|Foundation Announces $16.8 Million Initiative to Help Local Communities
Provide Care for Uninsured
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced a new $16.8 million initiative, "Communities in Charge," to help local communities organize more efficient and effective health care services for low-income, uninsured individuals.
"Local communities are struggling to care for an increasing number of uninsured individuals," said Judith Whang, program officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Yet care systems are too often disorganized, unable to promote prevention and early intervention, coordinate care, spread financial risk among various providers, or monitor quality of care. The result is episodic care, often delivered in emergency rooms, where it is most expensive. "Communities in Charge will help local communities design and implement more efficient and effective ways to organize, deliver and finance services for this population."
Grants will be awarded in two phases under this program. In Phase I, up to 20 communities will receive one-year, $150,000 grants for organization and planning. These grants will allow a community to research its uninsured problem, develop a strong community-wide consortium, review potential solutions, and begin to design its delivery and financing systems. During Phase II, up to 15 communities from among Phase I award recipients will receive three-year, $700,000 grants for development and implementation of plans.
To be eligible for "Communities in Charge" funding, communities must have a minimum population of 250,000, and at least 37,500 low-income, uninsured individuals.
Communities in Charge will be directed by Medimetrix, a national health care management consulting and marketing firm. Medimetrix will also provide specialized consulting services to each selected community. The national program office will be headed by Terry Fox Stoller, who will serve as program coordinator, and Jim Burnosky, who will serve as program director, both of Medimetrix.
"The burden of dealing with the health care needs of the uninsured is huge, and growing in communities across the country," Burnosky said. "Estimates are that one out of every six Americans is uninsured. "Communities in Charge" provides funding and expertise from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help communities design ways to address this issue."
Because one purpose of Communities in Charge is to promote an inclusive, community-wide effort, only one application from each site will be accepted. If more than one organization from a community requests an application package from the national program office, they will be asked to work together to submit a single application. The lead agency may be a local government agency, a network of providers, an advocacy organization for the uninsured, or other group that can assume a community-wide leadership role. The applicant must provide evidence of qualifications to lead and mobilize members of a community-wide coalition or consortia.
A full copy of the Call For Proposals can be found on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website, www.rwjf.org, or the Medimetrix website, www.mx.com. The deadline for receipt of applications is April 30, 1999.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, NJ, is the nations largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grant-making in three goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care at reasonable cost; to improve the way services are organized an provided to people with chronic health conditions; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs.
Medimetrix is a national health care management consulting and marketing firm with offices in Cleveland, Denver and Boston.