Achieving Today. Sustaining for the Future.
The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

2019 Message from the Chairman of the Board and the President


We are celebrating the Foundation’s 20 years of grantmaking to improve the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts. Its beginning is rooted in the 1996 sale of Central Massachusetts Health Care, a not-for-profit health insurance organization, to a for-profit health insurance company, netting $42 million. The IRS requires that the proceeds from such a transaction remain in a nonprofit that will continue to use the assets for a similar purpose.  These transactions have created what is known in the field of philanthropy as “health conversion foundations.”  Although this conversion followed hundreds of earlier ones, Massachusetts applied perhaps the longest due diligence process.  Fortunately, the sale proceeds had been invested during that due diligence period, and as a result, the value of the corpus had increased to $60 million when the Foundation officially began in 1999.  Since beginning our grantmaking, the Foundation has made grants to nearly 200 organizations totaling $42 million, which is the same amount received from the sale.  Even with this robust distribution, the Foundation’s assets are currently valued at $69 million.

We begin the Foundation’s third decade with the addition of the Senior Program Officer position, and we welcome Sonia Shah to the staff. We are also pleased to announce the opening of both the Activation Fund and Round 5 of the Synergy Initiative.  Staff look forward to meeting with interested applicants to explore their proposed fit with the funding guidelines.

In addition, we will continue our support for the Round 4 Synergy Initiative projects, and we invite you to learn more about these collaborative efforts and explore with us any interest you may have in partnering on these projects: ReImagine North of Main – enhancing economic and neighborhood development in downtown Fitchburg; Worcester HEARS – addressing adverse childhood experiences by creating environments which build students’ resiliency and academic achievement in the Worcester Public Schools; and the Worcester Regional Food Hub – strengthening the local food system, expanding access to locally grown healthy foods, and incubating local food entrepreneurs.

We also welcome Alex Corrales, Mike Grenon, and Carole Steen to the Board, and Community Members Tom Gregory, Julie Meehan, Chelsey Patriss, Jennifer Ward and Shelley Yarnie to Foundation Committees. We invite those who wish to join us in financially supporting the Foundation’s grantmaking by contributing to The Health Foundation Fund, the fundraising affiliate of the Foundation. 

We look forward to continuing to support community efforts to improve the region’s health.


    Francis M. Saba, M.H.S.A.                                         Janice B. Yost, Ed.D.

          Chairman                                                                            President & CEO