Updated: Aug 22
SGR has provided grant writing support to health centers since 2018, and we have developed a reputation of being someone you can “bounce ideas off of.” We love participating in these preliminary discussions. It helps us understand the day-to-day challenges of providing health services and organizational priorities as we search for the perfect grant match. In this article we will discuss one of these questions.
In this “ask and answer,” we got a question from a health center that wanted to find funding for Hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat a person with extensive wounds. According to the Mayo Clinic, 'hyperbaric oxygen therapies involve breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized envrionment". It can be used to treat serious wounds, wounds that won't heal because of conditions like radiation therapy and diabetes. Many insurance companies will pay a portion of the expense.
In our case study, the insurance request was approved. They would pay for some of the treatment. But the patient would still have significant out-of-pocket costs from their deductible. The healthcare center wondered if a grant could offset the out-of-pocket expense.
We classify Hyperbaric treatments as “unconventional” healthcare treatment, which means there is evidence to support its efficacy, but fewer people need this service, and thus fewer providers. Both lead to high costs.
Lowering healthcare costs for patients IS essential to many health services Grantmakers. But Grantmakers generally tend to give to projects, not individuals or “one-off cases.”
Grantmakers also want to leverage their funding with other sources for a more significant impact. In other words, they usually prefer measurable projects that help many people. Grants also take 3 to 9 months to be awarded- far too long for this person to wait for help.
Therefore pursuing a grant may not be worthwhile. Money from individual donors and fundraising, which are usually unrestricted, would be a better fit.
If, on the other hand, your organization wants to study the benefits of Hyperbaric treatments or you have many people you are helping with Hyperbaric therapies, there may be a research grant (NIH) or a corporate, family, or celebrity foundation interested in supporting your work.
Sometimes we can answer, “Yes! We can find a grant for that”. But other times, we feel a grant is not the easiest path forward.
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