The REACH Foundation invests in initiatives to advance improvements in health care systems and build on promising programs. Examples include the Cultural Competency and Medical Home Initiatives, and other initiatives described here.
Five philanthropies that fund health programs and initiatives in Kansas established a $450,000 donor-advised fund to help Kansas maximize federal grant and technical assistance opportunities connected with health reform. The Affordable Care Act Opportunity Fund was created to support planning, research, grant writing, consumer engagement and other activities. Grants will be available through 2012.
Head Start-Trauma Smart, developed by Crittenton Children’s Center in 2008, provides therapy for young children in 14 Head Start centers in Wyandotte County, Kansas, who have been exposed to complex trauma. The project also trains Head Start teachers and support staff in Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC), a framework for responding to trauma-induced behaviors. In 2009, REACH committed a three-year matching grant for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships grant to expand the program to Missouri.
The Kansas Dental Project was launched in 2010 as a collaborative effort to research and identify solutions to meeting oral health needs in rural and underserved communities in Kansas. Kansas Action for Children coordinates the project in partnership with the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved and Kansas Health Consumer Coalition. Efforts to date include data collection, exploration of alternative workforce models, policy development and educational activities that address the community health impact of dental workforce shortages.
Project Ready Smile, one of the Foundation’s earliest initiatives, is a joint effort of REACH and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to improve the oral health of very young children by providing oral screenings, fluoride varnish treatments and oral health education.
REACH is among a group of metropolitan area funders that invested in an initiative to improve the effectiveness of the region’s safety net health system. The Regional Health Care Initiative at the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) has convened safety net health center leaders and representatives of community mental health organizations to address access issues and improvements to the physical and behavioral health care delivery systems. One of the initiative’s projects is an After-Hours Expansion extending weeknight and weekend hours at selected safety net clinics in the metropolitan area.