CA Accountable Communities for Health Seeks Local Outreach
By Dianne Anderson
It’s no secret that the Black community has been analyzed, researched and studied to the hilt for decades with not a lot of action or headway made.
But $13.5 million is set to open doors for 37 grantees in 27 California counties to prioritize the most pressing problems identified by the community for the community, and collectively figure out solutions.
California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, or CACHI, will pave the way.
In San Bernardino, grantee Making Hope Happen focuses on the nonprofit’s existing efforts, but also wants to connect with residents in impacted neighborhoods by outreach and word of mouth.
“We will continue to work with our existing partners who support our BIPOC families and leverage these relationships to help amplify the opportunity to directly connect with low-income families,” said
Niki Dettman, President/CEO of Making Hope Happen Foundation.
As a Black-led organization, she said they understand the importance of leadership diversity. Through ACH funding, they also support Uplift San Bernardino.
“Our program Uplift San Bernardino is like a big team made up of various groups, including businesses, and people living in the city. We collaborate with many organizations run by and for BIPOC,” she said in an email, adding the organizations also help with housing, starting businesses, education, and connecting youth to job opportunities.
Waterman and Baseline Specific Plan is another focus area where many groups help students and families. Their organization wants to continue joining forces, and help those in Arrowhead Grove and nearby neighborhoods.
Nonprofits and residents are welcome to join a working group, attend monthly CACHI meetings, watch recordings, participate in focus groups, surveys, take on leadership roles, and volunteer to outreach to neighbors.
The CACHI grant includes a work plan with a one-year assessment period, looking at years of information already collected to compare with immediate needs today. Along with neighbors, she said they will co-create solutions for wealth building, housing, and sustainability for the future.
The group will invite neighbors as guest speakers, neighborhood connectors, and other areas of participation. A Wellness Fund will be established to support the ongoing work of the local ACH.
She said donors, funders, and local businesses are also invited to support inclusive redevelopment of our Waterman and Baseline corridor. On their website, the community will be invited to get involved, and watch meetings.
“We will also be offering work-based learning opportunities for youth, hiring a coordinator for the project, and collaborating with community health workers, businesses, and neighborhood associations already in the area,” she said.
On the state’s CACHI website, ACHs are described as designed to facilitate systems change, which involves changes in the practices and operations of a system—including culture and norms, decision-making authority and distribution of resources.
Barbara Masters, CACHI Director, said that they are looking to communities to identify systems that need change, and put into action steps to change them. The community will come together to select a priority for each community to rally around, and push systems outcomes.
She said Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) are not just forums for studying a problem or information sharing, rather transforming systems and communities to create healthier, stronger, and more equitable communities.
“They are fundamentally a place for action–where communities along with organizations and major systems players like hospitals and health plans can come together to set a collective vision and devise action plans for achieving that vision,” said Masters.
When COVID hit, she points to Long Beach ACH table as an example of success. They had facilitated trust and relationships among participants and agencies, and were able to establish a mutual aid network and get resources and help families in need.
Contracts to grant recipients should receive allocations within weeks, with each grantee to receive 50% of the overall grant.
“Because Long Beach has been a long-time grantee of CACHI’s, they will receive $300,000 over 30 months, while both BeWell OC and Uplift San Bernardino will receive $400,000 over 30 months recognizing increased start-up costs,” she said.
At the core of the program, the “ACH Backbone” brings together community partners from youth to CEOs, collaborations, and engage various systems and sectors to lift the community voice.
For Orange County, Advance OC is now the backbone for the ACH.
Iliana Soto Welty, project director with Orange County Accountable Communities for Health, said Advance OC recently worked with Health Equity for African Americans League (HEAAL) to release the first OC Health Equity Report.
That survey was highlighted at a Be Well OC Coalition meeting featuring Rev. Ivan S. Pitts, Pastor of Second Baptist Church as keynote speaker. The project is now being fiscally sponsored by Advance OC, and continues to be the backbone for the initiative by facilitating and coordinating functions to advance health equity.
Welty said their movement is broader than behavioral health, and they are excited about continuing the network of care for Orange County, and working with Kelita Gardner, the director of the HEAAL collective.
“[It]s] to advance this movement and support the work that is needed to address the concerns that came out of the report. We will continue to partner with Be Well OC and other multi-sector partners to ensure that the needs of the African American community and the underserved are heard, seen and acted on in our system of care,” she said.
In Long Beach, Jeremy Scruggs said their CACHI allocation over the next two and a half years will establish a Community Advisory Board to bring community voice and lived experience to LBDHHS, and many health and wellness partners.
“We seek to engage the lived experience of Black families through the Community Advisory Board by including Black community representatives on the board. The Community Advisory Board will be comprised of members of our diverse community who are well-respected voices of specific racial demographics and zip codes in the city,” said Scruggs, Racial and Health Equity Program Manager.
Through CACHI, he said the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is focused on increasing equity across the health system.
As part of the outreach, he said the Community Advisory Board would also nurture partnerships and consult with Black-led and Black-serving non-profit organizations for their perspectives on important issues related to their experience in delivering services.
“Their valuable feedback will help inform the portfolio of interventions,” he said.
He said LBDHHS intends outreach to many Long Beach communities facing disparities and other social conditions impacting health, wellness within the Black, Latinx, Filipino, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Cambodian, LGBTQIA2S+, along with those living in poverty to be invited as members in the advisory board, and additional conversations.
“This engagement will result in grassroots communities having influence in the decision-making, which will lead to improved health outcomes and offer increased knowledge of the lived experience of people living in Long Beach,” he said.
For CACHI, see https://www.cachi.org/faqs
For San Bernardino, https://upliftsb.org/
CACHI Long Beach, see https://www.cachi.org/long-beach
For Advance OC, see www.advanceoc.org