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The Center for Care Innovations Partners on California's $59M COVID Test to Treat Equity Grant Program

·4 min read

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A person's zip code is still a better indicator of life expectancy than genes, education, and lifestyle, with one study showing people in 56 of the U.S.' 500 largest cities lived 20 years longer than those in underserved communities only a few miles away.

Juliane Tomlin, CCI Program Manager
Juliane Tomlin, CCI Program Manager

To better address such health disparities and barriers for communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the Center for Care Innovations and Physicians for a Healthy California are assisting the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with the launch of its multimillion COVID-19 Test to Treat Equity Grant Program.

The Center for Care Innovations (CCI) will provide a subset of grantees with technical assistance and monthly coaching, working closely with Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC), which is administering the grants.

"Physicians for a Healthy California is pleased to partner on this exciting initiative," says PHC President and CEO Lupe Alonzo-Diaz. "This grant program will result in more tools and resources for safety net providers providing access to life-saving COVID-19 treatments, particularly in communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic."

With a mission to explore creative solutions to complex problems in the health care safety net, the Center for Care Innovations is gratified to partner on a program designed to ensure treatment options are readily available to all populations.

"We are grateful that the California Department of Public Health is focused on addressing inequities in access to COVID-19 treatment," said CCI President Sofi Bergkvist. "We look forward to working closely with healthcare providers to build the capacity for timely COVID-19 treatment and to address barriers that many people face even when treatment is made available."

The Center for Care Innovations is excited about the prospect of preventing severe COVID-19 cases in California's underinvested communities through timely, effective treatment, according to CCI Program Director Juliane Tomlin.

"Our guiding principle is to offer high-value coaching and technical resources without burdening health care organizations, many of which have been contending with COVID-19 surges," Tomlin said. "Our offerings will include peer consultations, webinars with experts in the field that highlight promising practices, monthly one-on-one or small group coaching, and a resource center featuring information for both providers and patients on testing, medications, workflows, and best practices."

The program will incorporate some of the learnings from CCI's earlier programs on telehealth and population health, said Executive Director Michael Rothman, DrPH. "In our Connected Care Accelerator, Addiction Treatment Starts Here, Catalyst, Technology Hub, and other programs, CCI has helped hundreds of communities improve telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. "In our Adult Immunization Equity Collaborative, which we collaborate on with the National Association of Community Health Centers, we've helped dozens of health centers, primary care associations and health center networks use human-centered design to achieve COVID vaccination equity. With our COVID-19 Test to Treat technical assistance, we hope to make it easy for community practices to learn from each other and expand the reach of their services."

Grants range between $50,000 and $1,000,000, and CDPH encourages all organizations eligible for a grant to apply. These include:

  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and FQHC Look-alikes

  • Community clinics, rural health clinics, free clinics

  • Indian Health Service (IHS)/Tribal Health Clinics

  • Clinics operated by county or city health systems or public health systems

  • Providers not listed above, but which are recommended by their Health Department

More information and application materials are available at phcdocs.org/t2t.

The COVID-19 Test to Treat Equity Grant Program was created as part of California's SMARTER Plan, with the goal of further increasing access for Californians in underserved communities to vital therapeutic treatment that helps lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

The program's first application cycle will open on August 31, 2022, and it will continue through the deadline of September 30, 2022. CDPH has allocated approximately $59 million for the Test to Treat Equity Grant Program through June 2023.

For more information, visit phcdocs.org/t2t or email t2t@phcdocs.org.

Existing Test to Treat Programs

Test to Treat sites can be found across the state, providing individuals an opportunity to get tested for COVID-19 and receive medication if eligible. You can find locations across California here. California has also partnered with OptumServe to provide free, confidential COVID-19 testing and free assessment for medications -- especially for those who have difficulty getting connected to a healthcare provider quickly, including those who are uninsured or underinsured, regardless of documentation status. These sites can be found here.



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SOURCE Center for Care Innovations