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Wellness programs first to reap benefits from Legacy

POSTED February 16, 2017 6:18 p.m.

Legacy Health Endowment, the health care philanthropy created in 2014 as a result of the sale of Emanuel Medical Center to Tenet Health, announced its first grant awards to four local health and wellness programs.  A total of $550,000 was awarded to Catholic Charities, Castle Family Health Centers, Golden Valley Health Center and Livingston Health Clinics to address health needs such as adult day health care, chronic disease and homemaker services for the elderly and disabled.

“These grants underscore the breadth of the value that philanthropy can deliver to the communities it serves over and over again. The LHE Board and I are committed to doing our part to increase access to healthcare, thereby improving the quality of life for people throughout our two-county jurisdiction,” said LHE President and CEO Jeffrey Lewis.

Golden Valley Health Centers and Livingston Community Health each received $150,000 to implement a Legacy Health wellness initiative to decrease obesity and chronic disease in the workplace. This two-year grant funds a wellness program for employees at Golden Valley Health Centers and Livingston Community Health in hopes of reducing employee turnover and absenteeism due to work-life imbalances and health issues related to chronic disease conditions (diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, etc.).

Catholic Charities’ Homemaker Services received $125,000 to provide services for elderly and disabled residents in the 11 zip codes that Legacy Health serves in Stanislaus County. The funding will provide approximately 2,500 hours of expanded homemaker services, which include home repairs, home safety modifications, counseling, socialization, physical activity, transportation to appointments, respite care, meal preparation, companionship, home medication screening, and so on.

Castle Family Health Centers’ Adult Day Services in Atwater received $125,000 to provide therapeutic, social and health services for elderly and other adults with physical or mental impairments through their Day Break program. The grant will support individuals who have no access to any third-party coverage and will allow the eligible participant to receive all of the various programs offered within the facility anywhere from three to five days per week for up to a full year.

Lewis said these grant awards are the first steps in Legacy Health Endowment’s goal of improving health and wellness within the 19 zip codes of Stanislaus and Merced counties that fall within its jurisdiction.

Lewis said he and the Legacy Health Board of Trustees focused their efforts by asking: How do you protect the family? How do you help them deal with aging in America?

“We looked at how to intervene with philanthropy dollars to assist the community to know there are solutions,” he said.

The programs that LHE is sponsoring are for those who don’t qualify for Medi-Cal and for services that aren’t covered under Medicare.

“There is a growing aging population in both counties and a lack of services for middle class America, and in some cases the poor,” said Lewis.

The next focus for Legacy Health will be addressing the growing physician and nursing shortages in Stanislaus and Merced counties and tackling specific community health concerns, such as diabetes.

“We are hopeful that the work done through Legacy Health Endowment can ultimately serve as a model for other regions of California seeking to improve health and wellness in their communities,” Lewis said.

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