West Marion Community Forum gets $300,000 national grant | Local News


The COVID-19 pandemic has made this all too clear, exposing deep inequities in the U.S. health system rooted in racism that disproportionately harm communities of color and other marginalized people.

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“This grant provides us with a unique opportunity to lean into hard discussions, acknowledge the disproportionate harm caused by institutional racism towards communities of color, re-build trust with our health care system, and co-create more equitable health care policies and systems,” said Mary Snow, consultant to the West Marion Community Forum, Inc. and principal consultant at Equitable Community Strategies.

Kathy Arriola, who will manage the project said, “By improving the cultural competency of health care providers and the equity of systems serving Black and Brown patients, we will improve our access to quality essential health and mental health services, and subsequently, strengthen our health outcomes, while reducing racial disparities across McDowell County.”

The West Marion Community Forum’s health equity initiative is part of the Consumer Solutions for Health Equity (CSHE) program, which has granted over $3.3 million to 11 projects across the country to make local health care systems more responsive to community needs. By elevating the voices, stories, and priorities of the people who hold the solutions but are too often left of decisions that affect their health, according to the news release.

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