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News / Health / Clark County Health

LULAC, Latino Youth Council land $10,000 grants

Community Health Plan of Washington awards grants to help people of color

By Wyatt Stayner, Columbian staff writer
Published: October 3, 2020, 1:49pm

The local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Clark County Youth Latino Council have each been awarded $10,000 grants from the Community Health Plan of Washington.

Last month, the Community Health Plan of Washington handed out grants to 23 different organizations across Washington, with a focus on supporting community-based organizations that are directly supporting people of color.

The Community Health Plan of Washington has been grounded in health equity since it was founded in 1992, and it serves more than 250,000 members through Medicaid and Medicare across Washington.

Leanne Berge, the CEO of Community Health Plan of Washington, said organizations can use the grants as they please. In this case, the dollars are assisting organizations involved with the Latino community in Clark County.

In Clark County, no ethnicity has experienced negative health disparities for COVID-19 on the same level that Latino people have in Clark County.

The Latino population has accounted for about 23 percent of Clark County’s COVID-19 cases and makes up a little more than 10 percent of the overall population.

National statistics trend similarly.

According to data from The COVID Tracking Project, Latino folks account for 17.8 percent of the U.S. population but make up nearly 29 percent of the country’s cases and 21 percent of the country’s deaths.

Black people make up a little more than 12 percent of the U.S. population, but account for close to 19 percent of the country’s COVID-19 cases and more than 21 percent of the country’s coronavirus deaths.

“With the pandemic, it has been extremely obvious what people of color have been facing in terms of their well-being and health,” Berge said.

Meg Olberding, director of Public Relations for Community Health Plan of Washington, said the grants should help community organizations fill in needs that have arisen since the pandemic began.

“We know that all these communities have had significant increases in need. It’s to support those gaps,” Olberding said.

Columbian staff writer