L.A. Care Health Plan awarded more than $1.4 million to 10 health centers and community clinics in Los Angeles County, officials announced Tuesday, spending that money in communities most vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation’s largest publicly operated health plan awarded the grants through the Robert E. Tranquada Safety Net Initiative, gifting each selected health center and clinic with between $100,000 and $150,000.

“Now, more than ever, with COVID-19 job losses growing, community clinics will be critical for vulnerable communities,” L.A. Care CEO John Baackes said. “By helping clinics invest in staffing and infrastructure and reaching out to those who are traditionally underserved, we are ensuring our members and other low-income individuals will have access to high quality care.”

Various projects funded by the grants include those dedicated to combating diabetes, hypertension and periodontal disease, particularly among people of color, officials said. In some cases, the funding will support hiring of nurses and support personnel who are members of the community they will serve. Other grants cover the cost equipment, software, and renovations that will help the centers meets their goals and adapt to the changing needs presented by COVID-19.

Awardees of the total $1,425,000 in grants include: Garfield Health Center, Monterey Park; JWCH Institute, Inc., Antelope Valley; L.A. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center, Hollywood; South Bay Family Health Care, Torrance and South Bay area; St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, South Los Angeles; The Achievable Foundation, Culver City; The Children’s Clinic, Long Beach; Universal Community Health Center, South Los Angeles; Via Care Community Health Center, East Los Angeles; and Wilmington Community Clinic, Wilmington.

The award is named after Dr. Robert E. Tranquada, a founding board member of L.A. Care who served as the Medical Director of Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center and was later the Dean of Medicine at USC.

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