The El Camino Healthcare District approved nearly $7.7 million in funding toward its community benefit program for the 2021 fiscal year, the district reported in a press release in August.
The grants will go to 57 recipients that include school districts, nonprofit organizations, safety-net clinics and community service agencies. Among those that received funds are the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District for mental health counseling. Other programs for local school districts also were included: Teen Health Van, GoNoodle and Mission Be.
“Youth mental health is a big interest,” said Barbara Avery, the healthcare district’s director of community benefit. “We’re extremely concerned about that.”
There were 120 applicants that submitted requests for funding, and the district sorted through their statements informing what they would do if they received grant money. According to Avery, applicants requested a total of $1.2 million more in funding that the district did not have the budget for.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the application process for receiving funds. While the due date for applications was in February, Avery said that after the outbreak hit Santa Clara County in March, the district reached back out to all of the applicants, asking each organization to detail what its program would look like in the COVID-19 world, and what its needs were given the pandemic.
“It was really impressive how they could revise the programs to make sure the people they were serving got what they needed,” Avery said.
County Supervisor Joe Simitian applauded a $750,000 grant for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics that would go toward behavioral health and dental services for North County residents. A county press release stated that the services would prioritize the uninsured and those in financial need.
“I appreciate the fact that El Camino understands and values the County’s contributions to the health and welfare of our residents,” Simitian said in a press release. “These funds come at a key time, when we’re battling a worldwide pandemic and the County, including its healthcare system, faces difficult budget decisions. The grant will make it possible to say ‘yes’ to important healthcare services which might otherwise have been at risk.”