A New Power Grid: Building Healthy Communities at Year 5

A New Power Grid: Building Healthy Communities at Year 5

The California Endowment's place-based initiatives to provide better conditions for young people growing up in underserved communities have included successful efforts to improve access to health services and opportunities, a progress report from the endowment finds. The report, A New Power Grid: Building Healthy Communities at Year 5 (28 pages, PDF), evaluated the impact of the ten-year initiative at its halfway point and found that grants totaling nearly half a billion dollars have helped boost health coverage among underserved populations through implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion; strengthened state-supported coverage for undocumented children; and brought about more than a hundred local policy and system changes designed to promote better health outcomes. BHC grantees and partners also led efforts to reform school discipline policies and equitable school funding formulas; implement health- and prevention-oriented justice reform; and support efforts to improve life outcomes for young men of color. Lessons learned include the need for philanthropic organization to more assertively support advocacy efforts and for public health and other government agencies to address community health through an equity and power lens.