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

Grants Made in 2008

The Foundation began its 2008 grantmaking with the awarding of five Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative pilot grants totaling $1,731,671. These are to support pilot projects that were developed using the planning grants that were awarded in 2007.
Grants Made in 2008$2,655,964
Home Again - Program Related Investment$492,000
Central Massachusetts Hoarding Task Force$16,800
Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Pilot $210,021
Dismas House Farm$50,000
EMT Diversification Project$41,344
Home Again - Pilot $595,155
Hunger-Free & Healthy - Pilot $332,265
Jail Diversion Program - Marlborough$44,528
Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce$25,000
Reducing Teen Pregnancy Among Latino Youth: A Beginning$49,299
Residential Hospice Feasibility Study $20,000
The Children’s Mental Health Guardian ad Litem Project in the Worcester Juvenile Court $40,000
The Winchendon Project - Phase I $331,330
Women's HIV/Domestic Violence - Pilot $270,400
Workforce Development for Homeless Families Project $52,822
Title: Home Again - Program Related InvestmentAmount:$492,000
Recipient:Community Healthlink
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Home Again

The Home Again Housing Loan Fund will be administered by Worcester Community Housing Resources (WCHR), a local nonprofit community development organization with expertise in managing their Community Loan Fund to assist in acquiring and developing affordable housing.  A local nonprofit seeking to acquire an identified property to house chronically homeless adults would apply to the Home Again Housing Loan Fund for a below-market-rate mortgage and/or capital grant.  The Housing Loan Fund is designed to enable nonprofits, who serve the chronic adult homeless population, to provide housing units for homeless individuals whose annual income is at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, which is $10,210 for 2007.

The first loan for $492,000 was made to Community Healthlink (CHL) in April 2008 for the purchase of the property of 62 Elm Street, Worcester, to house 14 adult chronic homeless individuals.
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Title:Central Massachusetts Hoarding Task ForceAmount:$16,800
Recipient:Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts will create a task force to educate and train the staff at agencies that work with seniors to recognize the problem of hoarding early in order to be able to refer the individual to available resources for help.  Presently, LACCM deals with this problem when the individual is about to be evicted or lose their home.  The goal of this task force is to develop protocols for referrals for individuals who have a hoarding disorder in order to get them treatment and prevent them from losing their homes.  LACCM will also create a website that would provide information and resources for those dealing with this problem.

Project Director:  Jonathan Mannina, Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts
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Title:Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Pilot Amount:$210,021
Recipient:Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley
The Boys and Girls Club of Webster-Dudley will pilot the Choices program - a comprehensive approach to direct at-risk young people toward positive alternatives.  In this pilot year, the program will seek to enroll 30 young people, between the ages of 12 and 18, and keep them enrolled in the program with the overall goals of improving their school performance and reducing their involvement with the juvenile justice system.  Choices will use some of the programs that have been developed by the Boys and Girls club nationally and that have been shown to be effective with young people.  In addition, the Boys and Girls Club will work with the Massachusetts Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) to provide the counseling services that may be necessary for some of these young people.  Some of the young people enrolled in the program will be trained in the research and evaluation techniques so that they will be able to continue to measure the impact of these and future programs on the youth of Webster-Dudley.

Project Director:  Mr. Tony Poti
Fiscal Agent: The Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
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Title:Dismas House FarmAmount:$50,000
Recipient:Dismas House of Massachusetts
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Dismas House plans to purchase and operate an organic community farm.  The farm will offer a rural, farm-based treatment and housing program for former prisoners and will involve a mix of permanent housing units and transitional housing opportunities for these individuals.  This program will build on the other programs for former prisoners currently run by Dismas House and will bring the total number of program beds to 50-55 across four programs.

Project Director:  David McMahon, Dismas House of Massachusetts, Inc.
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Title:EMT Diversification ProjectAmount:$41,344
Recipient:Quinsigamond Community College Foundation
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Quinsigamond Community College will offer a program for 20 to 25 Latino students beginning with a Medical Terminology course in the fall of 2008.  QCC expects 20 of these students to move on to EMT 101 in the spring of 2009.  The Latino population is under represented within the EMS work force presently.  The goal of this effort is to train more Latinos for health care careers.  The EMT course is for individuals who are responding to emergency calls for immediate care to the critically ill or injured and who would transport patients to a medical facility.

Project Director:  Cheryl Finn, Quinsigamond Community College
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Title:Home Again - Pilot Amount:$595,155
Recipient:Community Healthlink
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Home Again
Home Again is an initiative to end chronic adult homelessness in the Worcester area.  This model project, which is designed to last 18 months, will randomly select 30 homeless individuals (20 who have been identified as chronically homeless and 10 who are pre-chronic) using the Housing First approach with the goal of keeping these individuals successfully housed for six months.

The Housing First approach puts individuals into housing and provides them with supportive services.  This project will encompass a housing and services strategy along with a communications strategy.  The housing and services will include an individual service plan and will provide a more intense level of services as clients enter the program in order to get them successfully settled.  Services will include help in accessing necessary mental health services, substance abuse treatment and other health services, along with landlord mediation and tenancy skills.  The communications strategy will focus on making information available to the Worcester community in order to address some of the concerns that have been voiced about this issue.

Project Director:  Ms. Brooke Doyle       
Fiscal Agent: Community Healthlink
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Title:Hunger-Free & Healthy - Pilot Amount:$332,265
Recipient:Worcester County Food Bank
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Hunger-Free & Healthy
The Worcester Advisory Food Policy Council (WAFPC) will pilot a project in two defined neighborhoods to help decrease hunger and food insecurity.  This project will target two groups.  It will include up to 50 participants in one group who will be eligible for:  enrollment in two (of seven) skill-building classes (GED, ESOL, Success Skills, Personal Economics, Money Smart, Eating Right, From Seed to Table); Food Stamp Program application assistance; health care plan enrollment assistance; health/hunger screenings; receiving fresh organic produce for 20 weeks in the summer/fall; and case management.  The second group of participants (250-500) will be eligible for enrollment in one of the skill building classes (space permitting); Food Stamp Program application assistance; health care plan enrollment assistance; and health/hunger screenings.

Project Directors:  Mr. Dennis Irish
Ms. Jean McMurray
Fiscal Agent: Worcester County Food Bank
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Title:Jail Diversion Program - MarlboroughAmount:$44,528
Recipient:Advocates, Inc.
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Advocates is planning to expand its Jail Diversion Program (JDP) to the City of Marlborough. Currently operating in Framingham, the JDP is a pre-booking program that prevents individuals with behavioral health disorders from being inappropriately arrested, jailed or hospitalized. Advocates will train Marlborough police to recognize and manage behavioral health issues and Advocates staff will be trained in Marlborough police protocols. The Marlborough Police Department will have access to specially trained clinicians 24/7 and on-site clinical assistance will be available to police when they are intervening with individuals with psychiatric/emotional problems. Advocates will also provide emergency psychiatric services as needed.

Project Director: Diane Gould, Advocates, Inc.
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Title:Oral Health Advocacy TaskforceAmount:$25,000
Recipient:Health Care For All
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI)
Health Care For All will continue the work of the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce to create a strategic planning process, that will advance the community flouridation status of Massachusetts, develop information materials for legislators and their staff,  continue its work with the Watch Your Mouth Campaign to make more people aware of the connection between oral and physical health, and the continued development of the Oral Health Campaign website, to serve as a resource on research and other oral health initiatives nationwide.

Project Director:  Ms. Fawn Phelps
Fiscal Agent: Health Care For All
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Title:Reducing Teen Pregnancy Among Latino Youth: A BeginningAmount:$49,299
Recipient:Spanish American Center
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Spanish American Center plans to assess the causes and potential remedies for early childbearing among Latino youth in North Worcester County. The project will gather information from pregnant or parenting teens (under 18 years of age), Latino youth (14-16 years old) who are not pregnant or parenting, Latino parents of teens (who have/have not become grandparents), and Latino professionals who work with youth. The project design will include a literature search, focus groups, confidential surveys and one-on-one interviews. The goal is to identify a risk-reduction curriculum that can be modified as necessary and piloted with the Latino teen community.

Project Director: Susan O’Brien, Spanish American Center
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Title:Residential Hospice Feasibility Study Amount:$20,000
Recipient:Gardner Visiting Nursing Association
Grant Type: Activation Fund
There are presently three home-based hospice services in the North Central MA region. The Gardner VNA will undertake a feasibility study to determine if there would be strong and sustainable interest in a residential hospice for this area. There are some people in the region who do not have caregivers at home, and when these individuals need care, they often must go to a nursing home or hospital when hospice care would be more appropriate. The GVNA will create an advisory board made up of key decision makers and consumers throughout the region and then hire a consultant to assess the needs of the region, identify possible facility options and make a recommendation about whether such a facility should be developed, if so, what type of facility and how its operations could be funded. 

Project Director:  Elaine T. Fluet, Gardner Visiting Nursing Association
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Title:The Children’s Mental Health Guardian ad Litem Project in the Worcester Juvenile Court Amount:$40,000
Recipient:Health Law Advocates
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Health Law Advocates (HLA) attorneys presently attend sessions of the Juvenile Courts in Fitchburg and Dudley and receive mental health Guardian ad Litem (GAL) appointments from these courts. In this capacity, the mental health GAL is charged with providing independent recommendations to the Court regarding a child's mental health needs. HLA plans to provide this service in the Worcester Juvenile Court. They plan to conduct three or four training sessions for court personnel to improve their awareness of accessing necessary mental health services for these children. HLA expects that they would receive 30 to 40 of these mental health GAL appointments each year. The goals of this project are to improve access to mental health services for children appearing before the Juvenile Court in Worcester, reduce recidivism rates among these children and build the capacity of the Court and its personnel to better address the mental health needs of these children.

Project Director: Barbara Anthony, Health Law Advocates
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Title:The Winchendon Project - Phase I Amount:$331,330
Recipient:Montachusett Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - The Winchendon Project
Phase I of The Winchendon Project will begin to modify the risk and protective factors of students in four domains of the lives of young people - individual, family, peer and community.  The primary target population for Phase I are the students at the Murdock Middle/High School.  This project will introduce a series of school-based interventions, including increasing the availability of mental health services on site, adding a learning supports facilitator and conducting a social norming campaign.  In addition to working with the students, the project will involve the parents of the 7th and 8th grades and the school staff who work primarily with these two grades.

Project Director: Ms. Kathleen J. McDermott
Fiscal Agent: Montachusett Opportunity Council
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Title:Women's HIV/Domestic Violence - Pilot Amount:$270,400
Recipient:AIDS Project Worcester
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Women's HIV/Domestic Violence
AIDS Project Worcester and their partners (American Red Cross, Daybreak, Family Health Center, Pernet and the Rape Crisis Center) will pilot a program for women, especially minority women, at risk for HIV/AIDS and sexual violence.  The goals of this project include increasing the identification of undiagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS; increasing the identification of women with histories of sexual violence; increasing access to medical care and treatment for women newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS; and decreasing barriers for women to learn their HIV status and attendant risk factors.  The program will include training for staff at the partner agencies to screen women HIV/AIDS and sexual violence risk.  It will also use social marketing and anonymous informational/educational sessions to reach out to women who may be at risk and either do not know it or do not know what to do about it.  They expect to reach approximately 440 women during this pilot year.  Peer outreach workers will be trained and will provide outreach, education and support to women who may be at risk.

Project Director:  Mr. Joseph McKee
Fiscal Agent: AIDS Project Worcester
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Title:Workforce Development for Homeless Families Project Amount:$52,822
Recipient:Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) plans to develop a new education and employment model directed at homeless families. This model will provide more individualized educational opportunities, employment readiness services and employment stabilization services for these families. Working with the United Way of Central Massachusetts, CMHA has convened a working group to review existing employment and training resources and to work with the providers of these services to revise some of their programming in order to better assist homeless families. CMHA will inventory existing programs, evaluate evidence- based best practices, and work with area businesses to address the barriers businesses face in hiring and retaining these individuals. Their goal is a new community employment business model that will increase the number of homeless families that are successful in obtaining and maintaining education and stable employment.

Project Director: Anne Gibbon-Smith, Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance
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