Graphic for COVID Wk 15 Grantees

Week 15: COVID-19 Response Grants

In partnership with our generous donors and supporters, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has awarded more than $1.8 million in COVID-19 relief funding over the last four months.  We are pleased to announce our fifteenth round of COVID-19 Response Grants.

In week fifteen, $80,000 was awarded to four organizations to provide scholarships for online social groups for people with autism, housing and basic needs support for individuals facing loss of employment, financial relief for furloughed medical staff, funding for rapid COVID-19 testing, and health education and PPE for minority and underserved community members.

The Autism Society of Southern Arizona works to serve those impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder in Southern Arizona. Regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the individuals and families served by the organization, ASSA’s Executive Director, Brie Seward, shared, “Children and families impacted by autism were likely to be especially vulnerable to the social, mental, and physical effects of the pandemic – isolated, stressed, with limited or no access to real-time therapy and support.”

Socialization and connection remains vital to ASSA’s mission when Seward states, “On behalf of the ASSA, I want to thank the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for providing the crucial funding that will sustain its online virtual program efforts to ensure our families have the support they need during these turbulent times. Through innovation and new virtual reality programming, ASSA has introduced evidence-informed, online virtual parent training, support groups, and youth activity meetups for families while they are sheltering in place at home.  This grant will also continue to financially sustain the Family Navigating Autism Program, which is daily information and referral resources for families.”

Mariposa Community Health Center is a patient-centered healthcare home that ensures access to culturally appropriate, primary care and community-based education regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. With locations in Nogales, Rio Rico, Patagonia and Tubac, Mariposa Community Health Center facilitates access to specialty care and provide services and programs that respond to community and patient needs.  Since March, they have made numerous changes to their workflows and processes to ensure patient safety while continuing to offer quality health services.  For example, the Center has implemented curbside pick-up for patient prescriptions and a home delivery prescription service for patients who are at higher risk for COVID or have no means of transportation.

Patty B. Molina, Senior Director of Community Health Services, shared that, “Mariposa Community Health Center’s Community Health Services Department plans to provide one-time financial assistance to those financially affected by COVID to assist in paying utilities, rent, and groceries with funding received from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s COVID-19 Response Grant.”

The Sarver Heart Minority Outreach Program was launched in 2009 by Wanda F. Moore, a Sarver Heart Center board and women’s committee member.  The program’s volunteers work with the Community Coalition for Heart Health Education to teach chest-compression-only CPR to minority populations and share heart health education information.  They also invite Sarver Heart Center faculty physicians and other members to community centers, churches, health fairs, homes, and wherever people gather, to educate the community about heart disease prevention, symptoms, and treatment.

Moore shared, “It is a documented fact that health care disparities among minorities and lack of insurance are making this population more vulnerable to COVID-19, yet they are having the greatest challenge getting the information and testing even though they are showing many symptoms and underlying conditions that make the risk of spreading the virus even greater. If they are provided education and access to the resources to assist in changing their lives, they will in turn positively affect the health of their families and in time measurably affect the health and economic wellness of our community.”