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Sentara and Optima make $5.5 million in grants

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A major Virginia health system and its health insurance arm are donating $5.5 million to four nonprofit organizations supporting community health clinics and food banks throughout the state.

The grants from Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare and Virginia Beach-based Optima Health will be used to support needs stemming from social determinants affecting the health and well-being of low-income Virginians.

Those determinants include access to care, behavioral health, opioid addiction and food insecurity.

The nonprofits receiving the grants include the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Virginia Health Care Foundation and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.

“The organizations we are supporting are focused on the most fundamental issues in population health,” Howard P. Kern, president and CEO of Sentara, said in a statement. “We hope our contributions help these organizations continue to bring meaningful solutions to Virginia communities.”

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