GE Foundation Grants $1.25 Million to Health Centers in Fairfield County

Developing Health Program Aims to Improve Local Access to Primary Care

FAIRFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The GE Foundation–the philanthropic organization of GE– and the GE Corporate Diversity Council today announced $1.25 million in grants to five Fairfield County community health centers with the goal of increasing access to primary care for uninsured and underserved populations across the county.

The donations expand the reach of GE Developing Health™, a 3-year, $50 million commitment that provides grant funding and GE employee engagement to selected healthcare centers across the United States.

“It’s particularly meaningful for us to expand Developing Health to Fairfield County – not only home to our corporate headquarters and GE Capital, but also thousands of GE employees," said Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer of GE. "Increasing access to primary care is vital to our community and Developing Health will help do this right here in our back yard. There’s a perception that Fairfield County doesn’t have as many underinsured or uninsured residents -- and that’s simply not the case.”

“The number of uninsured Connecticut residents rose at a rate of twice the national average from 2008 to 2009, with Fairfield County ranking equal to Harford and Litchfield counties with 10.8 percent of residents living without insurance,” said Bob Corcoran, president and chairman of the GE Foundation. “GE recognizes there is a critical need in the U.S. healthcare system and Developing Health seeks to fill the gap in access to quality care for underserved communities. Our partnership with these Fairfield health centers is a great example of the positive impact that can be made by combining funding with GE’s volunteer support.”

The five Fairfield County health centers are:

  • Community Health Center, Inc. – Norwalk
  • Community Health Center, Inc. - Danbury
  • Optimus Health Care, Inc. - Bridgeport
  • Optimus Health Care, Inc. – Stamford
  • Southwest Community Health Center, Inc. – Bridgeport

Each of the five health centers will receive $250,000 over two years. Fairfield County is the tenth location in the U.S. to receive grants through the Developing Health initiative.

In addition to the grants, Developing Health includes a 3-year volunteer commitment from area GE employees drawing specifically on their business management skills. Fairfield County is home to thousands of GE employees and skill-based volunteerism will further enhance the health center’s ability to serve their respective communities.

“Thanks to GE for this generous contribution, and I applaud the company’s employees for volunteering their own time to help ensure these health centers will continue to succeed,” said Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4). “Health care reform took important steps toward improving care for all Americans, but we must continue working together to improve access for everyone. Grants like these are key to that effort.”

Through Developing Health, GE employees work with the health centers to address specific needs, ranging from marketing communications to process improvements, and offer their business skills and expertise to drive improvements that benefit patients, workflows and outcomes. In the past GE volunteers have assisted with process mapping, regulatory and procedural compliance, financial expansion planning and budgeting as well as IT plans.

To accomplish this each health center is linked with one of GE’s Affinity Networks or employee groups, which include: the Asian Pacific American Forum, Women’s Network, Hispanic Forum, African American Forum, Veteran’s Network and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance to establish priorities and projects for the three years.

Developing Health is a partnership between GE’s Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Diversity Council teams and is modeled after Developing Health Globally™ (DHG). Launched in Africa in 2004, DHG now includes 14 countries across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia and uses GE core competencies like technology, expertise and employee engagement to provide sustainable “enterprise solutions” that address some of the critical gaps that exist in developing-world healthcare facilities.

For more information on Developing Health Globally, visit: http://www.ge.com/citizenship/performance_areas/communities_philanthropy_health.jsp.

For more information on Developing Health visit: http://www.ge.com/foundation/developing_health.jsp.

About Community Health Center, Inc.

Community Health Center, Inc. is a private, non-profit agency providing primary care and social services. Its quality health care services are available to all, and particularly to those who cannot gain access to such services elsewhere. The Community Health Center, Inc. takes leadership in promoting interagency cooperation. It is based on consumer control and is committed to ensuring human rights and respecting human dignity; as such, it strives to be a voice and vehicle for social change.

About Optimus Health Care, Inc.

Optimus Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Care Center, is the largest provider of primary health care services in Southwestern Connecticut. With a dozen JCAHO accredited, comprehensive community health centers located in Bridgeport, Stratford and Stamford, Optimus provides complete health care services, regardless of race, income and insurance status.

About Southwest Community Health Center, Inc.

Since 1976, Southwest Community Health Center has delivered comprehensive health care services to residents of Bridgeport, CT. Medical, dental and behavioral health services are delivered to low-income residents from 18 sites. Southwest is accredited by the joint commission and serves over 20,000 clients annually.

About the GE Foundation

The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2009, the entire GE family — including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation — contributed more than an estimated $220 million to community and educational programs, including more than $100 million from GE Foundation. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.

Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Healthymagination is a $6 billion commitment that was launched in May 2009.



CONTACT:

GE Corporate
Andrea Doane, 203-373-2851
[email protected]
or
Community Health Center, Inc.
Becky Giantonio, 860-347-6971, ext 3739
[email protected]
or
Optimus Health Care, Inc.
Eric Stein, 203-621-3850
[email protected]
or
Southwest Community Health Center, Inc.
Brooke Rosati, 203-332-3502
Executive Assistant
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Connecticut

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals  Mental Health  Other Health  Philanthropy  Medical Supplies  Foundation  Fund Raising  Managed Care

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