Awards Promote Health Care, Health Education, Community Outreach, and Access to Respiratory Care for San Pedro and Wilmington

SAN PEDRO, CA – March 6, 2014 – The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved nine “Healthy Harbor Grants” totaling $550,000 that will help promote health care, health education, community outreach, and access to respiratory care in the harbor communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. The grants were funded from the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund, administered through the Port of Los Angeles’ partnership with San Pedro based Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF), an independent non-profit organization created to mitigate the environmental impacts of port operations.

“The Port is committed to supporting our local communities’ well-being through a variety of channels, including the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation,” said Ambassador Vilma Martinez, who serves as President of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “This program provides an opportunity for health interests, care providers, schools and other community organizations to apply for grants for projects and programs that improve the overall quality of life for Harbor Community residents of all ages.”

"HCBF's Healthy Harbor Grant funds connect San Pedro and Wilmington residents to a wide array of health and wellness resources," said Mary Silverstein, Executive Director of HCBF. "Our local programs foster new partnerships and collaboration between the community and the Port, promoting economic growth and improving community health." 

HCBF was created in 2011 as a result of the settlement known as the “TraPac Memorandum of Understanding” in which the Port agreed to establish the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund to support collaborative efforts to grow and green the port, and to alleviate the effects of environmental and public health impacts of its business operations on the community. The trust fund is administered by HCBF.

“The Port of Los Angeles is proud of its partnership with HCBF,” said Harbor Commission Vice President David Arian. “They have done an excellent job engaging the community and should be applauded for their efforts.”

Previously, the Harbor Commission approved $1,306,000 in grant funding administered by HCBF, to serve the harbor communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Community Benefit Grants were awarded in December 2013 totaling $506,000, aiding 19 diverse organizations whose program priorities included beautification, education and training, safety, employment, and community initiatives. In 2012 and 2013 $800,000 was awarded in the first two rounds of Healthy Harbor grants. Successful projects included the opening of a handicap accessible respiratory clinic in the Wilmington Health Center, a dedicated asthma clinic in the San Pedro Harbor Community Clinic, asthma education and outreach, exercise programs, and the establishment of annual community health fairs in both Wilmington and San Pedro.

The third round of Healthy Harbor Grants awards $550,000 to nine community organizations serving the San Pedro and Wilmington communities:

· $125,000 – St. Mary Medical Center serves the healthcare needs of Long Beach and surrounding communities. Grant funding will bring St. Mary’s high-tech mobile care clinic and specialized staff including a Respiratory Therapist, Nurse Practitioners, and Social Workers into Wilmington for a minimum of six hours of clinic operation, one day per week for 50 weeks, at no cost to low-income patients.

· $90,000 – The Children’s Clinic serves the harbor area community with comprehensive, high quality health care services. Funded in HCBF’s prior rounds, grant funding will continue support for the Bridge to Health program in San Pedro and Wilmington, which provides diagnosis and treatment for children, the elderly, and pregnant women suffering from respiratory illness due to Port-related pollution.

· $80,000 – Breathe California of Los Angeles County promotes clean air and healthy lungs through research, education, and technology. Partnering with San Pedro YMCA, grant funding will establish a support network for San Pedro and Wilmington residents suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); equip residents with resources to diagnose, manage, and reduce asthma related symptoms; and, link them to medical homes, including Harbor Community Clinic in San Pedro, to increase preventative care.

· $70,000 – Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma (LBACA) improves the lives of children with asthma in the most affected areas surrounding the port communities. Grant funding will continue support for the Community Health Worker (CHW) program in Wilmington and San Pedro, providing free in-home intervention for low-income families with children suffering from asthma, educates and provides free non-toxic cleaning supplies, and asthma/COPD/air pollution education.

· $67,000 – LA BioMed (Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center) is one of the country’s leading non-profit biomedical research institutes. Grant funding will expand an established 8-week summer fellowship program, adding 20 high school students from Wilmington and San Pedro; students will investigate the effects of port-related impacts on respiratory health in the Harbor community; includes a stipend for each student.

· $46,000 – Robert F. Kennedy Training Institute provides training and education to enhance operational knowledge and skills of individuals and organizations. Grant funding will provide a Community Health Worker (CHW) to disseminate education, enrollment services, and resources to San Pedro and Wilmington residents suffering from respiratory illnesses as a result of port pollution.

· $38,000 – Harbor Community Clinic (HCC) provides no cost to low cost medical care to San Pedro patients who often have no other medical care access. Grant funding will register HCC as a Certified Enrollment Entity to help harbor area residents suffering from respiratory illnesses enroll in health plans under the California Health Benefit Exchange (CHBE), increasing access to affordable healthcare services; includes employment and training of a full-time Certified Enrollment Counselor.

· $22,000 – Tzu Chi Medical Foundation serves communities in need by providing preventative education, and medical and humanistic aid. Grant funding for Tzu Chi’s Healthy Living Program helps San Pedro and Wilmington residents manage and take control of their respiratory conditions and related symptoms through health education, group and guided exercise program, health resources, and supplies.

· $12,000 – Rainbow Services seeks to end the cycle of family violence. Grant funding will provide respiratory health education and access to respiratory related services for a vulnerable population in San Pedro.

In addition to the awards from HCBF, the nine grantees successfully secured about $900,000 in matching grant funds from other sources to substantially benefit their respective programs. Through a highly competitive grant program, projects are evaluated by the HCBF, publicly approved by their board, and then reviewed by the Harbor Commission before funding is released from the trust fund. Healthy Harbor Grants benefit health services providers, local clinics, community-based organizations, non-profit groups, and institutions of higher learning to finance asthma treatment, medical supplies, diagnostic screening and monitoring, and education and community outreach.

The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation’s mission is to carry out public benefit projects that assess, protect, and improve public health, quality of life, and the natural environment of the local communities. The formation of HCBF demonstrates a historic collaboration between the Port of Los Angeles and the organized efforts of 17 environmental and community groups.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.