Global Update: Support Continues for Health Equity, U.S. Free Clinics, and Medical Efforts in Haiti – Direct Relief

The situation: Non-clinical factors such as a person’s physical, social, cultural, and economic environments play a significant role in their health. For marginalized groups, these factors contribute to a lack of access to care and worse health outcomes.
The response: Direct Relief created the Fund for Health Equity to address these disparities. The newest round of grants will provide $9.3 million in funding to 49 organizations in 22 U.S. states and Washington, DC. Initiatives funded include a campaign to overcome anti-Asian hostility and its effect on well-being; a center supporting Black women’s wellness, and a program designed to improve birth outcomes for refugee populations.
The impact: “These funds will allow these exemplary organizations to continue innovation as they improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations across various communities in our country,” said 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.
The situation: Free and charitable clinics around the country care for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, in innovative ways that meet the need of their vulnerable and often marginalized patients.
The response: BD, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC), and Direct Relief came together to build the Continuity of Care program, a multi-year initiative supporting clinics in expanding innovative models of chronic disease care. This round of grants distributed $300,000 to 12 US clinics.
The impact: “This important program helps our members provide important services…among patients in underserved communities,” said Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC President and Chief Executive Officer.
The situation: Nearly six months after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocked southern Haiti, many NGOs have gone home and displacement camps have broken up. But the problems caused by the earthquake haven’t gone away. Groups working on the ground are treating widespread malnutrition, mental health issues, unmanaged chronic diseases, and other challenges.
The response: With the goal of providing flexible funding to allow these groups to meet essential needs, Direct Relief provided $600,000 in emergency grants to three nonprofits caring for those affected by the earthquake.
The impact: The funding will help pay for medications, fuel, training, and other tools to help people recover and the area develop greater resilience.
The situation: Previous analysis showed that people in states with low vaccine acceptance reacted negatively towards mandates, and public discussions were deeply polarized. In addition, prior research showed that people who are hesitant toward vaccines tend to value personal liberty.
The response: Direct Relief, in partnership with Data for Good at Meta, launched an online campaign, which reached 1.4 million people in states with below average vaccination rates, designed to build confidence in Covid-19 vaccines.
The impact: In addition to the widespread reach of the campaign, the team behind it found that messages emphasizing social norms and personal choice can be effective at increasing vaccine confidence.

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