Through special one-time grants, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare has been able support organizations that address the social determinants of health, which are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. Studies have shown that while clinical care interventions are essential, a broad range of social, economic, and environmental factors shape individuals’ opportunities and barriers to receiving care and engaging in healthy behaviors.
One grant recipient, the Lighthouse Foundation of Wake County (LFWC), serves low-income, adult residents who are navigating a significant chronic or mental health crisis. LFWC’s mission is to promote the overall wellness of underserved people by assisting with such things as housing, basic daily needs, transportation, healthcare appointments and the like.
Recipients of LFWC’s assistance include Garfield, a 59-year-old man living with Stage 3 colon cancer. Despite his fragile health condition, Garfield continues to work a full time job to make ends meet. However, his primary medical diagnosis was not the issue that brought him to the Lighthouse Foundation of Wake County.
“I needed glasses real bad and could not see real good,” Garfield said. ”This stopped me from driving and getting to work or my appointments. I don’t make much and can’t afford glasses. Lighthouse helped me get an exam and new glasses right away so now I can see and drive again. They were very quick in helping me get an appointment and I am happy my social worker reached out to them for me”.
Another person served by LFWC is Ella, 42, who suffers from brittle diabetes and hypertension. The conditions have created hardships that have had major implications in her daily life and overall wellness. Like Garfield, Ella has received temporary relief and compassionate support from LFWC as she works toward medical stability.
“The Lighthouse Foundation has helped me immensely by covering my doctor appointments at the Open Door Clinic while I am out of work,” Ella said. “I am actively looking for a job, but my diabetes has been out of control and requires me to go back for frequent follow-up appointments to avoid going to the ER. Covering my co-pays helps me see my doctor and get my diabetes back on track.”
The Alliance grant funds support LFWC’s Closing the Gap for the Underserved and Food & Fuel Assistance programs. The Closing the Gap program helps cover co-pays for doctor visits and necessary prescription medications and/or medical supplies for chronically and mentally ill clients. The Food & Fuel Assistance provides LFCW clients with additional food supplements and fuel for transportation to and from medical appointments.
“I am both touched and grateful of this wonderful designation of funds to help out our Food & Fuel and Closing the Gap programs,” said Lighthouse Executive Director Regina Heroux. “It is a pleasure to work with outstanding agencies like Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, who are so committed to the care of those who are sick and less fortunate. Our work is a reflection of great partnerships (which we value and appreciate) that collectively makes an impact in our community.”
“In reflection of the Alliance Complete Care model, Community Relations is thrilled to have an opportunity to support the wonderful work of partners throughout our catchment area that embrace the Social Determinants of Health,” said James Osborn, Alliance’s Director of Community Outreach and Engagement. “The Lighthouse Foundation of Wake County, along with all SDOH funding recipients, inspire us by addressing issues of food security, housing, transportation, and healthcare funding assistance that directly impact and benefit a person’s overall health and wellness.”