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Santa Barbara Foundation Invests $600,000 in Community Caregiving Initiative to Support Research and Innovation


The Santa Barbara Foundation awarded close to $600,000 in grants to advance research and innovation among partner organizations of the Community Caregiving Initiative (CCI). These organizations include the Atlas of Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Association – Central California Chapter, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Family Service Agency, Foundation for Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority (for the Santa Barbara County Coalition in Support of Promotores de Salud), Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization, and the Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation.

The Santa Barbara Foundation launched the Community Caregiving Initiative to address the challenge of providing care for our rapidly growing older population and the increasing need to support family caregivers as the backbone of the long-term care system. In Santa Barbara County, 70,000 unpaid caregivers provide care valued at $624 million annually. Demographic trends clearly indicate that the need for caregiving will grow significantly between now and 2031 as an average of 10,000 people each day reach age 65.

“We believe strongly that our community is positioned to address this challenge with our committed, countywide healthcare and senior care organizations, as well as our passionate community leaders,” said Phylene Wiggins, Senior Director of Community Investments at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “These partnerships are forming the foundation of the Community Caregiving Initiative to identify and implement solutions to support people who need care and those that care for them.”

Last February, the foundation partnered with three community-based organizations across the county to participate in a research project with the Atlas of Caregiving. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this pilot program launched a new tool called a CareMap and worked to determine its usefulness and impact for family caregivers. Joining Atlas of Caregiving funder AARP, the Santa Barbara Foundation provided the project an Accelerator Award of $250,000 in 2016 to conduct additional research in Santa Barbara County with current community partners (Marian Regional Medical Center, Family Service Agency, and Santa Barbara County Coalition in Support of Promotores de Salud). The research will include implementation of the care map as a broader community tool, development of a cohort of family caregivers with whom to conduct research, and the piloting of new tools as a result of the findings. Along with the current work underway, it is anticipated that the work of Atlas of Caregiving will make this region a hub for innovation in family caregiving and help elevate the Community Caregiving Initiative to a national level.

An additional six grants totaling $348,411 were awarded to partner organizations to achieve the collective goals of the Community Caregiving Initiative, including increasing individual caregivers’ knowledge, skills, capacity and self-identification and self-appreciation, and developing stronger networks to support those in the caregiving role:

The Alzheimer’s Association – Central California Chapter will continue their efforts in support of outreach and Alzheimer’s disease education to Spanish-speaking populations with a grant of $55,000.

With an investment of $40,000 the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital will continue to support a part-time caregiver navigator to serve caregivers of dementia patients and other diagnoses within the Cottage Health Systems.

The grant award of $70,000 to the Family Service Agency will sustain and deepen a collaboration with Antioch University and the Alzheimer’s Association to increase the number of trained mental health professionals serving caregivers and seniors.

The Foundation for the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority received funding last year to increase the capacity of the Santa Barbara County Coalition in Support of Promotores de Salud to serve the needs of Latino family caregivers of seniors and, with a grant of $40,000, will continue advancing caregiver self-awareness and knowledge of community resources in Latino communities throughout the county.

With an investment of $68,411, the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization (LVCHO) will measure the effectiveness of its public education and awareness campaign, Caring Together Lompoc, in reaching targeted populations. Additionally, LVCHO will work to increase direct services in mental health, develop a caregiver support network, pilot a respite program, and promote public awareness of the launch of a caregiver support center.

Lastly, the Marian Regional Medical Center was awarded $75,000 to integrate and expand new hospital support systems and social services for family caregivers of elderly residents including those with dementia.

More information about the Community Caregiving Initiative and grant opportunities is available here.
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South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101