Sibley Memorial Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has launched a new grant initiative as part of the hospital’s ongoing efforts to improve the health status of historically underserved communities in Wards 7 and 8 of the District of Columbia.
Sibley's newest initiative is a grant program that provides funds to community-based, nonprofit organizations. Its first two recipients, each to receive $25,000, are:
The Leadership Council for Healthy Communities–The Leadership Council for Healthy Communities (LCHC) is a D.C.-based organization dedicated to working with clergy leaders, health care professionals and community activists to achieve health equity in minority communities. Many indicators of socioeconomic distress are concentrated in Wards 7 and 8 and correlate with patterns of health disparities and poor health literacy. According to the D.C. Healthy Communities Collaborative (DCHCC) Community Health Needs Assessment, innovative ways of addressing health literacy include engaging people where it is convenient for them, such as where they live, doing so in a culturally competent way and discussing health challenges in the context of daily life. The LCHC "Be Health Empowered" Program (BHEP) is designed to do so, preparing individuals and families to be "activated" in managing their health (www.lchcnetwork.org).
Breast Care for Washington–Breast Care for Washington (BCW) was founded in 2012 as a community-centered breast cancer screening organization to enhance access to breast cancer screening and care for medically underserved women. The Washington, D.C.-area consistently leads the nation in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates, and African American women are 1.5 times more likely to die from breast cancer than their white counterparts. Dr. Regina Hampton and Beth Beck created BCW using an innovative model based on The Rose in Houston, Texas.
BCW operates as an independent, nonprofit organization embedded in a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in the District’s Ward 8. It is the only mammography facility to offer advanced 3D technology east of the Anacostia River and thought to be the only facility nationwide to be located in an FQHC, strengthening the link between primary care and screening.
BCW’s commitment to care coordination benefits the well-being of the community in two ways. First, by ensuring that women in Wards 7 and 8 have access to state-of-the-art mammography screening, BCW is detecting cancers earlier, saving public resources that might otherwise be spent on late-stage cancer care for the uninsured. According to BCW, without its services, abnormalities and cancers would not be detected early enough for individuals to avoid more advanced and costly treatments. Or they may even be discovered too late, leading to loss of life and devastation to families. BCW says this would have a particularly heavy impact in Wards 7 and 8, where 74 percent and 73 percent, respectively, of families are female-headed with children. Second, BCW encourages women to make taking care of themselves a priority, empowering them to care for themselves by offering breast health information and overall women's wellness resources.
“Breast Care for Washington is honored to be an inaugural grantee of Sibley Memorial Hospital’s new initiative. This funding will ensure that we are able to continue to offer our advanced breast imaging and navigation services to women in Wards 7 and 8, where we anticipate providing care to over 1,200 women this year,” said Beth L. Beck, president and CEO of Breast Care for Washington.
"The Leadership Council for Healthy Communities (LCHC) is excited about its collaboration with Sibley Memorial Hospital to educate residents of Wingate Tower and the surrounding neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8,” said Rev. Dr. Frank D. Tucker, LCHC's board chair. “The ‘Be Health Empowered’ program is an important tool designed to address health disparities in culturally sensitive communities."
"As one of the oldest hospitals in the District of Columbia, we have a unique moral responsibility to all D.C. residents, especially those in the historically underserved area of our nation's capital," says Richard "Chip" Davis, Ph.D., Ed.M., president and CEO of Sibley Memorial Hospital. "We are helping fulfill this obligation by awarding grants to successful community organizations, so that they can directly assist those communities where providing access to high-quality health care and medical outcomes remains a vexing problem."
Sibley's newest initiative is a grant program that provides funds to community-based, nonprofit organizations to support projects that are designed to address:
Mental Health: Increasing access and equitable distribution of mental health prevention and treatment services.
Place-Based Care (Bring Care to the Community): Bringing care options that are convenient and culturally sensitive.
Care Coordination: Deliberate organization of patient care activities and information sharing protocols among all of the participants concerned with a patient's care to achieve safer and more effective care.
Health Literacy: Enhancing individuals’ ability to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.
During the development of the DCHCC 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment, District residents identified these issues to be among the most pressing. The DCHCC is an alliance of D.C. hospitals and community health centers working together to proactively improve community health.
Sibley invites tax-exempt organizations in the District with operating budgets of $2 million or less, and a workforce of 50 or less full-time equivalents (FTE), to apply for grants ranging from $2,000 to $25,000. In particular, Sibley seeks partners that offer innovative and creative solutions for community health improvement.
Other ongoing Sibley community initiatives include:
The Sibley Oncology Clinic at United Medical Center: A collaboration with United Medical Center and Howard University Hospital, created to provide culturally sensitive, patient-centered and compassionate cancer care, care coordination and navigation services. This clinic aims to fill the gap in medical oncology and oncology navigation services east of the river.
Club Memory®: A stigma-free social club for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment or other forms of dementia, as well as their spouses, partners and caregivers, with a particular focus on the critical needs of older adults in underserved communities. Through a partnership with the District of Columbia Office on Aging, Sibley has expanded its reach to senior wellness centers across the District, serving all eight wards.
Martha's Table Joyful Market: Sibley has adopted the monthly Martha’s Table Joyful Market at KIPP DC Heights Academy, an elementary school in Ward 8. Sibley is a committed supporter of Martha’s Table’s efforts to increase access to and encourage consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables east of the Anacostia River. Sibley in the Community volunteers assist with assembling the market, help families in selecting fresh fruits and vegetables and educate participants on the benefits of nutrition and healthy cooking.
"Working in partnership with these outstanding organizations, both dedicated to improving the health of the most underserved D.C. citizens, we can have a tangible positive impact on the health of our community," says Sibley President and CEO Davis.