The initiative has been instrumental in advocating for the Latino community’s challenge with COVID-19 at all levels of government and is continuously featured locally and nationally as a united voice for our community.
Chicago, Illinois Sept 22, 2021— Illinois Unidos today announced it is among 40 awardees across 20 U.S. states that received a grant from Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity, which mobilizes financial resources for organizations focused on non-clinical interventions that affect a person’s health. Commonly known as the social determinants of health, these factors include an individual’s physical, social, political, cultural, and economic environment.
The 40 awardees included in today’s announcement received funding for a wide range of initiatives, including efforts to diversify the healthcare workforce, serve people experiencing homelessness, sustain and restore Indigenous health practices, and reduce infant mortality rates that fall disproportionally along racial and ethnic lines.
Illinois Unidos received $250,000 from the Fund for Health Equity. Illinois Unidos is now a consortium of over 100 health professionals, community-based organizations, elected and appointed officials, and interested professionals. The initiative aims to present one united voice in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities while addressing related public health issues and the devastating economic impact of COVID-19.
The initiative has been meeting every other Saturday for the past year and has become one the largest consortium of its kind in the country. The initiative has been instrumental in advocating for the Latino community’s challenge with COVID-19 at all levels of government and is continuously featured locally and nationally as a united voice for our community. Recently, Illinois Unidos received Mayor Lightfoot’s Medal of Honor and produced a half-hour show on Telemundo, “Es Hora De Vacunarse”.
“We are pleased to bolster the indispensable work of these grassroots organizations striving to reduce disparities and increase equity among vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Byron Scott, MD, MBA, Co-Chair of the Fund for Health Equity and Board Director of Direct Relief and Chair of its Medical Advisory Council. “With their deep ties and particular insights into the people and communities they serve, these groups are best suited and most acutely aware of what can make a difference – and it’s a privilege to be able to enable them to do more of it with philanthropic funding that is often difficult to secure within their local communities.”
The awardees were selected by the Fund for Health Equity’s Advisory Council, which includes the following members:
- Co-Chair Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th U.S. Surgeon General of the United States, Founder Bayou Clinic, Inc.
- Co-Chair Byron Scott, MD, MBA, Board Director of Direct Relief and Chair of its Medical Advisory Council
- Martha Dawson, DNP, MSN, RN, FACHE, President of the National Black Nurses Association, Associate Professor the University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Jane Delgado, Ph.D., MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
- Gail Small, JD, Head Chief Woman, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
The grants announced today follow $1.8 million in funding issued by Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity last month, with support from the AbbVie Foundation.
Direct Relief will announce additional grant awards this year.