Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity Awards $7 Million to 38 Organizations Across the U.S.

Feb 28, 2024 4:20 PM ET
A medical interpreter speaks with a woman at a primary health center in Tennessee.
Medical interpreter Sofia Munoz-Siso works with Hilda Roa during a doctor's visit. Centro Hispano in Knoxville, Tennessee trains medical interpreters, like Munoz-Siso, and serves as a bridge between patients and doctors for better health. The organization was one of 2024's Fund for Health Equity grantees. (Image by Olly Riley-Smith for Direct Relief)

February 28, 2024 /3BL/ - Direct Relief today announced the latest round of grants awarded from its Fund for Health Equity.

“This latest round of more than $7 million in grants, made possible by generous support from MacKenzie Scott, the AbbVie Foundation, and Eli Lilly and Company, is the most recent infusion of funding for organizations deeply committed in eliminating health disparities and improving healthcare quality in their communities," said Dr. Byron Scott, Direct Relief COO and Co-Chair of the Fund for Health Equity. “Direct Relief is proud to support and grateful for the work they do every day.”

The AbbVie Foundation committed $10 million over five years to the Fund for Health Equity in 2020.  Since then, the AbbVie Foundation distributed grants to twenty organizations, and this year, the foundation is awarding $1.6 million in grants to 10 organizations, including: Central City Concern, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Food Well Alliance, Kee Cha-E-Nar Corporation, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, Minority Behavior Health Group, National Black Nurses Association, University of Texas – El Paso, and Vecinos, Inc.

“The AbbVie Foundation is proud to support the 2024 Fund for Health Equity grant recipients and we’re grateful for their work addressing health disparities in historically marginalized communities across the United States,” said Claudia Carravetta, President, AbbVie Foundation; Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Global Philanthropy, AbbVie. “We believe meaningful change begins with communities, and we look forward to listening and learning from all our grant partners who are identifying innovative solutions that further advance health equity.”

Lilly also supported the Fund with a $5 million commitment in early 2021 as part of its Racial Justice Commitment, a robust endeavor to deliver resources like education, health care, economic stability, and jobs within the communities where it operates. Direct Relief distributed a portion of this initial funding to eight awardees across the U.S. since 2021.

This year, $880,000 from Lilly’s commitment will be split between four new awardees: Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Cheyenne River Youth Project, GirlTREK, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center.

“Lilly’s commitment to social impact goes back nearly 150 years and we remain committed to eliminating disparities that prevent people from living the healthiest life possible today,” said Cynthia Cardona, Head of Social Impact at Lilly. “We sincerely appreciate Direct Relief’s efforts to identify and contribute to worthy organizations that are working to create real change in their local communities around the U.S.”

Since the start of the Fund in 2021, more than $50 million has been provided to support 160 organizations across the U.S.

The awardees were selected by the Fund for Health Equity’s Advisory Council, which includes the following members:

  • Co-Chair Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th US Surgeon General of the United States, Founder Bayou Clinic, Inc.
  • Co-Chair Byron Scott, MD, MBA, Direct Relief COO
  • Martha Dawson, DNP, MSN, RN, FACHE, President and CEO President of the National Black Nurses Association, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Jane Delgado, Ph.D., MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • Gail Small, JD, Head Chief Woman, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe

Full list of 2024 Awardees:

  • Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership, Birmingham, AL
  • Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Camarena Health, Madera, CA
  • Central City Concern, Inc., Portland, OR
  • Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • Cheyenne River Youth Project, Inc., Eagle Butte, SD
  • Children’s Village, Birmingham, AL
  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Denver, CO
  • DuPage Health Coalition, Carol Stream, IL
  • East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc., New York, NY
  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Inc., Worcester, MA
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Family Reach Foundation, Boston, MA
  • Food Well Alliance, Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • GirlTREK Incorporated, Washington, DC
  • Health Outreach Prevention Education, Inc. (HOPE), Tulsa, OK
  • Hispanic Health Coalition, Inc., Houston, TX
  • Kee Cha-E-Nar Corporation, Klamath, CA
  • La Plazita, Inc. DBA La Plazita Institute, Albuquerque, NM
  • Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, Inc., Dallas, TX
  • Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, Montebello, CA
  • Minority Behavioral Health Group, Akron, OH
  • Multi-Cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System, Erie, PA
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Inc., Lexington, KY
  • National Black Nurses Association, Silver Spring, MD
  • Native Action, Inc., Lame Deer, MT
  • REACH, Las Vegas, NV
  • Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos, Inc., Santa Cruz, CA
  • Shared Harvest Foundation, Inc., Culver City, CA
  • Tell Every Amazing Lady about Ovarian Cancer (TEAL), Cullowhee, NC
  • The Concilio, Dallas, TX
  • The Night Ministry, Chicago, IL
  • The Texas International Institute of Health Profession DBA VCare Clinics, Houston, TX
  • University of Texas Foundation/University of Texas
  • Vecinos, Inc., Cullowhee, NC
  • Vida Senior Centers, Washington, D.C.
  • Vincent Chin Institute/Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Aloha, OR