Dignity Health | hello Healthy | Spring 2019

6 DignityHealth.org/Bakersfield | Spring 2019 Local organizations working to improve the health and wellness of our community’s most vulnerable members are getting a helping hand. The Dignity Health Community Grants Program, through Mercy and Memorial Hospitals, helps local nonprofit organizations improve the quality of life for our most underserved population. This year, eight local nonprofits were awarded a total of $339,351. “The Community Grants Program takes what we do beyond the walls of the hospital,” says Donna Winkley, Regional Director of Special Needs and Community Outreach for Dignity Health. “We are passionate about providing resources for the poor and disenfranchised so they have access to quality health care and education.” Giving BARC a boost One local organization receiving a boost to its budget is the Bakersfield Association for Retarded Citizens (BARC). BARC’s main mission is to provide essential job training, employment, and support services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled and their families. BARC recently determined that about three- quarters of its clients are overweight and 30 percent are considered obese. Many have chronic conditions like diabetes. “This information motivated us to put together a full-blown program to promote health education, intervention, and prevention,” says Gil Garcia, resource development specialist for BARC. BARC was awarded $30,000 to help provide chronic disease health education to its clients. This includes a four-day health and wellness retreat in the San Bernardino Mountains for 90 disabled adults. “We are really excited about this program,” says Garcia. “It’s going to help create a long-lasting lifestyle change for our clients—and that’s what we want.” Participants will receive health screenings to measure things like body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol. They will also take part in workshops specially tailored to teach them about diet and exercise, along with the dangers of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. “All too often mainstream society ignores disabled adults,” Garcia says. “This program will help create increased awareness and really benefit our clients.” A legacy of caring This year’s other grant recipients are Hoffmann Hospice, Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, Alpha House, St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, New Advances for People with Disabilities, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since its inception in 1990, the Community Grants Program has awarded more than $4.5 million to 64 different agencies in Kern County. “Our Community Grants Program is one way we collaborate with nonprofit organizations to increase access to quality care for Kern County residents,” Winkley says. Dig deeper For more information on the Dignity Health Community Grants Program, contact Donna Winkley at donna.winkley@ dignityhealth.org . Care beyond our walls This year, eight local nonprofits were awarded a total of $339,351 . Mercy and Memorial Hospitals Community Grants Committee with BARC