The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a Princeton, N.J.-based nonprofit organization formed to improve the health and health care of Americans, announced the grant winners during 14 press conferences held simultaneously in the communities.
The foundation is spending $300 million, including a $1.6 million grant to York, as part of a new initiative called "Aligning Forces for Quality." The goal of the initiative is to improve quality and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
The project is based in part on a study -- released by Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, which runs the Dartmouth Atlas Project -- that shows disparity in treatment by race and geography.
For example, black women are less likely to be screened for breast cancer. And in Pennsylvania, black people have a leg amputated because of diabetes or vascular disease three to one compared to white people.
Robin Rohrbaugh, executive director of the Healthy York County Coalition, said the grant will be used locally to create a Web site that patients can use to learn about their illness and how to better manage it. The money will also be used to provide patients with informational pamphlets, and to develop an advertising campaign for doctors and nurses, she said.
The communities had to compete for the grants, showing an ability to gather all of the stakeholders of health care, such as doctors, patients, nurses, and the businesses that provide insurance.
Grant organizers said the research done in the 14 communities could lay the groundwork for national healthcare reform.
In addition to York, the foundation provided grants to communities in Ohio, Michigan, California, Missouri, Maine, Tennessee, Minnesota, Oregon, New York and Wisconsin.
--Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436 or firstname.lastname@example.org.