Goal and Objectives

We believe that healthcare is a basic right and that every person should have access to quality healthcare regardless of your race, gender, age, sexual orientation, immigrant status or disability. Health equity can only be achieved when we address the social determinants that serve as barriers to achieving positive health outcomes.

2015 Open Responsive Cycle Funding Guidelines

The passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) significantly expanded access to health insurance coverage for Californians.  Yet thousands of low-income Bay Area residents remain uninsured due to misinformation, high cost of coverage, and immigrant status.  There is unfinished work to ensure that all individuals are enrolled in affordable coverage, and that the newly insured are connected to culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare. We also know that health outcomes can be improved when community residents are engaged as health advocates, health providers and systems are affordable, accessible and patient centered, and neighborhoods promote healthy lifestyles.

I. Policy and Advocacy to Expand Access to Healthcare

Objective #1: Expand Access to Health Care


  1. Invest in policy and advocacy efforts to eliminate fiscal, linguistic, legal, and cultural barriers to effective implementation of the Affordable Care Act among low-income communities of color in the Bay Area.

Note:  Funding will NOT be available in 2015 for general outreach and education, nor for assistance with enrollment and renewal of health insurance coverage.

II. NEW – Community Health Worker Programs to Improve the Health of Underserved Communities Beyond the Healthcare Setting

 In 2015, the Community Health Program will begin a new focus on funding community health worker programs that empower underserved community residents to be more engaged in their healthcare, be more educated about their health conditions, and address the social determinants of health in their neighborhoods.

As the Community Health Program launches its focus on supporting community health worker programs and interventions, we will use the definition of “community health worker” developed by the American Public Health Association (APHA):

A community health worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.[1]

[1] Support for Community Health Workers to Increase Health Access and Reduce Health Inequities, American Public Health Association Policy Number 2009-1 (November 10, 2009); available at: https://www.apha.org/apha-communities/member-sections/community-health-workers

Objective #2: Building the Field of Community Health Workers


  1. Planning & Start-up of a CHW Program
    • Invest in planning for the integration of CHWs in prevention, health education, patient navigation, care management, and/or medical/health home models of health care delivery to underserved populations.
  2.  Improve or Expand Existing CHW Programs
    • Invest in the enhancement of CHW programs with new community partners, use of technology or to expand to new geographic regions or low-income populations.
  3.  Evaluation of Existing CHW Programs and Policy Strategies
    • Invest in the evaluation and replication of effective training and employment models, as well as the development and implementation of policy strategies that will support and sustain CHWs, including standards, certification, and payment models.
  4.  Strengthening the Bay Area Network of CHWs & Programs
    • Facilitate the sharing of best practices and innovative strategies to create a community of practitioners and promote leadership development of CHWs so they are equipped to effectively advocate for themselves and their communities to address the social determinants of health. 

Priority will be given to efforts that:

  • Specifically address disparities affecting communities of color.
  • Leverage funding and other investments.
  • Collaborate and partner with other organizations.
  • Use evidence-based and innovative approaches to address improved patient outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and enhanced population health.

Where we fund

Grants only may be made to organizations serving residents of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, or San Mateo Counties. 

Grant Range

Average grant size is $25,000

Grant Period

Up to 12 months

In addition, using restricted trusts, the Community Health Program funds organizations that serve the following special populations/programs on an invitation-only basis:

  • Cancer care for indigent patients
  • Mental health services
  • Services for amputees
  • Services for the visually and hearing impaired
  • Nursing students/education
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Seniors