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We are honored to support the work of all of our grantees, and in this quarter's newsletter I want to highlight one item in particular in our Grantee Spotlight section: the American Hospital Association recently recognized the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence with a 2016 Circle of Life Award.
In December 2014, Cambia Health Foundation announced the largest grant in our seven-year history: $10 million to University of Washington Medicine for its Palliative Care Center of Excellence. This investment was intended to secure the future of the Center, which was renamed the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, and to advance innovation in palliative care, both regionally and nationally. Thanks to the outstanding leadership of Drs. Randy Curtis and Tony Back, the Center is doing just that.
Earlier this year, UW Medicine became the first full system in the country to receive Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. Then in July, the Center’s work was honored and amplified with the receipt of one of the industry’s most prestigious palliative care achievements, the Circle of Life Award.
The fact that the Center was formed just over three years ago—and earned this distinction on its first try—speaks volumes about the vision, dedication and expertise of its team. On behalf of the entire team at the Cambia Health Foundation, we applaud the Center's work and congratulate its staff on their recent achievements.
Cambia Health Foundation strives to make impactful investments through thoughtful grant making, the power of partnerships and solid, valued relationships. We measure the success of our work through the return on humanity. We’re so very proud that the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence is delivering that return to the patients and families it serves each day. A return that continues to pay dividends to the community and to the field of palliative care. You’ll find a photo from the Circle of Life Awards in Grantee Spotlight, along with other photos of colleagues who are partnering with us to keep driving progress forward in our focus areas of palliative care, children’s health, and transforming health care.
Investment News announces our most recent investments, while Investment Impact reveals promising initial results of our unique partnership with an Oregon school district to provide early diagnosis and treatment of children’s mental health issues.
Thank you for your support in our journey to advance the quality, awareness and understanding of palliative care; advance children’s mental and behavioral health; and transform health care to be more person-focused, equitable and economically sustainable.  

-Peggy Maguire
President and Board Chair, Cambia Health Foundation

May and June were busy months for the Cambia Health Foundation Board, which approved new investments totaling $2,425,209:
  • $1.8 million to support the 2016 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program
  • $257,538 to further support the work of the Center to Advance Palliative Care
  • $367,671 to advance children's mental health, through new programs in Oregon, Washington and Idaho

What does mental health have to do with school? For many students, it means the difference between success and failure. Consider these facts*:
  • More than 50 percent of lifetime mental health disorders begin before the age of 14.
  • In a classroom of 30 students, three or more are likely to be struggling with a mental disorder, which impacts their ability to concentrate and learn.
  • Children in elementary schools with mental health problems are more likely to do poorly at school, be absent, suspended or expelled.
  • These factors are magnified by the time students reach the upper grades; up to 44 percent of youth with mental health problems fail or drop out of high school.
  • Just 13 percent of minority youth receive needed mental health services compared to 31 percent of their white counterparts.

Schools struggle to meet these needs, and there are few models for early, on-site mental health intervention. That’s why in 2013 Cambia Health Foundation awarded a grant of nearly $250,000 to Oregon’s Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD), to integrate school-based mental health programs.
TTSD serves more than 12,300 students in the suburban Portland-metro area, serving grades K-12: two high schools, one alternative school, one online school, three middle schools and ten elementary schools.
TTSD had established a mental health care coordination program through a federal Safe Schools grant, and data showed it was making an impact. Unfortunately, funding ended at the same time the recession began, and school districts had to drastically cut budgets.
“There was a real danger of the program ending, so Cambia Health Foundation’s grant could not have come at a more critical time,” said Susan Salkield, TTSD’s Special Projects Director.  The new grant provided funding over three years, from 2013–2016.
The cornerstone of the project is mental health care coordination. A team of care coordinators work with school administrators, counselors and teachers to identify students who may be showing signs of mental health disorders. They meet with students and their families to assess their needs, then link them with mental health and other needed services. The care coordinators work with the families until they are successfully connected.

Cambia Health Foundation’s grant also supported mental health services at a new school-based health center at Tualatin High School, providing on-site primary care and mental health services.  This is the second school-based center in the district, in addition to the original located at Tigard High School.
One goal of the project was to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in access to mental-health services. Of the 357 students referred to the program in 2014–2015, 51 percent were students of color, exceeding representation in the district as a whole (40 percent).
The project is helping students to succeed. TTSD followed 145 Latino students, who began receiving care coordination services between fall 2011 and 2013, with these results:
  • Days absent reduced 33%
  • Average office disciplinary referrals reduced by 49%
  • Average suspensions reduced by 47%
  • Percentage of students passing all core classes increased 60%
“The grant has been incredibly important to our district and to our students,” said Salkield.  “Before this program, school staff were struggling to help students with unaddressed mental health needs.  Through the support of Cambia Health Foundation, we have been able to develop an integrated system to support students throughout all of our schools. It has positively impacted student’s attendance, school performance and ability to graduate.  We could not be more grateful.”
Angela Hult, executive director, Cambia Health Foundation, believes that addressing young people’s mental health issues in a coordinated way means benefits far into the future, noting, “One of the many positive elements of this approach is the transition of care as students advance from elementary to middle to high school – providing a continuum of care is vital to their treatment.”
*Sources: Adverse Child Experiences (ACE) Study, American Academy of Pediatricians, National Center for Children in Poverty.  

In July 2016 the impact of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence was recognized with one of the industry’s most prestigious palliative care achievements: The American Hospital Association Circle of Life Award. 

Randy Curtis, MD, MPH, director, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence (CPCCE), University of Washington; Cindy Hecker, chief health systems officer, UW Medicine; Jimmy Hoard, program operations specialist, CPCCE; Elyse Salend, program officer, Cambia Health Foundation 

 In June, Foundation Executive Director Angela Hult announced a $194,000 grant to Children’s Center, Vancouver, Wash., to support school-based mental health treatment. Hult made the announcement during a Children’s Center fundraising luncheon, where former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy gave the keynote. 

Lisa Schauer, Children’s Center’s board president; Pat Beckett, Children’s Center’s executive director; and Angela Hult, Cambia Health Foundation. 

Lynn Reinke (left), Ph.D., ARNP, a member of the 2014 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program cohort, has been accepted to the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, and named a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. From the 2015 cohort, Zara Cooper (middle), M.D., MSc, has received The Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging; and Thomas LeBlanc (right), M.D., M.A., received a Mentored Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society, which will support an expansion of his research for the next four years.

In July, Comunidades Unidas (CU) staff was honored at the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office of Diversity Affairs for its impact on health and civic engagement in the underserved Latino community. In March, Cambia Health Foundation awarded a grant to support CU’s launch of the Community to Clinic to Care Program, which connects patient care with prevention and education services to improve health indicators in the Latino community. The program is the first of its kind in Utah and one of the newest comprehensive health service delivery programs in the United States. 

The newly appointed, national executive director of OpenNotes traveled from Boston to Portland, Ore. to learn how the NW OpenNotes Consortium succeeded in making doctor visit notes available to more than a million patients in the Portland metro area – more than in any other region in the United States. 
Homer Chin, MD, MS, OpenNotes Informatics; Catherine M. DesRoches, DrPH, OpenNotes as Executive Director; Amy Fellows, MPH, Northwest OpenNotes Facilitator; John Santa, MD, MPH, OpenNotes Director of Dissemination; Joann G. Elmore, MD, MPH, OpenNotes Research Director   

Based in Portland, Oregon, Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. Cambia Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grant-making organization that strategically invests and partners with organizations regionally and nationally to advance palliative care quality, access and understanding; improve the mental and behavioral health of underserved children; and transform health care to a more person-focused, equitable and economically sustainable system. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter.