Originally published on newscenter.td.com.
2019 TD Ready Challenge Winners Awarded Funding to Increase Equitable Health Outcomes
TD today announced the recipients of the second annual TD Ready Challenge, totaling over $3 million. Each organization will each receive a $750,000* grant for programs aimed at improving access to early detection of disease and disease intervention. This year’s TD Ready Challenge will fund the pioneering work of the following U.S.-based organizations:
- Fund for Public Health in NYC
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- Baystate Health Foundation/Baystate Health
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Combined, the 2019 TD Ready Challenge awarded $7.5 million to 10 healthcare organizations across Canada and the U.S.
Acting as a catalyst for social innovation, TD established the TD Ready Challenge in 2018 to identify and support scalable solutions to a specific issue identified within The Ready Commitment. This year’s competition sought groundbreaking programs rooted in clinical health solutions that focus on preventative efforts, such as screening, early detection and intervention innovations, with the aim of reducing the onset, development and severity of chronic disease and illness in traditionally underserved communities.
“While advances in healthcare enable many to lead healthier lives, the unfortunate reality is that not all communities have equal access to quality healthcare,” said Greg Braca, CEO, TD Bank. “We believe that when people feel better about their health, they feel better about their future, which is why we’re focused on supporting research, solutions and technologies that make healthcare more accessible for everyone. The Ready Challenge is an incredible opportunity for the bank to help improve the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities.”
From over 378 submissions from organizations across the U.S. and Canada, TD selected 15 semi-finalists who presented their solutions on November 5 in Toronto, Ontario. The 10 winners, six Canadian and four U.S. organizations, were then chosen by a panel of TD executives. A complete listing of all TD Ready Challenge winners can be found at: https://www.td.com/ca/en/about-td/ready-commitment/funding/the-ready-challenge/
The four U.S. winners aim to address problems ranging from sexual health services to childhood trauma.
Fund for Public Health in NYC
The Fund for Public Health in NYC, on behalf of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will receive funding to expand the successful Quickie Lab (currently only available at one site) to the Fort Greene Sexual Health Clinic (SHC) in Brooklyn. SHCs provide low-to-no cost sexual health services regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. The Quickie Lab provides rapid chlamydia and gonorrhea testing to asymptomatic patients without seeing a clinical provider. Results are available in hours instead of days, empowering patients to receive treatment as soon as possible. Rapid diagnosis and treatment of asymptomatic infections helps reduce disease transmission and prevent long-term health consequences. The Fort Greene SHC was identified as the next Quickie Lab site based on patient volume and burden of disease.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York
There are over 600,000 cancer deaths yearly in the U.S. Underrepresented minorities have a higher incidence of cancer and a lower survival rate. Cancer organoids are a breakthrough technology platform developed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists that reproduce a patient’s tumor and recapitulate tumor sensitivities to chemotherapy and other drugs. The funding will help start up a dedicated organoid facility at CSHL that will leverage this technology to advance the development of high-throughput, affordable organoid-based clinical tests. These capabilities will help underserved populations by ensuring widespread access to advanced cancer testing to directly improve outcomes of all cancer patients.
Baystate Health Foundation/Baystate Health, Massachusetts
For low-to-moderate income and at-risk populations, barriers to receiving life-saving health screenings, early detection and referrals include lack of transportation, financial constraints, and work and family commitments. Baystate Health Foundation will use its grant to launch the TD Bank-Baystate Health Bus – a mobile preventive health clinic. Additionally, this initiative will be used to develop a unique interdisciplinary education plan to train our next generation of healthcare professionals to bring care directly to the community where they live and congregate instead of having the community come to them for care.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Philadelphia
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Growing Resilience in Teens (GRIT) project employs an innovative approach which aims to proactively address trauma for high-risk adolescents and prevent mental illness. The GRIT project will use the grant money to improve the health of vulnerable children and families through clinic-based screening for exposure to violence and trauma, referring families to community-based organizations and assigning community health workers to strengthen and build family engagement. Ultimately, this initiative aims to demonstrate efficacy of the model and document best practices to lead to further expansion to other U.S. cities with high incidences of traumatic events.
“The 2018 TD Ready Challenge winners have already had an amazing impact on their communities, showing us that this funding can truly make a difference,” said Shelley Sylva, U.S. Head of Social Impact, TD. “We are confident that the four 2019 TD Ready Challenge winners in the U.S. will measurably improve the quality of healthcare access, research and preventive care for those traditionally underserved in our communities.”
TD Ready Challenge is part of The Ready Commitment, a multi-year, North American Corporate Citizenship platform, which among other initiatives targets CDN $1 billion (USD $750 million*) in total funding by 2030 to creating more inclusive and sustainable communities. Additional details about The Ready Commitment can be found at www.td.com/TheReady Commitment.