The National League of Cities has announced grants of up to $260,000 to eight cities in support of local outreach efforts to enroll children and families in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Awarded as part of the Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families Initiative, which was launched in 2013 with a $3.25 million grant from Atlantic Philanthropies, the funds will be used to run campaigns aimed at reducing the uninsurance rate among children and families by 50 percent in Dallas; Garden City, Michigan; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Jacksonville, Florida; New Bedford, Massachusetts; Pittsburgh; Providence, Rhode Island; and Savannah, Georgia. To that end, NLC will provide each city with customized assistance, access to best practices and national experts, and opportunities for peer learning during the implementation process of the campaigns, with an emphasis on cross-community collaboration among city agencies, school districts, hospitals and clinics, and other community-based organizations.
The grants represent the third phase of the three-year initiative, which is coordinated by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families. In phase one, twenty-three cities attended regional leadership academies to learn how to develop data-driven and broad-based health benefit outreach campaigns; in phase two, twelve of those cities received planning grants and technical assistance to develop comprehensive business plans for implementing the outreach campaigns. Based on the strength and feasibility of those plans, eight cities were selected to receive funding to implement them in phase three.
"Each of the cities chosen had a rigorous business plan that detailed a clear path forward to drive down the rate of the uninsured in their communities," said NLC executive director Clarence Anthony. "Each city should be commended for the positive contributions they will make to their communities. There are clear benefits to the program with healthier kids meaning better high school and college completion rates and financial savings for the community."