The Willamette Health Council is pleased to announce the release of applications for our Community Benefit Initiative. Through the Community Benefit Initiative, the Willamette Health Council will award community grants for selected projects that meet the criteria outlined in this application. Community Benefit Initiatives are evidence-based, community level interventions that are focused on improving population health and healthcare quality. Community Benefit Initiative grant funding is intended for one-time pilot projects or innovative startups. The total funding amount available in 2021 is $820,000.00


The Willamette Health Council works in partnership with PacificSource Community Solutions Marion County and Polk County CCO, the local Coordinated Care Organization, to fund and support initiatives that are designed to improve the health and wellness of the Marion and Polk CCO region. In 2019, Marion and Polk counties, in collaboration with several health system and community-based partners, completed a Community Health Assessment (CHA) to determine priority areas in need of attention and improvement. The identified priority areas include Substance Use, Behavioral Health, and Housing. Later, in early 2021, the community came together again to identify aims and strategies to improve health outcomes related to the priority areas. These aims and strategies are outlined in the 2021-2025 Marion Polk Community Health Improvement Plan (CHP). One of the primary goals of the Community Benefit Initiative is to fund projects/initiatives that address the priority areas identified the CHP. The Community Benefit Initiative is also intended to fund projects that improve the social determinants of health and health equity of our community members.

2021 CBI awardees may be asked to create an Action Plan that details how their project will support CHP goals and strategies.

Find the 2019 CHA document here:
Marion Polk Community Health Assessment 2021

Find the 2021-2025 CHP document here:
Marion Polk Community Health Improvement Plan 2021-2025

The Willamette Health Council will use an objective, equity-based scoring tool to review applications to ensure alignment with the established criteria, as well as our organization’s mission, vision, and values. The scoring tool can be found in this application packet.


Minimum Requirements: Successful applications must reflect projects/initiatives that meet all of the following minimum requirements:

  • Improve population health and health care quality;
  • Produce health outcomes that are measurable and verifiable;
  • Include Marion County and Polk County CCO members, and where applicable, the broader
    community served by the CCO;
  • Be grounded in evidence and/or documented best-practice; and
  • Align with at least one of the three regional CHIP priority areas: Substance Use, Behavioral Health, and/or Housing

Additional requirements: In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, successful applications must reflect projects/initiatives that meet at least one of the following additional requirements:

  • Improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities;
  • Prevent avoidable hospital readmissions;
  • Improve patient safety, reduce medical errors and lower infection and mortality rates;
  • Increase focus on wellness and health promotion activities.
  • Enhance the use of health care data to improve quality, transparency, and outcomes, and support meaningful use of health information technology consistent with 45 CFR 158.151

For more details on these requirements, please see the OHA Health Related Services Brief.

2021-2022 Timeline

  • July 16, 2021: NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability): CBI application period begins. WHC goes live with application on Council website, sends announcement to community partners, and conducts targeted outreach to providers and community-based organizations.
  • August 27, 2021: CBI application period closes.
  • Week of August 30, 2021: WHC staff conducts initial completeness review of CBI applications.
  • Week of September 6: CBI applications sent to WHC Community Advisory Council for individual review and scoring before the September meeting.
  • September 23, 2021: WHC Community Advisory Council discusses application scores as a group and recommends finalists to the Board of Directors for final approval.
  • October 6, 2021: Review recommended awards with WHC Board of Directors for approval.
  • Week of October 11, 2021: Notice of awards to selected organizations. Request for Tax ID information and Letter of Agreement.
  • November 1 – November 22, 2021: CBI funds released by the Willamette Health Council and PacificSource Marion-Polk.
  • April 30, 2022: First progress report due for 2021 grantees.
  • August 31, 2022: Second progress report due for 2021 grantees.
  • December 31, 2022: Final report due for 2021 grantees.

Key Terms and Definitions

The following terms and definitions align with the Oregon Health Authority’s Oregon Administrative Rules:

“Health Disparities” are the structural health differences that adversely affect groups of people who systematically experience greater economic, social, or environmental obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion. Health disparities are the indicators used to track progress toward achieving health equity.

“Social Determinants of Health and Equity” (SDOH-E):

A) SDOH-E encompasses three terms:

1) The social determinants of health refer to the social, economic, and environmental conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and are shaped by the social determinants of equity. These conditions significantly impact length and quality of life and contribute to health inequities;

2) The social determinants of equity refer to systemic or structural factors that shape the distribution of the social determinants of health in communities;

3) Health-related social needs refer to an individual’s social and economic barriers to health, such as housing instability or food insecurity.

B) SDOH-E initiatives may involve interventions that occur outside a clinical setting, and may pursue mechanisms of change including:

1) Community-level interventions that directly address social determinants of health or social determinants of equity;

2) Interventions to address individual health-related social needs.

“SDOH-E Partner” is a single organization, local government, one or more of the Federally-recognized Oregon tribal governments, the Urban Indian Health Program, or a collaborative, that delivers SDOH-E related services or programs, or supports policy and systems change, or both within a CCO’s service area.

“Historically Marginalized Community”: Historically marginalized communities are groups who have been relegated to the lower or peripheral edge of society. Many groups were (and some continue to be) denied full participation in mainstream cultural, social, political, economic, and/or educational activities. Examples of marginalized communities include, but are not limited to, groups excluded due to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, language, and/or immigration status. More specific examples include people of color, women, LGBTQ+, low-income individuals, incarcerated people, people with disabilities, senior citizens, youth, people in foster care, and many more. Marginalization occurs due to unequal power relationships between social groups that are often systemic and deep-rooted.

For more background on the requirements for Community Benefit Initiatives, please see the section titled OHA Health-Related Services Brief in the Application Packet:

2021 Community Benefit Initiative Application Packet

2021 Willamette Health Council Community Benefit Initiative Grant Application