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

Grants Made in 2007

The Foundation began its 2007 grantmaking with the awarding of five Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative planning grants totaling $544,450. These are the first grants awarded in the second round of the Synergy Initiative. It also concluded funding the first round of Synergy Initiative projects with final grants to the Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts, the Oral Health Initiative of Cental Massachusetts and Together for Kids.
Grants Made in 2007$1,965,781
Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative - Implementation, Year 6$313,825
Central Massachusetts Outreach Program$30,000
Central Massachusetts Respite Project$46,604
Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Planning $101,862
Family Advocates' Early Intervention Assistance Program$19,000
Family Options Web-Based Replication Program$79,068
Father John Brooks House$20,000
Healthy Housing Initiative$43,683
Home Again - Planning $132,430
Hunger-Free & Healthy - Planning $115,682
Meeting Youth Immigrant and Refugee Health Needs$61,924
Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts - Implementation, Year 5$249,605
The Winchendon Project - Planning $106,460
Together For Kids - Implementation, Year 5$218,680
Women's HIV/Domestic Violence - Planning $97,536
YWCA/BWRI Merger$25,000
Title:Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative - Implementation, Year 6Amount:$313,825
Recipient:UMass Medical School
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI)
Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI) is entering its final year of implementation with the focus on two major areas:  expanding their programs in the schools and reconfiguring their dental residency programs.

They are seeking to expand the school-based programs and get more children into treatment by improving the level of participation by students.  Related to this, they are working to expand access and as part of this effort, they are continuing to try to increase the enrollment of dentists in MassHealth.  Currently 89 of the 370 members of the Worcester District Dental Society are or have enrolled.  Their goal is to increase this to 50 percent, about 135 dentists.

The current Graduate Practice Residency (GPR) has received a seven-year accreditation.  Plans are to have this residency be completely hospital based, servicing hospital ERs and clinics.  They are planning to renovate space at the Hahnemann Campus to house this program.  This funding request includes $150,000 from THFCM to support building out the space at Hahnemann.  Dental Services of Massachusetts (parent of Delta Dental) is considering $3.3 million in support for the creation of an Advanced Education in Graduate Dentistry (AEGD) residency program, which would place residents at community health centers in an effort to assure ongoing dental services at those locations.  Because getting a new residency program started and accredited is a lengthy process, they have requested that this grant be for a period of 18 months.  If the DSM funding is not forthcoming, it is expected that only $50,000 of the THFCM funding would be used to convert the current GPR into an AEGD. The remainder would be refunded to THFCM.

In addition, CMOHI will continue to work on the integration of medical and dental care through education and a system of on-call support for physicians and nurses and advocacy -- for increased MassHealth dental fees for services to adults and to address statewide workforce issues.

Project Director: Dr. John Gusha
Project Administrator:  Mr. Mick Huppert
Project Manager: Ms. Ellen Sachs Leicher
Fiscal Agent: UMass Medical School
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Title:Central Massachusetts Outreach ProgramAmount:$30,000
Recipient:The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Healing Garden has been providing services to women and their families affected by breast cancer since 2000.  The Healing Garden is now beginning to expand its delivery of complementary health care through the establishment of off site holistic care programs -- including physical fitness, expressive therapies, garden therapy and others.  They are partnering with HealthAlliance Hospital's Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center, where they will offer a series of complementary programs including exercise, art therapy and music therapy.  They will also train program leaders in order to continue these offerings beyond the year of this grant.

Project Director:  Julie Seavy, The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden
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Title:Central Massachusetts Respite ProjectAmount:$46,604
Recipient:Seven Hills Foundation
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Central Massachusetts Respite Project will begin to create a system for preparing potential caregivers to provide respite for families caring for children with special needs.  A partnership of Seven Hills and Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), this project will train QCC students to provide direct care.  Providing respite services will be part of the students' practicum experience.  It is estimated that there are more than 1500 families in Central Massachusetts who would qualify for respite services.  Initially, six students will be trained and 18 families will be helped.  The plan calls for adding students each year at QCC and other area colleges as well.

Project Director:  Celia Brown, Seven Hills Foundation
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Title:Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Planning Amount:$101,862
Recipient:Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley
The Choices program is a comprehensive approach to guide 50 at-risk young people to positive alternatives.  The planning grant will enable the communities of Webster and Dudley to identify current best practices in youth programming, complete a community needs assessment and analyze what programs will be best for their communities.  The goal will be a program plan that is designed to increase the number of youth involved in positive activities outside of school and increase parental involvement in these activities, while at the same time reducing youth arrests, the incidence of substance abuse and the number of fights among youths in these communities.

Project Director:  Mr. Tony Poti
Fiscal Agent:  The Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
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Title:Family Advocates' Early Intervention Assistance ProgramAmount:$19,000
Recipient:Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts (FACM) offers free legal help through specially trained lawyers at the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.  This project will develop materials and train early intervention (EI) workers who go into area households to recognize and refer patients in need of legal assistance to FACM.  FACM will work with EI workers in Worcester, Fitchburg and Southbridge.

Project Director:  Jonathan Mannina, Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts
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Title:Family Options Web-Based Replication ProgramAmount:$79,068
Recipient:Employment Options
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Employment Options is a "clubhouse" and community mental health organization based in Marlborough that has been working to develop a community-specific model and implementation plan for a family-centered, strengths-based program for families living with parental mental illness throughout the Central Massachusetts and MetroWest areas.  Their work began with funding from SAMHSA and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals to develop and pilot this program.  THFCM funding will be used to develop an interactive website; track and respond to requests for training; host a national conference dealing with this issue and set up an entrepreneurial training and consulting division.

Project Director:  Betsy Hinden, Ph.D., UMass Medical School
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Title:Father John Brooks HouseAmount:$20,000
Recipient:Dismas House of Massachusetts
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Dismas House is opening a new permanent, supportive apartment community for Dismas House graduates.  This housing, the first of its kind in the Dismas House network, will include sober and service-enriched apartment units for former prisoners and their families.  The program participants will continue to work on the recovery plan they established during their residency at Dismas House.  The goal of this program is to have 85 percent of program participants stay out of jail.  The house is expected to be financially self-sufficient by its second year of operation with revenues from rental income and housing vouchers.  THFCM funds will be used to pay staff salaries.  Money from other funders (Charlesbank Homes, Agnes Lindsay Trust) have been used to obtain a mortgage and purchase a multi-family property for this program.

Project Director:  Colleen Hilferty, Dismas House of Massachusetts, Inc.
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Title:Healthy Housing InitiativeAmount:$43,683
Recipient:Cleghorn Neighborhood Center
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, along with the Twin Cities Community Development Corporation and the Fitchburg Lead Action Group, is working on a program to further their community de-leading efforts, Fitchburg has one of the oldest housing stocks in the state and as a result, has had significant problems with lead paint.  This project will create a prioritized database of unhealthy properties in the city, take better advantage of existing programs to support de-leading efforts and assist landlords and residents in creating healthier housing units.

Project Director:  Dolores Thibault-Munoz, Cleghorn Neighborhood Center
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Title:Home Again - Planning Amount:$132,430
Recipient:Community Healthlink
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Home Again
A group of Worcester-based organizations (Community Healthlink, Dismas House, the Henry Lee Willis Center, Jeremiah’s Inn and the PIP Shelter) providing services to the homeless have proposed the CHAIN Initiative, an effort to bring together the community-based health care and social service agencies who serve the adult homeless population to create a broad-based, coordinated set of strategies to prevent chronic homelessness.  CHAIN will work to develop and implement effective homeless prevention models and to identify sub-populations who are at risk of homelessness and create solutions to maintain their housing.  CHAIN also plans to develop effective interventions for the newly homeless in order to prevent them from becoming chronically homeless.  The initiative will also organize efforts to develop broad community understanding of this issue and to engage the broader community in understanding and solving this problem.

Project Director:    Mr. Larry Gottlieb 
Fiscal Agent: Community Healthlink
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Title:Hunger-Free & Healthy - Planning Amount:$115,682
Recipient:Worcester County Food Bank
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Hunger-Free & Healthy
The Worcester Food Advisory Council is beginning a project to reduce hunger in Worcester County.  The objectives for this planning grant are to identify and engage their community partners; to create a plan for a pilot project, including measurable objectives and outcomes; to identify other resources that may be needed to address this issue; and ultimately to create the systemic changes necessary to sustain a hunger-free community.  The Council is proposing to begin by targeting households in the lowest income neighborhoods in Worcester.  They will first identify children who are malnourished, or overweight and reach out to the households they live in by engaging the broad network of health care and social service organizations that serve these children.

Project Directors:  Mr. Dennis Irish
Ms. Jean McMurray  
Fiscal Agent: Worcester County Food Bank
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Title:Meeting Youth Immigrant and Refugee Health NeedsAmount:$61,924
Recipient:Clark University
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Clark University will work with the African Community Development Corporation, Fairbridge International, the Southeast Asian Coalition Center, Family Health Center and the Worcester Youth Center to address the needs of immigrant and refugee youth in Worcester.  These young people find themselves caught between the culture and values of their parents and the culture and values of their new community.  This project will begin with research, including a literature review, key informant interviews and listening sessions with immigrant and refugee youth.  Some of these young people  will be trained to assist in the data collection and analysis.  This research will form the basis of after-school programming.  By the end of the year, pilot programs will be started with plans to integrate them into other youth programming throughout the community going forward.

Project Director:  Octavia Taylor, Clark University
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Title:Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts - Implementation, Year 5Amount:$249,605
Recipient:Montachusett Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts (OHINCM)
The Joint Coalition on Health of North Central Massachusetts received Planning (2001), Pilot (2002) and Implementation Grants (2003-2007) to expand access to treatment and preventive dental care in North Central MA.  Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts (OHINCM) has been successful in treating significant numbers of those who were without dental care – more than 16,700 individuals – or nearly half of those identified as in need of dental services at the start of this project.  For Year 5 of implementation, OHINCM will focus on sustaining their existing programming and recruiting additional dentists in private practice to participate in MassHealth.  They also will expand services for the elderly who do not have dental care, complete the transition of the School Based Oral Health Prevention Program to Community Health Connections (CHC), expand services to pre-schoolers by partnering with Project Apples in Leominster and add three more dental chairs at CHC's Fitchburg Dental Service.

Project Co-Administrators:  Ms. Kathleen McDermott, Montachusett Opportunity Council
Ms. Lori Martiska, Heywood Hospital
Fiscal Agent: Montachusett Opportunity Council
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Title:The Winchendon Project - Planning Amount:$106,460
Recipient:Montachusett Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - The Winchendon Project
The Joint Coalition on Health of North Central Massachusetts, representing some 40 agencies and individuals, has as its goal for this project the improvement of access to care for mental health and substance abuse for 12,700 adolescents and young adults (ages 10 to 29) in the region.  They will look at the continuum of care available and the gaps that need to be addressed; access and integration of care issues; prevention, education and screening; and sustainability including the development of a public policy advocacy agenda.

Project Directors:  Ms. Kathleen J. McDermott
Ms. Lorie Martiska
Fiscal Agent: Montachusett Opportunity Council
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Title:Together For Kids - Implementation, Year 5Amount:$218,680
Recipient:Community Healthlink
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Together For Kids (TFK)
As Together For Kids (TFK) enters its final year of funding from the Foundation, TFK is focusing on advocacy to ensure continued state support and on research to further document the successful outcomes of the TFK model.  This year TFK will conduct a second kindergarten follow-up study that will include a control group of children who did not receive services, and they will evaluate the differences between using embedded and non-embedded clinicians to provide these services.

Project Director: 
Project Manager: 
Ms. Carolyn Droser
Ms. Lynn Hennigan
Fiscal Agent: Community Healthlink
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Title:Women's HIV/Domestic Violence - Planning Amount:$97,536
Recipient:AIDS Project Worcester
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Women's HIV/Domestic Violence
AIDS Project Worcester has developed a collaborative to address the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in 250 women in Central Massachusetts.  The collaborative plans to undertake a planning process that will include members of the targeted populations, medical and human service providers, educators and other stakeholders to design and implement research-based strategies to address the spread of HIV/AIDS and other co-morbid diseases, as well as causative social risk factors including intimate partner violence, substance abuse/addiction, stigma, discrimination and gender inequality.

Project Director:   Mr. Joseph McKee
Fiscal Agent:  AIDS Project Worcester
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Title:YWCA/BWRI MergerAmount:$25,000
Recipient:YWCA of Central Massachusetts
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The YWCA of Central Massachusetts merged with Battered Women's Resources (BWRI) earlier this year.  They are working to integrate the domestic violence services of BWRI with the services currently offered by the YWCA's Daybreak program.  Daybreak/BWRI will develop a business plan that will result in an improved domestic violence service delivery system in the region.  They believe that this approach could serve as a model for other local non-profit agencies seeking to enter into a similar strategic alliance or merger.

Project Director:  Linda Cavaioli, YWCA of Central Massachusetts
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