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Two CCOs step up with $300,000 in grants

Two coordinated care organizations have announced donations of more than $300,000 to Rogue Valley programs promoting health and wellness.

Jackson Care Connect has awarded $197,000 to five organizations, while an advisory council with Allcare CCO has awarded $118,000 to ACCESS to be used in its food assistance program.

Community care organizations are networks of healthcare providers who work together to provide integrated care to people who receive health care coverage under the Oregon Health Plan. The CCOs were developed by the state of Oregon to help control OHP costs and provide more comprehensive coverage. Jackson Care Connect serves Jackson County, while Allcare serves Jackson, Josephine, Curry and portions of Douglas counties.

Grant funds from Jackson Care Connect ranged from $30,000 to $49,270 and were awarded to wellness programs serving Medford, Butte Falls, Phoenix-Talent and Jackson County as a whole. The programs are:

  • Rogue Valley Farm to School's “Digging Deeper” program, which provide Jackson County school children a chance to work in the organization’s gardens. It also will include classroom lessons about nutrition, science, math and the environment.
  • Butte Falls Community School Partnership's “Child and Youth Program,” which serves preschool through high school students and their families, to help students gain life and academic skills.
  • The Phoenix-Talent School District's “Healthy Connections” program, which provides intramural recreation at the district’s three elementary schools.
  • The Maslow Project, which provides support services to homeless young people, to hire a bilingual case manager for Latino youth and their families to access services and improve success in social and school activities.
  • LIFE Art, a nonprofit for youth at risk for suicide or those affected by trauma, for its mentoring program for at-risk youth.

Applications are being accepted now for an additional round of grants from Jackson Care Connect. Those grants also will go to nonprofit organizations proposing projects promoting wellness. The application deadline for the new grants is July 29, with awards announced by Sept. 15. More information can be found at www.jacksoncareconnect.org.

Allcare's donation of $118,000 to ACCESS Food Share program will provide residents in Jackson County with free fruits, vegetables and nutritious foods every month.

The contribution will help fund maintenance and equipment for the organization's mobile pantry truck, management of the ACCESS community gardens, a cooking and nutrition education component, as well as a full-time food system network coordinator position. The mobile food pantry is open the second Friday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon at La Clinica Wellness Center, 730 Biddle Road, Medford. The pantry is also open the fourth Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at Rogue Community Health, 19 Myrtle St., Medford.

The mobile food pantry is equipped with refrigerators, freezers and display racks.

An Allcare release noted the donation was specifically targeted to help improve people's health by providing fresh and nutritious foods. According to the Oregon Food Bank’s 2015 Hunger Factors Report, 48 percent of Oregon households that rely on food pantries as a source for food have one or more members living with high blood pressure. Twenty-seven percent of those households have one or more members living with diabetes.

In addition to offering fruits and vegetables, ACCESS is partnering with the Oregon State University Extension Service and Oregon’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to provide the food pantry with recipes and resources to help Oregonians shop for food at the truck. They are also offering nutrition counseling and informational resources on diet management onsite.