ensure low-income communities of color drive the decision making for long-term rebuilding during post-Harvey recovery.
  • $200,000 to The Immunization Partnership to support its mission to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases by educating communities across Texas, advocating for evidence-based public policies, and supporting best practices for immunization.
  • $250,000 to Young Invincibles in Houston to expand the Connector tool that assists in enrollment to Affordable Care Act health insurance, and to provide education to young people that promotes a shift from only using healthcare in times of sickness to taking advantage of preventive care and wellness options.