Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW), Washington’s local not-for-profit Medicaid (Apple Health) and Medicare managed care plan, recently announced its donation of $230,000 to 23 local community-based organizations that directly serve communities of color and others disproportionally affected by COVID-19, including the Tukwila-based Somali Health Board.

The local non-profit received $10,000.

The funds were awarded at a virtual check presentation, during which CHPW CEO Leanne Berge, Caty Padilla, the executive director of Nuestra Casa, and Olympia Edwards, the founder and executive director of Project Girl Mentoring Program, spoke about the importance of working toward health equity as a collective effort.

Today, racism is acknowledged as a public health crisis in Washington State. This comes at a time when people of color are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Twice as many black people and three times as many Latino people have died or been hospitalized due to COVID-19 compared to white people. Given the stark realities that COVID has shed light on related to health equity, CHPW has reevaluated its community investment program.

“CHPW is­, and has always been, committed to building a health care system that is more equitable for all people in Washington State,” said Leanne Berge, CEO of Community Health Plan of Washington and Community Health Network of Washington. “More and more, it has become evident that when it comes to the pandemic and healthcare broadly, we are all in the same storm but we are not in the same boat. That’s why we are deepening our partnerships with organizations across the state that are extraordinarily committed to increasing access to robust, community-based healthcare and social supports for people of color.”

In order to address racial injustice in healthcare, all of the factors that prohibit equitable health for people of color need to be addressed. This includes addressing social determinants of health – social, environmental, physical, and emotional factors.

The following organizations each received a $10,000 check:

To watch the full check presentation and remarks, visit CHPW’s YouTube page.

About CHPW
Founded in 1992 by a network of community and migrant health centers (CHCs) in Washington State, Community Health Plan of Washington is a community-governed, not-for-profit health plan formed to help coordinate care and advocate for people who were not being served by traditional insurance companies. The mission of CHPW is to deliver accessible managed care services that meet the needs and improve the health of Washington communities and to make managed care participation beneficial for community-responsive providers. CHPW serves approximately 265,000 members through Medicaid (income-based program called Apple Health in WA) and Medicare (age and disability-based program) across the State. CHPW connects members to various physical, behavioral and social support services, and reinvests its profit back into the CHCs to help them deliver better care to all people. CHPW also seeks to identify and address health disparities and inequities, while coordinating services within a broader population health framework. Its parent, Community Health Network of Washington, serves nearly one million individuals across Washington through its CHC network sites. To learn more, visit or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.