Funds Will Be Used to Reduce Asthma and Promote Health Education through San Pedro and Wilmington Community Based Programs

SAN PEDRO, Ca. — June 12, 2013 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved $450,000 in grants to support six San Pedro and Wilmington community health programs that will use the funds to reduce asthma, treat patients and educate residents about respiratory health. The grants were funded from the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund, administered through the Port of Los Angeles’ partnership with the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF), a non-profit organization created to mitigate the environmental impacts of port operations.

“These funds will be used to support a healthier community, improve our environment and give our children a brighter future,” said Mary Silverstein, executive director of HCBF. “The dedication of trust funds for our Grant Programs represents a fusion between environmental responsibility to the community and green growth at the Port.”

“The Port is committed to reducing pollution impacts and improving public health,” said Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski. “The collaboration with the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation has already been a success and we’re pleased this latest funding will assist these worthy organizations.”

HCBF was created in 2011 as a result of the settlement known as the “Tra-Pac  Memorandum of Understanding” in which the Port agreed to establish a trust fund to alleviate the effects of environmental and public health impacts of its business operations on the community. Last year, the Harbor Commission approved $350,000 in funding for four HCBF grantees in the first round of health care grants. Projects included the opening of a respiratory clinic in the Wilmington Health Center, asthma education classes, exercise programs and a well-attended Wilmington Health Fair that will be held annually hereafter.

This second round of health care grants, approved last week, includes $450,000 to six organizations serving San Pedro and Wilmington:

Tzu Chi Foundation, $17,500
The Children’s Clinic, $101,000
Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, $96,500
Wilmington Health Center, $75,000
Harbor Community Clinic, $75,000
Boys & Girls Club of L.A. Harbor, $85,000

In addition, the six grantees successfully secured nearly $1 million in matching grant funds from other sources for their respective projects. Projects are selected by the HCBF, approved by their Board, and then reviewed by the Los Angeles Harbor Commission before funding is released from the trust fund.  Funds go to health service providers, local clinics, community-based organizations, non-profit groups and institutions for higher learning to help pay for asthma treatment, medical supplies, diagnostic screening and monitoring, and education and outreach to reduce health impacts of air pollution.

HCBF’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.