When news broke that the vaccinations for COVID-19 would become widely available, a collective sense of optimism was felt across the nation. The White House called on corporations to join the effort to fight the pandemic and get communities vaccinated. Uber answered the call, partnering with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), PayPal, and Walgreens to create the Vaccine Access Fund to help underserved communities get rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites. Over the course of the program, we helped over 80 community organizations to give more than 50,000 rides in communities across the United States through the Uber Health dashboard.
The work to close the healthcare access gap is only just beginning. The global pandemic has exposed just how deeply health inequality affects already vulnerable populations across the United States, particularly for communities of color. In response, LISC is now expanding the Vaccine Access Fund to become the Health Access Fund, broadening support to community organizations looking to improve access to essential healthcare services for underserved communities. The Fund will support a limited number of grants ranging in size from approximately $140,000 to $1,250,000.
Communities Combatting Barriers to Care
Lack of transportation is still one of the biggest barriers to care in the United States, and this new fund will enable local organizations across the country to address transportation to and from health care appointments and related services.
In particular, these grants will be targeted toward community-based organizations looking to improve access to healthcare services, as well as other activities that address key social determinants of health (SDOH), via rides with Uber Health. The awarded funding will also help support community organizations looking to improve access to healthcare in regions with limited rideshare options through interventions that may include delivery of healthcare services via mobile clinics, community healthcare hubs or home-visits.
With vulnerable populations often hit hardest by barriers to care like transportation, this fund will work to center communities often overlooked by the healthcare system – from 501(c)(3) non-profits focused on improving maternal health, to local departments of health aiming to reduce food insecurity among older adult populations, and beyond.
We look forward to seeing how these grants will be utilized by local organizations to improve access to care for their most at-risk community members.
How it works
Earlier this month, LISC issued a request for proposals to community-based partners. Applicants seeking resources for rides to health care or SDOH-related services are invited to review the request for proposals here and apply here.
LISC will select grantees, either 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions, or public entities such as local departments of health, based on selection criteria. If selected to receive a grant, the organization will be set up with an Uber Health account and will use the grant to pay for rides with Uber and report results.
Driving Your Community Forward
Every day Uber Health works to bridge gaps in care, enabling more people and organizations to access the transportation and critical deliveries they need. We remain committed to delivering on our mission to help more people access healthcare services without having to worry about how they’ll get there.
If you’re an organization that could benefit from the Health Access Fund, we encourage you to apply for funding here.