The Siemens Foundation today announced it is providing $500,000 to eight community health centers across the United States to help in the COVID-19 crisis recovery and address racial disparities in accessing quality, affordable healthcare. These grants complement the $1.5 million in grants provided by the Siemens Foundation in April to 12 community health centers across the country.
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The Siemens Foundation has made a commitment to support these critical healthcare providers so they can recover and rebuild from the repercussions of the pandemic, and provide employee training for new COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as contact tracing. The grants reinforce the Foundation‘s continued resolve to promote diversity, equity and inclusion amid national efforts to address racism and promote racial justice.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, severe illness and death rates are higher for minority populations during public health emergencies, including the current pandemic. As of early May, Black people comprised 28 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States and accounted for more than 18 percent of COVID-19 deaths, despite the demographic group respresenting only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
“Six months into the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect people of color, particularly Black people,“ said David Etzwiler, CEO, Siemens Foundation. “Our commitment to eliminating health, education, and social justice disparities experienced by Black people is stronger than ever.“
Community health centers are the nation’s largest primary care provider for the medically underserved and uninsured, reaching 29 million of those most in-need. As a result of COVID-19, these health centers face a shortage of funding to stay operational and maintain a sufficient workforce, further crippling their ability to provide affordable healthcare at a critical time.
In April, the Siemens Foundation, including the Siemens Healthineers Fund, provided $1.5 million to 12 community health centers in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Denver, Newark, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Orlando and Seattle. Those cities are home to significant communities of color, and impoverished and uninsured people, all of whom are vulnerable to the virus.
The health centers below were identified using equity criteria developed by the Siemens Foundation in consultation with the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers. The city of Minneapolis was chosen for specific attention in the wake of the killing of Mr. George Floyd. Between 50 and 93 percent of patients at each of the community health centers are Black:
- Southside Medical Center in Atlanta
- Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services in Cleveland
- Memphis Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee
- Bee Busy Wellness Center in Houston
- Southside Community Health Services in Minneapolis
- Axis Medical Center in Minneapolis
- NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center in Minneapolis
- Minnesota Community Care in St. Paul
The centers will receive funds over the next few weeks and are free to allocate it where it is needed most.
For more information on the Siemens Foundation, follow @SFoundation on Twitter or visit siemens-foundation.org.
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $122 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. Our mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are narrowing the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. in STEM careers and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.
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