The Foundation announced its awardees from the Fallon/OrNda Community Health Fund for 2021 and 2022. The fund advances projects which increase access to healthcare or health promotion by increasing outreach, removing barriers to care, and promoting long-term care coordination. In anticipation of this year’s grant cycle, the Foundation engaged with diverse community stakeholders to identify the most pronounced care needs and access challenges in our region. These include language and cultural barriers, waitlist mitigation, technological barriers, and transportation. “The ongoing events of the past two years have shined a spotlight on many of the systemic inequities that challenge the residents and communities of Worcester and Central Massachusetts - particularly those who are most vulnerable,” said Jim Ayres, GWCF President and CEO. 'This is nowhere clearer than in regard to access to equitable healthcare; and this is why the Foundation will continue to work with local partners to develop lasting strategies that strengthen healthcare access, and by doing so, improve long-term health outcomes for the community at large. ” The organizations receiving funds are: Abby’s House for Advocacy & Supportive Services Program, which provide essential wrap-around supports and coaching for women residents and clients. Boys & Girls Club of Worcester for its CARE Program, a targeted youth outreach program delivered to the organization's most vulnerable youth. Center for Health Impact for its Training Interpreters program, to enhance racial and linguistic equity for immigrants and refugees seeking healthcare. Central Massachusetts Emergency Medical Systems Corporation in an effort to eliminate the language barrier in EMS response by implementing the use of visual translation tools. Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center for opening up access to oral healthcare for Burncoat Jr. and Sr. high school students. Ellie Fund which provides essential support services for breast cancer patients to ease the stresses of everyday life, allowing the focus to be on family, recovery and healing. Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc . for its Healthcare for Homeless Families program, offering services to homeless families in need of crisis intervention and stabilization. Girls, Inc. of Worcester for fostering healthy lifestyles through a variety of programs aimed at improving the health of Worcester's most vulnerable girls. Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc . for its Diversified Provider Pipeline Project, by removing barriers and offering opportunities, to enable families to achieve economic stability. Pathways for Change for its Medical Accompaniment program, providing urgent counseling assistance for sexual assault victims seeking medical treatment at surrounding hospitals . Pernet Family Health Services, Inc . for its Maternal and Infant Health- Nursing Program, which provides in-home coaching and support visits disadvantaged and socially isolated pregnant women and young. Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts for its Sexual Health Ambassadors Program, aimed at improving health outcomes by increasing access to sexual and reproductive health information for Latino/a/x and Hispanic youth in Worcester. Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services, Inc . for its School-Based Services, partnering with schools to provide wraparound services to students and their families in need of additional behavioral health support. Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts for its Healthcare Access Program, an initiative to connect Southeast Asian immigrants to the health services they need without any barriers. St. Anne’s Free Medical Program to insure the presence of culturally-appropriate interpreter at the free clinic. The CASA Project for its Shining the Light program, an effort to eliminate systemic barriers to mental health services for children in foster care. UMass Memorial Health Care for its Bridge to Stabilization program, working with youth and their families to improve and transform the lives of young people struggling with psychiatric conditions. Worcester Youth Center for the expansion of health and wellness programming with a focus on diet, exercise, and community health education.