Cedars-Sinai has again increased its financial support for programs serving vulnerable residents in the communities surrounding Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, providing almost $4.1 million in grants during the last fiscal year to nearly 40 organizations that address access to care, housing stability, food security and health equity.

“We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the communities that Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital serves,” said Joanne Laguna-Kennedy, MSN, RN, CENP, vice president and chief operating officer of Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital. “Cedars-Sinai is fulfilling that commitment by investing in organizations and agencies that truly drive change. These grants help our partners grow and transform the lives of vulnerable residents.”

The grants provided more than $1.4 million to organizations that offer crucial access to medical care services. The Venice Family Clinic received $1 million to support its homeless outreach mobile medical unit and $70,000 to improve patient experience by addressing any underlying racial biases that could lead to structural racism at the nonprofit organization. Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Culver City received $75,000 for efforts to reduce healthcare disparities in communities that lack access to care.

Cedars-Sinai’s grant-making reflects its continued commitment to supporting the needs of the local homeless population. The Venice Community Housing Corporation received $350,000 for Marian Place Home, a permanent housing pilot project with supportive services for resident women and children. Meanwhile, The People Concern received $150,000 to continue a navigator program that connects patients experiencing homelessness at Marina del Rey Hospital with community resources and services.

Food insecurity, another identified area of need, has affected many neighborhoods and populations across the Marina del Rey Hospital community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Westside Food Bank and Meals on Wheels West each received $25,000 to support programs providing hunger relief and meals, which have been expanded in the wake of the pandemic.

“Our work toward improving the health of our community intentionally extends beyond the walls of our hospitals, and we have been gaining a deeper understanding of the needs of individuals in the area surrounding Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital,” said Erin Jackson-Ward, MPH, director of the Community Benefit Giving Office at Cedars-Sinai. “Grant-making gives us the unique opportunity to improve access to care and address health-related social needs of the most vulnerable in our community, and we’re grateful that we have the ability to support our partner organizations through this funding.”

Among other grant recipients in Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Mar Vista and Del Rey:

The Mar Vista Family Center received $50,000 to support its health and wellness program for low-income families.

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica received $25,000 for programs promoting social-emotional learning; diversity, equity and inclusion; and healthy lifestyles for underserved youth.

The Culver-Palms Family YMCA received $100,000 for a pilot program supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of underserved families.

Safe Place for Youth in Venice, the only homeless youth services organization on the Westside, received $25,000 to advance equity and racial justice among youth experiencing homelessness.

Submitted by Marni Usheroff