SSM Health DePaul Hospital

SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis and IFM Community Medicine have been awarded a $5.3 million grant to create the Connection for Health and Healing Project.

The Bridgeton Landfill Community Project Fund furnished the grant held and administered by the St. Louis Community Foundation. Based at SSM Health DePaul Hospital – St. Louis, this new initiative will increase access to health care for approximately 70,000 residents living in a four-mile radius of the Bridgeton Landfill.

“This initiative is a foundational step toward expanding health access and equity for the community surrounding the Bridgeton Landfill, which is an important part of the DePaul Hospital service area,” Tina Garrison, president of SSM Health DePaul Hospital, said.

According to a statement, it was developed in response to the needs of Bridgeton-area residents, the project’s multi-pronged, community-forward focus on engagement, education, and community empowerment. 

The project will translate into increased access to care, improved health and wellness outcomes, and improved quality of life while advancing health care equity and inclusion for residents within the designated area. 

“This is another example of the emphasis SSM Health places on Community Health and our unwavering commitment to bringing health care to underserved populations across our region,” Garrison said.

The statement says the project will create 16 new “roving” community care clinics and a community resource center, place nurse practitioners at partner schools, food pantries, and shelters, and streamline health care access via telemedicine, multilingual outreach, and transportation support.

“Thanks to this joint venture, north St. Louis County residents most affected by the Bridgeton Landfill will have access to equitable and affordable health care,” said President and CEO of the St. Louis Community Foundation, Amelia Bond, said.

The project will also engage community health workers to help patients navigate health care resources like Medicaid and connect individuals and families with health care providers or services such as food and supply pantries.

“As this is our final — and largest — grant from the Bridgeton Fund, it is essential we provide a long-term approach to ensure physical, mental, and behavioral health and well-being for children and families in the area,” she said.

Additionally, the project will support local workforce development by prioritizing hiring untapped and underrepresented talent in the area.

Funded by a $12.5 million legal settlement between the State of Missouri, Republic Services, Allied Services, and Bridgeton Landfill, Inc., the Bridgeton Fund was established at the St. Louis Community Foundation in 2018. Its mission is to promote community betterment and well-being for those living within a four-mile radius of the landfill. 

To date, 55 nonprofits have received grants from the fund, according to the SSM Health Foundation. 

“We are so grateful for the confidence that the St. Louis Community Foundation has placed in us with the award of these grant funds,” President of SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis Paul Ross said. “Partnerships like the one with IFM, under the leadership of president and CEO Dr. David Campbell, illustrate the wide-ranging approach we take in furthering community health efforts across our regions.”

SSM Health and IFM anticipate the project will positively impact the lives of 4,000 community members in its first year of implementation, with numbers doubling in the following years as the benefits of ongoing engagement take root. 

“At SSM Health, we believe strongly in the healing power of presence,” President of SSM Health St. Louis & Academics Jeremy Fotheringham said. “We are committed to meeting patients where they are in the community. Thanks to this grant, we and our partners at IFM will be able to extend our presence to tens of thousands of area residents, providing greater access to care services for those who need it most.”

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.