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In response to communities experiencing increasing health disparities due to COVID-19 related challenges, Clinical Scholars provided $298,000 in rapid response grants for 22 projects nationwide. The national leadership program for health care providers led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation pivoted program funds which helped nearly 10,000 people plus animals in this unprecedented time of need.

The grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 and were awarded in early 2021 to fund projects to help communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to structural inequities. Projects ranged from helping children and adults experiencing new or worsening mental health challenges to homelessness with many focusing on Black, Indigenous, immigrant, or Asian American populations. The Heat and Eat Meals project served 1,900 meals to Wake County homeless individuals through a collaboration between community partners including a local restaurant and farm, a social worker, an urgent care physician, and UNC-CH clinical counselor Thava Mahadevan.

“This project allowed us to better understand gaps in care,” said Thava Madahaven, MS, LCAS, Clinical Scholars Fellow and clinical instructor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry and director of operations for the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. “We were able to mobilize and make a big impact in a short time with limited funds. By building relationships with homeless community members, like Joey, through sharing meals, we are able to first help with his basic needs in order to treat his psychological needs, including treatment for his schizophrenia.”… the full article here.