WATSONVILLE—Watsonville-based health provider, Salud Para La Gente, has received a $100,000 grant as part of a $1 million distribution of funds to Santa Cruz County organizations from Kaiser Permanente.
The grants aim to increase access to healthcare for those who often don’t have health insurance, said Kaiser Permanente spokesperson Karl Sonkin. The money was spread out over six nonprofits
Above all, Sonkin said the grants are designed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 among Latinx people who have been disproportionately affected by the virus.
People of Latinx descent make up 39 percent of the state’s population but 46 percent of the Covid-19 deaths and 55 percent of those infected, according to the California Department of Public Health. It’s a similar situation in Santa Cruz County where those residents make up 33 percent of the population with nearly 55 percent of the cases.
The other grantees are Coastal Kids Home Care, Dientes Community Dental Care, First 5 of Santa Cruz County, Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz Community Health.
“We are proud to work with our community partners, like Salud Para La Gente, which are providing essential outreach to the most vulnerable in our communities,” said William MacLean, M.D., physician in charge of Kaiser Permanente Santa Cruz County. “We want to support those residents who are struggling during the pandemic and help assure they have access to the health care they need.”
Salud Para La Gente runs 12 clinics with 43 years of experience to mostly Latinx agricultural workers. They typically see about 30,000 low-income patients in Watsonville annually, and currently run two large outdoor drive-through health clinics that offer Covid-19 testing and vaccines, acute and preventive care and other services.