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Health disparities refer to differences in care and outcomes between groups of people–and are closely linked with social, economic, and environmental factors. Within these broad areas, disparities happen across many dimensions, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, location, gender, disability status, and sexual orientation.
The Cigna Foundation further defines health disparities as those that are unfair or unjust, occur in the process of seeking health care and access to health care, and impact different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups to various degrees.
Despite steady improvement in overall health outcomes over the past decade, many under-resourced communities continue to experience substantial health disparities.
Grants will address one or more of the following areas:
Increased access to health care
Increased access to primary care
Increased health literacy, the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions and follow directions for treatment
To be considered, applicants must:
Address health inequities in the community by meeting at least one of the disparities identified by a local Community Needs Assessment (CNA or CHNA) that has been conducted within the past three years
Align your funding request with the Community Health Implementation Plan (CHIP or CHACHIP) that accompanies the local CNA. To find your community plan, click here
Request between $25,000-$125,000 per year (multi-year requests are accepted but terms will be limited to three years; grants will be reviewed annually to ensure goals are being met as outlined)
Be a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. See the Grant FAQs for more information
Proposals received by the deadline will be evaluated on all of the following criteria:
- Relevance to helping achieve shared goal(s) and objective(s) for the selected health inequity or inequities
- Ability to track racial and ethnic groups served, as well as gender, age group, and geography
- Regular evaluation and application of learnings for continuous improvement
- Explanation of the estimated budget
Successful submissions will:
Clearly articulate the field of work that will be undertaken
Demonstrate experience in working with and understanding health and well-being as relevant to vulnerable, disparate, and/or marginalized communities
Describe the project design and evaluation of the proposed work by recognizing and respecting the unique needs and challenges faced by individuals who identify as members of vulnerable, disparate, and/or marginalized communities
Articulate the connection between disparities and the social determinants of health (SDOH)
Additional preference and weight will be given to applications that address:
The specific SDOH that relate to the focus area(s) selected
Collaboration with other groups and entities evidenced by signed documentation (for example, a memorandum of understanding or letter of support) between parties
Organization’s culture of learning
Creating common language when advancing diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion