La Casa Hogar

FILE — Maria Perez, left, makes a bottle for her 3-month-old grandchild during her advanced English class Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at La Casa Hogar in Yakima, Wash.

Two Yakima County-based nonprofits have received grants to help reach community members disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

La Casa Hogar in Yakima and Nuestra Casa in Sunnyside received a $10,000 check from Community Health Plan of Washington, the state’s not-for-profit Medicaid and Medicare managed care plan.

Community Health Plan of Washington recently announced $230,000 of awards to 23 local organizations working toward advancing health equity within their communities.

Both of the Yakima County nonprofits work toward empowering immigrant and Spanish-speaking families in the Valley through education and other resources.

Caty Padilla, executive director of Nuestra Casa, said her staff has continued providing services through the pandemic, on “a very different scope that we are used to.”

The pandemic has helped the nonprofit strengthen relationships with students and also other partner organizations. But it’s also taken a toll on her staff, who has been listening to families and searching for resources tirelessly for the past five months, Padilla said.

“Being in constant giving and reacting mode can and has in many moments taken a toll on our small team,” Padilla said. “This funding will help us take care of those who have been helping our small community move toward defeating COVID.”

Leanne Berge, CEO of Community Health Plan of Washington and Community Health Network of Washington, said the pandemic has caused her organization to re-evaluate its investments in community-based healthcare and social supports for people of color.

An agency press release noted that twice as many Black people and three times as many Latino people have died or been hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to white people.

“More and more, it has become evident that when it comes to the pandemic and healthcare broadly, we are all in the same storm but we are not in the same boat,” Berge said. “ That’s why we are deepening our partnerships with organizations across the state that are extraordinarily committed to increasing access to robust, community-based healthcare and social supports for people of color.”

Editorial Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Community Health Plan of Washington is a not-for-profit Medicaid and Medicare managed care plan.

Reach Lex Talamo at ltalamo@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @LexTalamo.