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Collaborating at Work

Transformations & Innovations Grants

Through this initiative, we seek to invest in community-based collaboratives reimagining and transforming local emergency and prehospital care.


Given the critical role of the emergency and prehospital care system to protect public health and safety, and provide healthcare in our homes and communities, with the Transformations & Innovations Grants Program, we want to catalyze new and better ways for Californians to engage, receive, and experience emergency response and care. This includes rethinking how and where people receive emergency and prehospital care, as well as ensuring care is delivered by first responders and other healthcare providers who reflect and respect the rich diversity of our communities.

We are specifically looking for collaboratives that:


  • prioritize the experiences, needs, and ideas of residents who identify as Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian, or another racialized group - as well as communities that have historically been under-resourced;

  • include diverse community representatives/agencies; 

  • include one or more agencies responsible for local emergency response; and

  • have support from, or the potential involvement of a Local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA). 


Complete details about the Transformations & Innovations Grants Program is available to download in a printer-friendly format.


Grant Details

FUNDING AMOUNT: Awards will range in size from $100K-$150K for one-year grants, or $300K-$1M for multi-year grants. These are flexible funds for use by the collaborative as needed. 

APPLICANTS: Collaboratives can be in any stage of development, from the early introduction of potential partners, to fully functioning, multi-disciplinary groups. Applications that include (or demonstrate strong potential to include) involvement from the following will be prioritized:


  • local emergency response agencies;

  • community organizations or representatives;

  • Local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA); and/or

  • hospital/trauma centers.

SCOPE OF WORK: The scope of work proposed can be narrow and deep - focusing on specific components of the emergency and prehospital care system, or broad and wide across the landscape - as long as a collaborative is committed to engaging local community members, improving racial equity within the system, and considers local data. The following are examples (not requirements) of activities a collaborative could pursue: 

  • assess the current system and highlight any racial disparities or biases

  • create a shared vision, engaging a range of stakeholders to reflect on current realities and consider what communities want, need, the barriers, and opportunities

  • share processes, progress, and outcomes with key regional and state agencies to support the integration, spread, and sustainability of innovations achieved 

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: Progress report meetings with CARESTAR will be held approximately every six months, and larger gatherings with other grantees will occur 1-2x per year. 

Complete details about the Transformations & Innovations Grants Program are available for download here.

Eligibility & Review Criteria

To apply for a Transformations & Innovations grant, the lead applicant/organization must be a California-based non-profit organization or public entity, with at least one collaborative member physically located in the geographic area where the project will occur. The strongest applicants will include the involvement of a LEMSA. 

Overall, applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Problem identification

  • Project and vision of success

  • Population served

  • ​Community involvement

  • Use of data

  • Potential for systems change

  • Strength and diversity of the lead agency/applicant

  • Strength and diversity of the collaborative


Complete details about the Transformations & Innovations Grants Program are available for download here.


Application Process & Deadlines


Letter of Interest

  • LOIs are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

  • LOIs must be submitted online by registering the lead organization and responding to a short set of questions.

  • We cannot accept LOIs sent via email.

  • LOIs will be reviewed within 2-3 weeks of submission.


Full Application

  • LOIs that meet the program's criteria and align with its goals will be invited to submit a full application.

  • The full application can be submitted whenever the lead organization and collaborative are ready.

  • Full applications will be reviewed within 4-6 weeks of submission.


Online or In-person

  • Applicants that advance to this final stage will be invited to meet with CARESTAR (online or in-person). Invitations for interviews will go out within 2-3 weeks of submitting the full application. 

  • Supplemental information or materials may be requested at this time.


Notification of Grant

  • Applicants will be notified about their award status within 2-3 weeks of the interview. 

  • Final grant details including amount and timing will be outlined in an award letter and a grant agreement.

Recent Awardees

Loma Linda University Health Department of Emergency Medicine is working as a collaborative with Riverside County Emergency Management Systems Agency (REMSA), and Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency (ICEMA) (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) to create a comprehensive, community-centered program to provide emergent and sustained opioid treatment and service to individuals at risk for overdose in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.​ Learn more.

National Indian Justice Center is an Indian-owned and operated non-profit corporation designing and delivering legal education, research, and technical assistance programs to improve the quality of life for Native communities and the administration of justice in Indian country. The grant brings together a network of key partners from tribal health organizations, local emergency services, tribal youth programs, and the Santa Rosa Junior College to share experiences, discuss challenges, and build trust toward improved local emergency and prehospital care. Learn more.

Nuestra Comunidad is a local organization dedicated to building more resilient communities through community-focused disaster preparedness, 911 awareness, health and wellness, mental health, and youth leadership. The grant supports Project Lifeline, an initiative focused on creating systemic change in the Sonoma County 911 system to better serve all community members including immigrants, low-income residents, and people of color. Learn more.


Please contact us at with any questions.

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