North Carolinians Deserve Health Care Options : Senate Bill S.808

Regardless of income or access, all North Carolinians deserve whole-person care and the best possible health care outcomes. Medicaid transformation provides much-needed health care options for 1.6 million Medicaid beneficiaries in North Carolina, and it should be a part of the COVID-19 recovery solution.

The NC Medicaid Choice Coalition has been working hard to get Senate Bill 808 onto the Governor’s desk.  This bipartisan bill is asking for Medicaid Transformation to be reactivated as it has been on pause with COVID19.  See the attached information for details on why Medicaid transformation is important :

S808 and Medicaid Transformation

More info can be found here.

 

Important Information About Economic Impact Payments

Learn more about the Economic Impact payments: ECON-IMPACT-PAYMENTS_FAQ-2.

In Spanish: ECON-IMPACT-PAYMENTS_FAQ-2-SPAN

Press Release: Partnership for Prosperity Launches Pilot Study Circles to Engage Community Regarding Social Determinants of Health in Low-resource Communities and Impact of COVID-19.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Paula McCoy, P4P Director

336-575-6099

Winston Salem, N.C. June 10, 2020 Partnership for Prosperity Launches Pilot Study Circles to Engage Community Regarding Social Determinants of Health in Low-resource Communities and Impact of COVID-19.

A series of study circles around the ‘five social determinants of health’ (5SDoH), is being launched by P4P to engage the communities most impacted by these determinants of health in creating solutions and policy recommendations. The 5 Social determinants of health are housing, education, jobs/workforce development, health and wellness, and food insecurity. Transportation is an issue that cuts across all five social determinants. The 5 SDoH, defined as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life”, are responsible for most health inequalities.

A Study Circle is a group of 8 to 12 people who meet regularly over a period of weeks or months to address critical public issues in a democratic, collaborative way. Participants examine the issue from many points of view and identify areas of common ground. They emerge with recommendations for action that will benefit the community. Participants are compensated for their engagement in study circles.

Paula McCoy, the interim Director says “study circles are a bottoms-up approach to decision-making and problem solving where residents are the experts in matters that directly impact them”. Residents will have a voice in matters where they will discuss how the issue affects them, what others are saying about the issue to a session on action. “We hope these study circles result in a ‘collective impact’ – engagement of large numbers of grassroots and grasstop leaders – that produce a shared vision, implementable solutions and public awareness of poverty”. The first pilot study circle, McCoy says, will be on housing and is scheduled for June 18-July 16.

Study circles on Education have been scheduled for June 23-July 21. Food Insecurity and Jobs and Workforce Development will also begin in late June. Registration information can be found on the P4P website: https://partnershipforprosperityws.org/studycircles

“The success of ‘study circles’”, states McCoy, “depend not only on the full engagement of residents most impacted by the social determinants of health, but is also dependent on the cooperation and collaboration of community -based organization, associations and agencies.

Some P4P community partners include:

East/Northeast Winston Neighborhood Association Coalition

Guiding Institute for Developmental Education (GIDE)

Hoops4Lyfe

North Winston Neighborhood Association

Crosby Scholars

Forsyth Promise

Place Matters

Love Out Loud

Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods

The Twenty

######

About Partnership for Prosperity:

Partnership for Prosperity is an initiative that grew out of The Mayor’s Poverty Thought Force and is governed by a Board of Directors. The United Way of Forsyth serves as the backbone or quarterback for the organization. There are two staff, the Director and a Community Engagement Associate. An Advisory Board is comprised of community leaders and graduates of ‘Getting Ahead in a Just Getting’ by World’ workshops and is where P4P seeks solutions from their expertise and lived experiences.

The vision of P4P is “a community where childhood poverty ceases to exist”. Our mission is to “align resources, eliminate silos and engage the community in advocating for policies that advance racial and other forms of equity and help our most vulnerable residents thrive”.

United in Grief – United Way of Forsyth County’s Message to the Community

The tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer is yet another reminder of the systematic inequities suffered by African Americans and evidence of the underlying inequities and racism that continue to exist in our community and our country.

It is heartbreaking and infuriating, but it’s also confirmation that continuing to make equity a focus of our work is vital to fulfilling our mission.

Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, and we mourn the murder of George Floyd alongside his family and our community. We join those who call for justice for Mr. Floyd and for reforms that will help prevent tragedies like these from happening again.

We acknowledge and condemn the unjust treatment of countless others, including those whose names we may never know. We acknowledge the ongoing incidents and trauma our black community members experience every day.

We’re proud of the way the citizens of Winston-Salem have peacefully expressed their outrage at the death of George Floyd and that members of the WSPD and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department have supported and participated in the lawful expression of frustration and anger. Change can only happen if we work together and this week has proven that Winston-Salem has the potential to be a model for transformation.

George Floyd’s death cannot be in vain. It must be used as a rallying cry for systematic change and, in our work, as an indicator that we need to prioritize a continued focus on equity in all aspects and move with more urgency.
At United Way of Forsyth County, a strong part of our core values is equity. We seek to support a community that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. One where citizens, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected.

Catrina Thompson, Chief of Police – United Way of Forsyth County Board Chair
Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO, United Way of Forsyth County

City Panel Awards 23 COVID-19 Response Fund Grants

Twenty-three local agencies and other non-profit groups were selected to receive grants from the city’s portion of the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County.

The largest single grant, of $100,000, went to the Forsyth Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals for hungry children & teens. Grants of $75,000 each were approved for Love Out Loud, the School Health Alliance for Forsyth County and Trellis Supportive Care.

Grants of $50,000 were awarded to Christ Rescue Temple Church, S.G. Atkins Community Development Corp., Care Net Counseling, Nueva Vida and the Exchange Club for the Prevention of Child Abuse of North Carolina. Grants of lesser amounts were approved for 14 other organizations.

The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee reviewed 42 grant applications Friday to determine how to disburse the $1 million the city contributed to the response fund. The fund has raised more than $3.6 million, including the city’s contribution, to make one-time grants to local organizations that assist those economically impacted by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund is being administered by the United Way and the Winston-Salem Foundation. The city set up a separate process for awarding grants from its $1 million to ensure transparency and citizen input on how the city money is allocated.

A video of Friday’s meeting at which the grant requests were determined is posted under the COVID19 Response Fund link at CityofWS.org/COVID19.

More information about the fund is posted at COVID19Forsyth.org, including answers to frequently asked questions about the fund, its priorities and the grant-making process. A list of grants funded to date through the response fund is posted at www.wsfoundation.org/covid-19-grantees.

The following is the complete list of organizations approved by the city to receive grants, and how they will use the money:

  • Forsyth Backpack Program – $100,000 to purchase pre-packaged “backpacks” containing four shelf-stable, kid-friendly weekend meals to all children coming to select schools for grab-n-go meals provided by the WS/FCS system.
  • Love Out Loud – $75,000 to provide 10,000-12,000 “gap” meals to families and homebound adults, contracting with local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks; to support the efforts of Project Mask WS.
  • School Health Alliance for Forsyth County – $75,000 to continue to operate Comprehensive School-Based Health Center sites, including Ashley Academy and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy; to expand alliance services to children served by Imprints Cares’ child-care programs for children of essential personnel.
  • Trellis Supportive Care – $75,000 to provide personal protective equipment to patient care staff in order to continue to provide hospice and palliative care to patients, including those without health insurance.
  • Christ Rescue Temple Church – $50,000 to expand its “People Helping People” feeding program to serve seniors, homeless families, healthcare workers, daycare workers, and people of color from low socio-economic communities.
  • S.G. Atkins Community Development Corp. – $50,000 to operate the Enterprise Center’s shared-use kitchen to prepare and distribute 600 free meals per week to the community from May through August 2020, with labor provided by hospitality/food industry workers who have lost their incomes and businesses due to COVID-19.
  • Exchange Club Center For The Prevention Of Child Abuse of North Carolina, Inc. – $50,000 to offer financial assistance to families receiving support through the Welcome Baby and Parent Aide programs and to increase the organization’s capacity to assess families’ needs.
  • CareNet Counseling – $50,000 to provide increased financial assistance for mental health counseling for the uninsured and under-insured.
  • Nueva Vida/New Life – $50,000 to provide daily meals to underprivileged neighborhoods such as Skyline Village and Aster Park and to provide assistance with paying for prescription medicines, rent, and utilities.
  • St. Peter’s We Care House – $49,700 to meet the increased demand for food assistance and to the close the gap in increased requests for basic personal items such as toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
  • Grace Presbyterian Church, USA – $45,320 to expand the capacity of the Healthy Eating and JRAMS programs to provide food assistance and youth engagement in the LaDeara Crest and Carver High School community.
  • Siembra NC – $41,550 to provide financial assistance to immigrant families ineligible for COVID-19 relief funds, to translate information about services and COVID-19 issues, and to fund additional broadcast campaigns through the organization’s Spanish-language text alert broadcast system.
  • Diaper Bank of North Carolina – $40,000 to purchase hygiene products to be distributed specifically to families in Forsyth County via the organization’s community partnerships.
  • Great Commission Community Church – $40,000 to provide meals to the homeless at the Bethesda Center, weekday meals to the community, and groceries to feed families during the weekend.
  • St. Paul United Methodist Church – $35,000 to increase the church’s capacity to assist with food delivery, to provide handwashing stations at their food pantry, to purchase materials for and distribute masks, and to increase grief care outreach.
  • Mental Health Association of Forsyth County – $35,000 to provide mental health support services through support groups, short-term counseling, information and referral follow-ups, and community education and outreach.
  • Hope Connection International Inc. – $30,000 to provide increased financial assistance to victims of domestic violence, including rent assistance, utilities, transportation, and career and personal needs.
  • Sinai Community Development Corp. – $30,000 to expand the organization’s free meal distribution program for the East Winston community to provide special service hours for seniors, delivery to disabled/homebound residents provided through referral agencies, and prepared meals and delivery to healthcare professionals.
  • Solus Christus – $20,000 to meet the anticipated increasing needs of women experiencing homelessness, trauma, and addiction to include emotional, spiritual, and physical needs.
  • Journee Bees Village – $20,000 to provide emergency assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, transportation, food, and cleaning and hygiene products for individuals experiencing a loss of household income due to COVID-19.
  • Hope To Thrive – $15,000 to address toxic stress exacerbated by COVID-19 by providing the immediate needs of food, shelter, and sanitation needs of seniors, undocumented immigrants, and African American and low income neighborhoods mainly in East and South Winston from May through August 2020.
  • Iglesia luz de jesucristo INC – $13,430 to continue to offer clothing, food, counseling, and financial support for the Hispanic community.
  • Acción Hispana – $10,000 to increase the dissemination of information about assistance to the Hispanic community.

 

https://www.cityofws.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=310

Press Release: Continuum of Care, Forsyth County Government and the City of Winston Salem Announce Initiatives to Assist Those Experiencing Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

PRESS RELEASE

April 24, 2020- For Immediate Release: Continuum of Care, Forsyth County Government and the City of Winston Salem Announce Initiatives to Assist Those Experiencing Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Those experiencing homelessness are at greater risk during this time and the number of people becoming homeless due to job loss, illness, etc. is estimated to exponentially grow. Given close quarters, compromised immune systems, and an aging population, people experiencing homelessness are exceptionally vulnerable to communicable diseases, not excluding the current outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19.*

The Continuum of Care (CoC) currently estimates about 100 people have health conditions listed by the CDC as putting them at significant risk of serious complication/mortality if they contract COVID19.

Forsyth County Government opened an isolation shelter last week providing a safe space for people who need to be isolated/quarantined because of COVID-19. It has provided relief to the existing shelters who were struggling to provide safe harbors following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

Members of the Continuum of Care and Representatives from the City of Winston-Salem have been finalizing plans to open a temporary shelter specifically for the medically fragile.  This shelter will not only offer an opportunity for people at heightened risk because of pre-existing conditions to shelter-in-place in a space that can afford them protection from exposure to COVID-19, but will also provide engagement opportunities, and supportive services focused on helping people transition back towards permanent housing.

This shelter will also be hotel-based and it will have on-site peer support and staff working to help with transition planning to permanent housing. Bethesda Center for the Homeless will take the lead with City with Dwellings providing support to the guests; and will provide Client Management services. Food is being provided by Samaritan Ministries.

Andrea Kurtz, Senior Director Housing Strategies, notes that, “We are very excited that the medically fragile shelter location has been identified with a plan to begin the client intake process on Monday April 27, 2020. The partnerships that have come together to create both shelters in such a short period of time are amazing, and reflect the compassion, expertise and investment our community is able to put forth to ensure all our residents are safe and cared for.”

 

The CoC is continuing outreach work with people who are campers or otherwise unsheltered. Outreach teams are offering portable hand washing stations to camp sites, and that information about social distancing and the shelter in place order is shared. CoC members are also encouraging campers to shelter in place. In addition, CoC members have met with law enforcement to encourage them not to ticket people for camping during this pandemic.

                                                                                 ###

*source: https://nlchp.org/coronavirus/

Mask Distribution Begins in Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (APRIL 22, 2020)— A day after announcing the new Mask the City initiative to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in this area, a vast network of community and faith-based organizations are beginning to distribute masks. The Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity and Love Out Loud are spearheading this effort.

The purpose of Mask the City is to provide everyone in Winston-Salem access to a mask and urge them to wear it as well as to continue social distancing for 40 days from April 22 through May 31. The masks will be widely dispersed throughout the community under the program. William M. Satterwhite, III, JD, MD, Chief Wellness Officer at Wake Forest Baptist Health, and his team designed the mask in conjunction with Renfro Corporation. Renfro is manufacturing the masks, which are called the Nightingale™ WS Protective Mask.

Approximately 60,000 masks have already been received from Renfro to date and, beginning today, have started to be distributed to community organizations. A number of businesses, foundations, other organizations and private donors paid for the 60,000 masks. Masks will be made available for disbursement at no cost to low-income individuals and other at-risk residents through a variety of community organizations and faith-based organizations. These entities are receiving masks this week and, in many cases, will begin distribution this week or early next.

Per the parameters established by The Winston-Salem Foundation through the Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund these masks are dedicated specifically for 1) people living in Winston-Salem at or below the poverty line or 2) seniors without jobs living independently in Winston-Salem on fixed incomes. In many cases the listed organization may have “members”—but their respective distribution of masks are going to the specific audience previously listed and not their general membership.

“Mask the City is encouraging residents of Winston-Salem needing access to a mask at no cost to reach out to a community organization they have a relationship with or that serves their need—be that a church, a local agency, or a neighborhood organization,” said Chuck Spong, executive director of Love Out Loud. “We have been working closely with Elder Tembila Covington with the Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity to get these masks to those in need and at risk as quickly as possible.”

The following is an initial list of partner organizations receiving masks for distribution to low-income and at-risk residents (this list will likely grow in the days ahead):

  • Alianza Cristiana y Misionera
  • Bethesda Center for the Homeless
  • Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church
  • Boston-Thurmond Network
  • Brownsboro Community Partnership
  • Catholic Charities
  • Centers for Exceptional Children
  • Central Terrace United Methodist Church – New Story
  • Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina
  • Christ Church Winston-Salem
  • City Lights Ministry
  • Crosby Scholars
  • Destiny Temple, Inc.
  • Dress for Success – Winston-Salem
  • Experiment in Self-Reliance, Inc.
  • Family Services Forsyth County
  • The Fellowship Home
  • Financial Pathways of the Piedmont
  • First Alliance Church
  • First Baptist Church on Fifth
  • Fulton Family YMCA
  • Greater Galilee Baptist Church
  • Greater Tabernacle Worship Center
  • greeNest
  • Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras
  • Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County
  • Insight Human Services
  • El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services
  • LEAD Girls of NC
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • Mission on the Move Outreach
  • Moore Elementary Food Pantry; Highland Presbyterian Church & Temple Emanuel
  • Mount Calvary Holy Church
  • Parkway United Church of Christ
  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • Royal Curtain Drama Guild Productions Inc
  • The Salvation Army
  • Samaritan Ministries
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
  • The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem
  • Shiloh Baptist Church
  • Springwell Network, Inc.
  • The Parenting PATH
  • TURN
  • Union Baptist Church
  • Whole Man Ministries
  • Winston Lake Family YMCA
  • Winston-Salem First
  • Winston-Salem Street School
  • YMCA of Northwest North Carolina
  • YWCA

Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund

The Winston-Salem Foundation has set up the Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund that will be used to provide grants to qualified organizations (those otherwise meeting the Foundation’s guidelines and requirements) to purchase and distribute masks to residents of Winston-Salem and employees working at facilities in Winston-Salem. The primary focus will be on organizations assisting and reaching those with current incomes below the federal poverty guidelines, and a secondary focus will be healthcare workers.

Those who would like to contribute to the Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund should go to wsfoundation.org/maskthecity on the Winston-Salem Foundation website to pay using a credit card. People may also send a check, made payable to The Winston-Salem Foundation with Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund noted in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to The Winston-Salem Foundation, 751 West 4th Street, Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Each donor will receive a gift receipt/acknowledgement from the Foundation. Those who would like to request a grant from the fund should send an email to Lou.Doherty@teallcapital.com. The email should contain details about the organization, the requested number of masks, and who will be the intended recipients of masks.

Additional information about the Mask the City initiative can be found at maskthecity.com and on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @maskthecity. Nightingale WS Protective Mask product information is available at nightingalesafe.com.

# # #

Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Partners with FamilyWize to Offer Support for Residents to Access Delivery of Prescriptions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United Way of Forsyth County Partners with FamilyWize to Offer Support for Residents to Access Delivery of Prescriptions

(Winston Salem, NC) – April 21, 2020 United Way of Forsyth County is committed to connecting residents to prescription savings resources during the coronavirus pandemic through its partnership with FamilyWize, an organization focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Through United Way’s partnership with FamilyWize, residents have saved $6,000,000 in prescription medication savings, helping over 60,759 people since FamilyWize began. 

Community residents can call FamilyWize for free customer support to help them coordinate prescription medication delivery from participating pharmacies. Residents will also continue to receive savings on medications by using the free FamilyWize prescription program card.

“It is essential for our residents to take prescribed medications as directed by their physicians, especially during times when the healthcare system is stressed,” said Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO of United Way of Forsyth County. “FamilyWize is ensuring that people have the help they need to access pharmacy delivery services as well as more affordable medications during this critical time.”

The free FamilyWize prescription savings card immediately lowers the cost of prescription medications by an average of 45 percent and can be used whether or not you have insurance. For nearly 15 years, FamilyWize has partnered with United Way communities helping people reduce the cost of their prescription medications. The FamilyWize card can be used at most major retail pharmacies. Registration is not required for the FamilyWize card and there is no eligibility criteria to use it.

“During these times of uncertainty, so many are struggling with the high costs of prescriptions and need help now,” said Vilmarie Gilliam, vice president of partnerships at FamilyWize. “Our support team is here to help people not only access affordable medications, but work with their pharmacies to help deliver prescriptions to their doors.”

Here are 3 steps for how people can call to help coordinate at home delivery of prescription medications:

  1. Call the FamilyWize toll free number at 800-222-2818
  2. A FamilyWize team member will work with you and your local participating pharmacy to arrange and schedule delivery to your home
  3. Ask your pharmacist to apply your FamilyWize card number to receive a discount on your prescription To learn more about the savings FamilyWize offers, please visit FamilyWize.org or simply download the free FamilyWize mobile app. For other types of help and additional resources, please call your local 211 or visit 211.org.

###

 

Op Ed: Cindy Gordineer and Scott Wierman: It’s time to help our neighbors

United Way of Forsyth County President and CEO Cindy Gordineer and Winston Salem Foundation President Scott Wierman share their view.

The world is facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the long-term global financial and health implications are vast. As this outbreak has steadily moved in our direction, you may wonder how some of our neighbors are faring locally. Read more here: https://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/cindy-gordineer-and-scott-wierman-its-time-to-help-our-neighbors/article_68102984-90ba-5d74-839e-cbb8594e801c.html

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Tips for Parents During COVID-19

What can families do to stay healthy and help prevent child abuse and neglect? Click below for strategies from Prevent Child Abuse America to help ALL families better cope during these uncertain times associated with COVID-19.

Tips for Parents during COVID-19 FINAL