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

Grants Made in 2009

Due to the economic downturn and the resulting decrease in the value of the Foundation’s assets, our total grantmaking for 2009 will be reduced. The Foundation has closed the Activation Fund and is only making implementation grants to the five ongoing Synergy Initiative projects. These projects received planning grants in 2007 and pilot grants in 2008.
Grants Made in 2009$1,701,728
Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Implementation, Year 1$197,560
Home Again - Implementation, Year 1$426,824
Hunger-Free & Healthy - Implementation, Year 1$385,762
The Winchendon Project - Phase II $349,429
Women's HIV/Sexual Violence - Implementation, Year 1$252,153
Title:Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Implementation, Year 1Amount:$197,560
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 plans to continue and expand the Choices program which is a comprehensive approach to direct at-risk young people toward positive alternatives. They plan to focus on youths 12 to 15 years old. In the pilot year, they had 57 youth participate in the program. More than two-thirds between the ages of 12 and 15. The few older teens who also participated in the program were often used by the staff as aids and to serve as role models for the younger participants. MSPCC counselors are regularly on site at the Boys & Girls Club and offer a weekly program dealing with self-esteem and self-confidence. Choices will continue to use MSPCC's Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) to measure improvements in functioning in various areas such as school, home, behavior and mood.

Their advocacy agenda will include continued support for the Children's Mental Health Campaign, most notably for the legislative effort to require coverage for collateral servcies.

Project Director: Mr. Tony Poti
Fiscal Agent: The Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
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Title:Home Again - Implementation, Year 1Amount:$426,824
Recipient:Community Healthlink
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Home Again

The Home Again pilot project has resulted in 30 homeless individuals (20 chronically homeless and 10 pre-chronic) being housed using the Housing First model.  Of these, 14 were housed in one congregate site (the Lt. Tommy Spencer House) and 16 were housed in scattered sites throughout the city.  In Year 1, Home Again will focus on the chronic homeless population with the goal of housing an additional 20-25 individuals in mostly scattered sites in and around the city with a possible congregate site for 6-8 individuals outside of the City. The evaluation component will focus on the efficacy of the case management services by following up with those who were housed during the pilot project and establishing base line and 6-month follow up data for those who will be housed in Year 1.  This data will form the basis for ongoing advocacy efforts to ensure the continuing availability of rental vouchers and to work toward broader reimbursement for case management services.  

Project Director:   Ms. Brooke Doyle
Fiscal Agent:        
Community Healthlink 

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Title:Hunger-Free & Healthy - Implementation, Year 1Amount:$385,762
Recipient:Worcester County Food Bank
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Hunger-Free & Healthy
The Worcester Food Advisory Council will focus their implementation efforts on increasing public and government support for programs to reduce hunger and increase access to more nutritious foods. Specific strategies include: working to increase access to food stamps by training outreach workers at local hospitals; health centers and the Worcester Housing Authority; advocacy for improvements to the food stamp program; increasing participation in the free breakfast program in the Worcester Public Schools; improving the nutritious quality of the meals served in the WPS; working with local corner stores to improve the availabilty of affordable produce and healthy foods; offering cooking/nutrition classes; expanding the farmers' market in Main South and offering gardening education classes. New partners in this project include the Mass. Law Reform Institute, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, Share Our Strength--Operation Frontline, and the Urban Farmers Agriculture Academy.

Project Co-Directors: Ms. Jean McMurray
Mr. Dennis Irish
Fiscal Agent: Worcester County Food Bank
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Title:The Winchendon Project - Phase II Amount:$349,429
Recipient:Montachusett Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - The Winchendon Project
Phase I of the Winchendon Project has resulted in behavioral health services are being offered at the Murdock Middle High School and hiring of the Learning Supports Facilitator. Ongoing work includes the development of a resource map of available local services, which should be completed by the end of this academic year, and the development of a social norming campaign, which is scheduled to begin in early 2009. Phase II of The Winchendon Project will include sustaining the components put in place during Phase I and expanding community programming using more targeted substance abuse prevention strategies, including All Stars -- a program to delay the onset of or prevent substance use; violence and sexual activity in youths ages 11 to 14; and Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol -- a community organizing program designed to reduce adolescent access to alcohol by changing community policies and practices.

Project Co-Directors: Ms. Kathleen J. McDermott
Ms. Catherine S. Apostoleris
Fiscal Agent: Montachusett Opportunity Council
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Title:Women's HIV/Sexual Violence - Implementation, Year 1Amount:$252,153
Recipient:AIDS Project Worcester
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Women's HIV/Domestic Violence

AIDS Project Worcester and their partners have been funded to implement their program for women at risk for HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. During the pilot phase, they screened more than 450 women and enrolled 62 women in the program. Pre- and post-assessment questionnaires administered to the women in the pilot showed increased knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention. Those in the pilot also showed statistically significant changes in attitudes about violence in relationships and in self-esteem and self-confidence.
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 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.
Their advocacy agenda will include efforts to include the screening tool at various points of entry for women as they access non-primary medical care services that are partially or fully funded by the state and the federal government.

Project Director: Mr. Joseph McKee
Fiscal Agent: AIDS Project Worcester
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