$25,000 Grant will Help Organizations Plan Health Programs

A grant presented by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will support local organizations that aim to improve the health and welfare of Coachella Valley residents. Berger Foundation board members Christopher McGuire and Catharine Reed presented the $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant to Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC), which provides research and evaluation to improve health, wellness, and quality of life in the Coachella Valley and beyond.

HARC, a Palm Desert nonprofit organization, formed in 2006 to address the pressing and ongoing gaps in access to regional health information. Every three years, HARC conducts a Coachella Valley Community Health Survey. The data is tabulated and provided to the community at no charge.

“We are dedicated to providing objective, reliable research, analysis and technical services to communities in order to facilitate better decision making regarding health and quality of life,” said Jenna LeComte-Hinely, PhD., CEO of HARC.

The Coachella Valley Spotlight grant is helping cover the cost of collecting and analyzing the data and disseminating it to the community in easy-to-understand ways. One way HARC plans to share the survey information with the community is by holding workshops to provide hands-on training to organizations about how to use HARC’s online database, which contains the survey results, and how to interpret the data. The first workshop is being planned for Fall 2017.

“Often important work done by HARC goes unnoticed because they are behind the scenes, but the work, and in this case, the data, is instrumental to so many Coachella Valley organizations as they plan their programming needs,” said Catharine Reed, Program Director of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

The Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership is adding to HARC’s outreach of survey information as CBS Local 2 is providing the benefit of media exposure about the organization and what it does. HARC will be featured on CBS Local 2’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on the cbslocal2.com website throughout August.

“The more people and organizations that come to know about HARC and its available research, the more these agencies can design and adapt their programs to meet the needs of the community,” said Mike Stutz, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2.

To find out about HARC visit www.HARCdata.org or call 760-404-1945. For more information about the Coachella Valley Spotlight grant or to apply to receive one in 2018, go to cbslocal2.com, and click on the Coachella Valley Spotlight logo on the home page.