Providence leads community groups in Building Strong Families in Wilmington with a Grant from First 5 LA

January 18, 2016

Wilmington—Utilizing an initial grant of $320,129 from First 5 LA, Providence Health & Services is expanding its outreach in Wilmington, recruiting and training community leaders to build strong neighborhoods where residents interact and gain access to resources to help families thrive. Providence anticipates receiving more than $1 million in grant funds over a two-year period to complete the project.

The Providence South Bay Community Health Department was named the lead agency for First 5 LA’s Building Stronger Families Wilmington initiative. The project is one of 14 across Los Angeles County that create partnerships with residents, nonprofit organizations and educational consultants to improve access to social services for families with children, prenatal to 5 years.

Providence will train 100 residents of Wilmington to become community leaders who will help reduce social isolation among parents with children 5 and under. These newly-trained leaders will create social functions, such as block parties, as a method to increase social connections among parents and link them with the support services that they need. The leaders also will provide support programs for families that address fitness, nutrition, mental health and other community concerns.

“Families are the heart of our society. Strong families mean strong neighborhoods and strong cities, states and finally a strong nation,” said Mary Kingston, chief executive of Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. “Our goal is to link neighbors, identify needs and find local resources to help improve the community.”

The two hospitals have been active in community improvement in Wilmington since 1994, when an analysis showed residents suffered from the worst health outcomes among the communities served by the two hospitals. Wilmington, which neighbors more affluent coastal communities, is a working class town and Providence and its community partners are committed to help neighbors connect to develop civic pride and engagement. From outdoor movie nights that draw hundreds, to baby showers to help new moms connect, Providence is committed to helping create a healthier community.

Earlier this year, Providence opened the Wellness and Activity Center, the heart of a new housing development for lower-income residents. The center offers a range of services to the community, including a diabetes self-management program, guidance in health insurance enrollment, summer camps for children, parent support groups, home visit services to families of newborns and physical activity programs for all ages.

Providence and its partners will continue to identify community needs and collaborate to create solutions.

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About Providence Health & Services:

Providence Health & Services, Southern California, is a Catholic not-for-profit, mission-driven healthcare system. Providence Southern California operates six award-winning hospitals and a comprehensive, fully-integrated network of primary care clinics, urgent care centers, home care, TrinityCare and TrinityKids Care hospice as well as Providence High School. Providence is anchored locally by Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Providence Tarzana Medical Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. With more than 3,400 physicians, Providence provides coordinated primary and specialty care through an array of physician groups and individual providers including Providence Medical Institute and physician groups in the South Bay, the West Valley and Santa Clarita. Providence affiliate, Facey Medical Group, provides primary and specialized care in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys. For more information, visit