Miller Foundation | Health
15488
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Health Programs

Miller Foundation Health Programs

Focus in Health

The Miller Foundation seeks to support organizations and programs that break down barriers and promote access to health care for vulnerable children. Types of care could include medical care as well as vision, dental, and mental health.

 

Priority Focus Area: Access to Care

Background

A child’s ability to receive appropriate and quality health care is fundamental to their overall health status and development. Children who lack access to early prevention, who are unable to obtain regular primary care to address health concerns before they escalate into serious conditions, and who do not have access to specialized care when they face health challenges or deteriorating chronic conditions cannot grow up to reach their full potential. They will not thrive in educational attainment, they will face more severe adult health conditions and lower health outcomes, and they are likely to die earlier than children with access to quality health care.

True to the intentions of Earl and Loraine, the Miller Foundation believes that all children have the right to quality health care regardless of their socioeconomic status, where they live, or what languages they speak. Although over the years enrollment in public health care insurance coverage has grown, significant disparities exist in relation to the health status and outcomes of children. Their ability to access the care they need is handicapped by barriers such as language or cultural differences of a child’s family; limited hours, locations and availability of service providers; lack of awareness of available services; burdensome costs of co-pays, prescription drugs, or lost wages for parents; insurance systems that are difficult to navigate; and lack of transportation. Those most at-risk of negative health outcomes often face the greatest challenges to getting the care they need.

Examples of programs the Foundation supports include (but are not limited to):

  • Expanded hours, transportation, or local facilities that increase ability to access services
  • Community or school-based clinics
  • Promotion of a primary care “home” and early intervention rather than emergency room use when conditions reach a critical stage
  • Programs that educate families about how to access care for their child (e.g., available resources in the community, how to navigate the insurance system)
  • Programs that help connect children to care that is linguistically or culturally sensitive

Desired Outcomes

With its partners in the nonprofit and public sector in Long Beach, the Foundation hopes to help move the needle for children’s health in North, West Central, and Southwest Long Beach. Here are some of the indicators we hope to see as a result of our joint efforts:

  • Improvements in the health status of children in these neighborhoods
  • Reduced emergency room visits
  • More underserved children enrolled in insurance
  • Increased availability and use of primary care clinics and prevention services