Nearly $4.3M in grants awarded by Calif. EMS foundation in 2020

The CARESTAR Foundation grants supported organizations, projects and programs focused on improving emergency response across California


By Laura French

BERKELEY, Calif. — A California charitable organization focused on funding EMS programs awarded nearly $4.3 million in grants in 2020. 

The CARESTAR Foundation awarded 30 grants totaling $4,297,000 last year to "innovative organizations, projects, and programs working to improve emergency response across California," the foundation said in a press release

EMS responders in Contra Costa, Calif. are working to improve care for opioid use patients through a pilot program supported by the CARESTAR Foundation. The CARESTAR Foundation has awarded nearly $4.3 million in emergency response grants in 2020.
EMS responders in Contra Costa, Calif. are working to improve care for opioid use patients through a pilot program supported by the CARESTAR Foundation. The CARESTAR Foundation has awarded nearly $4.3 million in emergency response grants in 2020. (Photo/CARESTAR Foundation)

Grants awarded throughout 2020 went toward strengthening partnerships and building knowledge across the state's emergency response system, and toward organizations working to provide relief to communities in their fight against COVID-19, according to the foundation. 

"We have worked with so many inspiring organizations throughout the year that are dedicated to bringing positive change to the complex emergency response system in California," said CARESTAR Foundation CEO Tanir Ami, in a statement. "Many of our grantees are undertaking some of the most innovative and thoughtful approaches to delivering equitable, unified, and compassionate care to trauma and emergency patients. We're extremely proud to support their efforts."

The grants included $1.5 million to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority in support of statewide technology enhancements to enable the sharing of critical health information between field responders and emergency departments; nearly $1 million for hospital-based violence intervention programs including $330,000 to the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI); $450,000 to the CA Bridge Program at the Public Health Institute to treat and provide wraparound support to patients struggling with opioid addiction; $442,000 to Public Health Advocates for research on the current use of the 911 system, planning for a future multi-year program, and advocacy aimed at "reimagining first response"; and $180,000 to support state-wide community paramedicine pilot programs.

Additional gifts to meet emergency needs as the COVID-19 pandemic continued throughout the year included $12,500 to the California Paramedic Foundation for a public service announcement focused on pediatric drowning prevention; $50,000 to the United Way Bay Area to support regional 211 services; and $100,000 to the CDC Foundation to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies, staffing, and support to vulnerable communities.

A complete list of CARESTAR's 2020 grants can be found on the CARESTAR Foundation website.

The CARESTAR Foundation was founded in 2017 following the sale of air ambulance company California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) and aims to honor CALSTAR's legacy of lifesaving work in the field of emergency and trauma transport and care. The foundation advocates for improved health outcomes for Californians, racial equity in emergency response and improvements to the state's emergency response systems. 

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