News Flash

Public Health

Posted on: July 5, 2022

Maricopa County Public Health Awards Community Groups Nearly $6M to Address Health Disparities

hands giving money and health icon with text "$5.7M"

PHOENIX (July 5, 2022)—The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted many health disparities across the globe, and Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) is supporting organizations who can address disparities that are occurring right here in Maricopa County.

MCDPH was awarded a grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address health disparities that were created or worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. With those funds, MCDPH is allocating $5.7 million to community organizations who are already working with populations who are continuing to face inequities. These projects are also aligned with priorities determined through MCDPH’s most recent community health assessment, which identifies strengths and areas of need across Maricopa County.

“By funding existing work, we can put money directly into those communities that need it,” said Marcy Flanagan, executive director for MCDPH. “This adds momentum to organizations who already know their community and how to implement solutions with those who are most severely impacted.”

The 18 organizations who are becoming subcontractors with MCDPH under this grant went through a competitive bid process to show the need, their capability, and how their projects would address health disparities. Funds for projects range from $50,000 to $500,000, depending on the nature of the project, the size of the community served, and other factors as specified in the organizations’ proposals.

“One of the most common issues that will be addressed through these projects is mental health,” added Nina Lindsey, health disparities grant administrator at MCDPH. “We know that has been a major concern for people of all ages and backgrounds over the last few years, and these projects will help increase the availability of mental health resources to people across Maricopa County.”

Many of those projects will focus on specific audiences, such as children, adolescents, caregivers, and others. Other projects will address socioeconomic needs that impact health, such as access to healthy food, transportation, and education; the remainder will impact healthcare or healthcare support services related to COVID-19.

While these are one-time funds, the intent of these projects is to develop or enhance higher-level systems that will continue to positively impact the community for years to come. For more on the community health assessment and the priorities these projects align with, visit


Quick facts:

  • 18 subcontracts in total
  • Total of $5.7 million being awarded
    1. Lowest subcontract amount: $49,500
    2. Highest subcontract amount: $500,000
    3. Average subcontract amount: $316,323
  • Geographic distribution of projects*
    1. 8 countywide projects
    2. 4 projects in the northwest region
    3. 3 projects in the central region (Phoenix)
    4. 3 projects in the southeast region




Aliento Education Fund 

Mental and behavioral health
Decrease the mental health disparity gap for mixed-status immigrant youth and their families amid the stressors of the pandemic through the creation of a best practices guideline for public education use and increasing organizational capacity

The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Mental and behavioral health
Develop a new Emotional and Behavioral Health Priority Area, to enrich and expand the reach of our current health prevention efforts and provide much needed support to pediatricians and the families they serve

Asian Pacific Community in Action

Community data
Identify risks and emerging disparities of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders in Maricopa County by implementing a robust, field-tested community needs survey based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and disaggregating responses by subgroup

Banner Health Foundation 

Capacity building
Provide front line staff training to have more follow up with older, vulnerable populations after initial health visits thereby decreasing health disparity rates same related to lack of basic needs including food, prescription medications, and housing


Capacity building/Mental and behavioral health
 Purchase adaptive gym equipment and hire staff to expand partnerships to combat lack of physical activity and social connectedness of people with Parkinson’s, dementia, stroke survivors, and their caregivers, which was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona 

Community data 

Systemically change data collection on individual scholars participating in the program (mostly Black, Indigenous, people of color) and their families to increase knowledge of health impacts and provide early intervention with resources to students and families

Cihuapactli Collective

Food access/Mental and behavioral health

Develop the South Phoenix Wellness Center & Food Forest to address pandemic-related mental health issues and health disparities, particularly in marginalized communities, through services like the Ancestral Womb Wellness Gatherings, wellness workshop series, Collective Birth Fund, and Indigenous Food Care packages 

Community Alliance Consulting - Arizona Family Resource Network

Capacity building

Develop a social media strategy, develop a speakers bureau with professional development aimed at reducing health disparities, reducing staff burnout, and increasing engagement with partners who serve primarily low income and minoritized communities

Family Tree Healthcare

Community data

Create listening sessions with community members living in Neighborhood Zones to engage the people facing these health disparities so they can inform and have some ownership over public health plans 

Glendale Strong Family Network

Capacity building

Develop a social media strategy, develop a speakers bureau with professional development aimed at health disparities, and increased partner engagement to address requests from partner agencies for information on COVID-19 testing, vaccines and other health topics

Hushabye Nursery

Capacity building/Access to care

Purchase and implement a telehealth system and a marketing plan to engage with isolated individuals in the aftermath of COVID-19 to address triggers for substance use, particularly in pregnant women with co-occurring issues around depression and post-partum depression

notMYkid, Inc.

Mental and behavioral health

Provide social and emotional support for youth and young adults with a peer support app that would allow teens to access someone with similar lived experiences immediately when a mental health issue arises

Marinah V. Farrell, Phoenix Midwife

Community data

Conduct an Indigenous Needs Assessment around birth and a better plan to train members of the community in these issues to provide access to care for indigenous populations who have historically had low access to healthcare during labor and delivery, compounded by COVID-19 restrictions in hospitals and other healthcare facilities

Pinnacle Prevention

Community data/Food access

Put on community listening sessions with a focus on transportation as it relates to a root cause of food insecurity to reimagine new approaches in community engagement and inform new transit and land-use approaches 

Social Spin Foundation

Social support services

Implement a consortium designed to bring more healthcare providers into a laundromat that provides free laundry services, hot meals, meal kits, and connections to social service providers; and renovate bathroom and office space.

Unlimited Potential

Support services/Capacity building/Mental and behavioral health

Create and train community health workers in the community therapy model; develop a resource guide; work with local artists on social media and marketing campaign with culturally appropriate images and messaging to increase access to mental health care for vulnerable populations  

Valley of the Sun YMCA

Community Data/Mental and behavioral health

Convene a wellness task force to create baseline data around systemic issues impacting vulnerable populations in a post-COVID environment and identify systemic solutions to ensure those impacted most by COVID have access to community centers and facilities so that all individuals can heal both mentally and physically from the pandemic

Arizona YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix

Social support services

Convene partners and participants and engage stakeholders in policy, systems, environmental changes around access to healthcare and racism/discrimination to support vulnerable groups, including low-wage workers, the uninsured, people experiencing gender-based violence, the incarcerated, the homeless, and people working in industries with high degrees of interaction which put them at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or caring for a family member with COVID-19


*Please note, there were no awards for projects specific to the southwest or northeast regions of the county.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Public Health