Dear colleagues and friends,
As we approach the New Year, everyone at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust offers our deepest thanks to our North Carolina community. Your collective efforts to expand access to health care and provide essential, life-saving services during the Covid-19 crisis have energized us to keep working for change in 2021 and beyond.
This is a critical moment to come together.
At the Trust, our work to respond to the Covid-19 crisis will not let up until everyone has access to the health and human services needed to thrive during this challenging time and beyond.
Our immediate, flexible Covid-19 response funding to date totals more than $5.2 million. In partnership with our community and other foundations, we’re investing in the people and groups on the ground working to address disparities by race and place and responding to basic needs, such as food, housing, and childcare. We are also supporting public health departments in Forsyth County and rural areas around the state to ensure they have the tools necessary to communicate about the pandemic, conduct testing and contact tracing, and prepare for vaccine distribution.
Systemic changes are needed more than ever.
These times of Covid-19 and racial unrest have brought long-standing, systemic issues to the surface. Black Americans are twice as likely to be uninsured as white Americans, and Latinx populations are three times as likely to be uninsured. People of color are also more likely to be hospitalized or die from Covid-19. These are not only historic issues of racism, they are present-day inequities we must work together to solve.
That’s why our commitment to racial equity continues throughout all of our programs. And why we’re working to change systems in order for everyone to have equitable access to quality health care, education, and economic opportunity—during this crisis and long after.
We invest in communities working for change.
In 2020, we invested nearly $23 million to support our grantees and partners doing innovative, promising work.
In Forsyth County, we invested more than $5 million in our Local Impact program—including nearly $3 million for the Great Expectations early childhood initiative. Our partners are working to change our educational system and improve educational and health outcomes for all young children and their families through programs like The Pre-K Priority. Together, we’re working for an inclusive economy, where everyone earns a living wage and those most impacted by lack of economic opportunity have a voice in designing solutions moving forward.
Across the state, we invested nearly $18 million in our Health Improvement program through efforts like helping the Affordable Care Act succeed and closing the coverage gap. Additionally, we’re working to decrease health disparities by ensuring residents are at the table as the state moves toward a value-based care model that encourages health care providers to treat the whole person. Our Health Improvement investments include nearly $6.5 million in our Healthy Places initiative to advance rural health equity. We focused heavily on grassroots, community organizations led by leaders of color, working together to form solutions and meet residents’ needs.
Now is the time for hope and action.
I’m hopeful for 2021 and what we can do together to address the root causes of racial inequity and change the systems to improve the health, education, and quality of life for all the residents of our great state of North Carolina. The road may not be easy, and it may not be short. But if not now, when?
Wishing you and your family a joyous and safe holiday,
Dr. Laura Gerald, President, MD, MPH
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust