RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) received 51 nominations for the city’s Health Equity Fund after a week but are asking people to put more grassroots projects and community programs up for consideration.
Richmond’s Health Equity Fund was established by the City Council last year with an initial investment of $5 million in federal coronavirus relief money to invest in community-led initiatives and programs that seek to address health disparities through 2024.
“It’s really exciting for us to see this process come to life and to see nominations roll in,” Hannah Quigley, food access specialist at RHHD, said in a statement Friday.
Nominees should be able to begin new projects or expand ongoing efforts “to better promote health equity and racial justice and address health disparities in Richmond,” RHHD said in a news release.
The City Council and Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration have defined the disparity areas of focus for the fund, which include: COVID-19, mental health, substance use and recovery, maternal-child health, food access and security, access to care and health education, and underlying conditions.
“We’ve tried to be intentional in creating a simple funding process that centers racial equity and community voices in every step of the process…we’ve seen some great projects get nominated and are continuing to invite community members to help us learn about all the good work happening in our communities,” Quigley added.
Nominees are contacted by RHHD for more information about the project they want funding for and then the health districts’ community advisory committee, made up of people with “relevant professional or personal experiences with health disparities,” review the projects.
Recipients and RHHD come together to establish work and funding plans. RHHD announced in early June that community organizations have already been granted $230,000 in initial investments from the fund.
Those interested in putting forward a nominee for Richmond’s Health Equity Fund can do so online through July 28.