Martin Luther King Community Hospital and Venice Family Clinic are among five local recipients of $1.3 million in COVID-19 Response Grants awarded Tuesday by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles to address urgent physical and mental health care needs arising out of the pandemic.
The grants will also support small businesses struggling to stay afloat through interest-free loans. The distributions are part of the previously announced multi-stage initiative through which The Foundation has committed more than $8 million in giving, the largest amount ever earmarked by the institution to a single cause.
The five new recipients are Jewish Family Service LA, Jewish Free Loan Association, Los Angeles Jewish Home, Martin Luther King Community Hospital and Venice Family Clinic. The total number of awards including these latest grants is 46.
Prior COVID-19 relief grants were directed to address immediate, vital needs across the local community and in Israel, as well as to sustain local, mission-critical Jewish nonprofits that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Through its ongoing outreach with local nonprofits and other funders, The Foundation identified unmet needs, including many more people requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19, according to Marvin I. Schotland, president and chief executive officer of The Foundation.
He said the ongoing pandemic also has resulted in greater isolation of many seniors who lack the technology or knowledge to access essential care. It also continues to have a devastating financial impact on small business owners from the protracted crisis, Schotland said.
“This is a global health crisis of a magnitude never experienced in our lifetimes,” Schotland said. “Vast needs continue to emerge that require support. Because The Foundation is in regular contact with nonprofits, we are able to respond quickly as critical needs are identified, including funding for urgent physical and mental healthcare disparities and businesses that are struggling. With these significant grants to five organizations, our dollars will favorably impact thousands of individuals in need in the Jewish and larger community.”
The five grants are being directed to:
— Jewish Family Service LA for Video Services for Older Adults: The grant will expand a successful pilot program with frail older adults, connecting them to vital services and a support lifeline through technology. Funding will support staffing and provide Chromebooks and internet so elderly clients can access services;
— Jewish Free Loan Association for the Small Business Loan Fund: Due to the pandemic, JFLA has been receiving a significantly higher number of applications for interest-free loans, which average $20,000, for struggling businesses and for launching new enterprises. This grant will help grow the loan fund and allow JFLA to continue making loans without reducing the amounts or turning applicants away;
— Los Angeles Jewish Home, for: The Brandman Centers for Senior Care-Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). PACE provides a complete range of health, social and nutritional services for nursing home-eligible seniors who wish to live safely in their own homes or with family members. Over 250 frail elderly seniors are enrolled in PACE. This grant will enable staff to take resources to these seniors who, due to COVID, are unable to come into the facility for services. The Factor Building Skilled Nursing Facility: This grant will help support staffing needs in the Factor Building, which now houses all residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. The facility requires a separate staff to provide the usual high-quality, long-term medical and rehabilitative therapies to these residents, as well as treating them for COVID;
— Martin Luther King Community Hospital for: Space Conversion. With the pandemic hitting the Black and Latino communities served by MLKCH hardest, the hospital is addressing new critical needs to ensure its COVID patients — whose positivity rate runs double L.A. County’s average — receive proper care. With capacity stretched, MLKCH converted an entire floor into an intensive care unit to meet the unanticipated level of critical care needed for COVID patients. As well, it is using every other space possible to house patients. Post-Discharge COVID ICU Clinic: The facility supports patients who continue to experience symptoms or require additional care. Given the increased level of critical care needed, the post-COVID clinic has also seen a surge. MLKCH converted an existing space into a clinic where patients receive comprehensive services including pulmonary appointments, respiratory therapy services, mental health services, and continuing support from their ICU medical team; and
— Venice Family Clinic for: Telehealth/Information Technology Infrastructure: To keep older adults engaged and prevent social isolation, the grant will strengthen information-technology infrastructure to provide high-quality virtual services. VFC will purchase an integrated telehealth video tool enabling patients to complete pre-visit paperwork, have fully encrypted visits, and receive post-visit details via video. COVID Care Outreach Initiative: The program will help create a strong social support system for an estimated 2,000 elderly patients and 5,000 seniors in VFC’s extensive network of volunteers, as well as retired staff members and community partners. Staff and volunteers are mobilizing to identify older adults at high risk of social isolation, conduct wellness calls and video chats, arrange for grocery deliveries, and host virtual small group activities.
“Access to quality health care is one of the ultimate acts of social justice,” said Dyan Sublett, MLKCH president. “Through its generous support, the Jewish Community Foundation has lifted our community in the full continuum of caring and healing. The Foundation’s supportive partnership of our work throughout the pandemic has enabled MLKCH to expand our care to accommodate all the critically ill COVID patients who need us in South Los Angeles — and we’ve supported our innovative post-discharge COVID clinic, making sure our patients continue to see the nurses and doctors who cared for them as they continue their recovery at home.”
Established in 1954, The Foundation manages charitable assets of more than $1.4 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2020, The Foundation and its donors distributed $127 million to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 12 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.