By Claire Henry Communications Manager, Dignity Health Dominican Hospital February 24, 2019, Santa Cruz, California – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital awarded nearly $180,000 in grants to six local nonprofit organizations through its annual Community Grants Program. Each nonprofit was recognized for its commitment to providing innovative resources and support to improve quality of life for the Santa Cruz County residents most in need. Rudy Escalante accepts the grant for Janus of Santa Cruz. Nanette Mickiewicz, MD, President of Dominican Hospital, listens in the background. “One of the biggest health care challenges facing any community is creating a continuum of care to assist our patients outside the hospital,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “Each of these partner organizations is led by a team of experts, and collectively they are making meaningful and measurable change to ensure that everyone in our community receives the care they need.” The community grants were awarded during a luncheon in January. Since the early 1990s, community organizations have received more than $2.5 million in grants from Dominican Hospital to promote the health and wellness of Santa Cruz County. Grants were awarded to the following organizations: Community Bridges : $25,000 for the Wellness Navigation Project, which offers mobile health screenings, a lifestyle health class, care transition referrals, and food pantry distribution. These services increase patient access to healthy food, nutrition education, and other services identified during the organization’s intake process. Dientes Community Dental Care : $20,000 in support of a collaboration among Dientes, Homeless Persons Health Project, and Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center to reduce Emergency Department visits for people experiencing homelessness. The project provides dental screenings, oral health education, referrals to care, and dental treatment. The goal is to deliver a seamless continuum of care and a dental home, allowing patients to receive regular preventive care. Homeless Services Center : $30,000 for the Recuperative Care Center (RCC) to support those experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County. The RCC provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week shelter services with case management, meals, housekeeping, and security. Primary care, medication management support, clinical social work, and additional case management is provided by the Homeless Persons Project. The goal is to support full recovery, ongoing primary care, and a transition to temporary or permanent housing. Janus of Santa Cruz : $50,000 for Project Unite, which works to reduce the number of repeat visits to the Emergency Department and inpatient stays caused by substance abuse disorder. Project Unite accomplishes this goal by placing Janus Care Coordination staff on site at Dominican Hospital to assist social workers and medical personnel in screening and discharging patients to substance use disorder treatment resources. Monarch Services : $25,000 in support of the Ending the Game: Human Trafficking Program, a collaboration with organizations and social service agencies to build community capacity to prevent human trafficking and assist survivors. Through its comprehensive case management model, Monarch Services ensures a continuum of care to meet clients’ needs in a holistic manner. RotaCare Bay Area : $25,103 for the all-volunteer Santa Cruz RotaCare Free Clinic, which provides free health care weekly to the most vulnerable and underserved populations. Every Tuesday night, RotaCare volunteers transform the dining and meeting rooms of a Live Oak area school into an acute care medical clinic. Feature photo (top): Kristyn Glenn, of Dientes, left, receives a grant from Nanette Mickiewicz, MD, President of Dominican Hospital. Grant recipients with Nanette Mickiewicz, MD, President of Dominican Hospital, second from right, and Stephen Snodgrass, of the Dominican Hospital Board of Directors, are, from left, Taylor Honrath from Homeless Services Center, Edgar O. Lunderos from Community Bridges, Kristyn Glenn from Dientes, Rudy Escalante from Janus, Ron Sekkel from RotaCare.