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

Grants Made in 2010

The Foundation’s 2010 grantmaking included the awarding of four Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative Year 2 Implementation Grants totaling $1,366,672. These are to continue implementation of projects that received planning grants in 2007 and were piloted in 2008. In addition, the Foundation reopened the Activation Fund and made six Activation Fund grants.
Grants Made in 2010$1,873,698
Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Implementation, Year 2$175,455
Clinical Capacity Development Project$60,000
Developing Effective Public Health Advocacy$45,000
Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts Health Care Recovery Dollar Sustainability Project$30,000
Fitchburg High School, School-Based Health Center$49,000
Home Again - Implementation, Year 2$559,428
Hunger-Free & Healthy - Implementation, Year 2$354,375
Public Health Regionalization Project $75,000
Sustainable Approaches to Decriminalizing Mental Illness$38,500
The Winchendon Project - Phase III $376,940
Title:Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley - Implementation, Year 2Amount:$175,455
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 is continuing to direct at-risk youth ages 12 - 15, toward positive alternatives by offering programming on a variety of issues to help youth make better choices. Counselors from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) are on site regularly and offer a weekly program dealing with self-esteem and self-confidence. Choices is using MSPCC's Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) to measure improvements in functioning in various areas such as school, home, behavior and mood. Participants have been assessed at 3-month intervals and have shown improvement in functioning in these areas. Their advocacy agenda includes continued support for the Children's Mental Health Campaign, including efforts to require coverage for collateral services and working to ensure that the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative is implemented effectively, in order to enable behavioral health counselors to continue to provide services to the youth on site at the Boys & Girls Club.

Project Director: Mr. Tony Poti
Fiscal Agent: The Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
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Title:Clinical Capacity Development ProjectAmount:$60,000
Recipient:Centro Las Americas
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Centro Las Americas (CLA) plans to increase their clinical and organizational capacity to provide quality Latino mental health counseling services. They have contracted with Family Services of Central Massachusetts (FSCM) to provide direct clinical supervision for CLA staff working on case management programs for the MA Department of Children and Families and the MA Department of Developmental Services. FSCM will design and conduct a training program to improve the skills of all direct care and supervisory staff providing clinical and case management.

Project Director: Juan Gomez
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Title:Developing Effective Public Health AdvocacyAmount:$45,000
Recipient:Massachusetts Public Health Association
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) wants to create a technical support training module to provide policy and community organizing expertise to local initiatives. MPHA would be reimbursed for this training which would create a funding source for their ongoing work. MPHA already works with a number of organizations and coalitions on advocacy. This will enable them to organize their materials and approaches into a more standard module which could be used broadly throughout this region and across the state.

Project Director: Sara Kanevsky
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Title:Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts Health Care Recovery Dollar Sustainability ProjectAmount:$30,000
Recipient:Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts (FACM) program of Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts plans to work with the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center and Commonwealth Medicine to pilot a project to address wrongful denials or terminations of insurance coverage. Commonwealth Medicine will study the denials and the amount of reimbursement involved. FACM believes this program will increase reimbursement to the health center and that some of that additional reimbursement could be used to fund a medical-legal partnership that would continue to aid patients.

Project Director: Valerie Zolezzi-Wyndham
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Title:Fitchburg High School, School-Based Health CenterAmount:$49,000
Recipient:Community Health Connections
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Community Health Connections Family Health Center (CHCFHC) will provide funding for a part-time nurse practitioner or physician assistant to staff the new school-based health center at Fitchburg High School. CHCFHC plans to work with local partners including the Minority Coalition to ensure the development of culturally appropriate materials, Montachusett Opportunity Council to provide education on nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices; and HealthAlliance Hospital for lab work and to serve as the primary inpatient referral center.

Project Director: Dawn Casavant
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Title:Home Again - Implementation, Year 2Amount:$559,428
Recipient:Community Healthlink
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Home Again
Home Again is continuing its work to house chronically homeless individuals in Worcester. Using the Housing First model, Home Again has housed a total of 71 individuals in clustered and scattered sites in and around Worcester. They expect to house an additional nine individuals during Year 2.

The communications effort has shifted to focus on the advocacy agenda and strategies to sustain the work of Home Again. The key items that Home Again is working on include:
- securing permanent supportive housing resources under the federal HEARTH Act, and
- administrative changes within the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) so that all chronically homeless individuals, including those who become dually eligible for Medicare, continue to be covered by MBHP.

If the change in coverage for this dual-eligible population and the housing subsidies are secured, Home Again would continue to receive funding for each client and these funds would enable the program to be sustained.

Project Director:    Ms. Brooke Doyle
Fiscal Agent:         Community Healthlink
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Title:Hunger-Free & Healthy - Implementation, Year 2Amount:$354,375
Recipient:Worcester County Food Bank
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Hunger-Free & Healthy
For the second year of implementation, Hunger-Free & Healthy (HFH) will focus on continued efforts to increase SNAP (food stamp) enrollment through the efforts of an outreach worker who visits various food pantries and other social service locations throughout the city. HFH will also continue to work with the Worcester Public Schools to improve the nutritional quality of the meals offered in the schools; with Operation Frontline to offer cooking/nutrition classes and with the Regional Environmental Council to operate the Farmers' Market that they started in Main South, the Worcester Educational Garden and to expand some of the existing school/community gardens. HFH will work with the Great Brook Valley Health Center, the Worcester Housing Authority and the owner of two neighborhood corner stores to improve awareness of and access to more nutritional foods in the neighborhood. This may offer a model that could be replicated in other locations. HFH advocacy efforts will continue to focus on the creation of a statewide Food Policy Council, improvements in the food stamp program and the improved nutritional quality of school meals.

Project Co-Directors: Ms. Jean McMurray
Mr. Dennis Irish
Fiscal Agent: Worcester County Food Bank
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Title:Public Health Regionalization Project Amount:$75,000
Recipient:City of Worcester, Division of Public Health
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The City of Worcester made significant cuts to its Department of Public Health as a result of the recession and is now looking to regionalization as one means of strengthening its public health department. This is consistent with the recommendation of the City Manager’s Task Force on Public Health and the state's goal of strengthening the Massachusetts public health system by having small public health departments work together to build capacity and improve services. The City will hire a consultant from the Institute for Community Health to bring various stakeholders together, conduct a needs assessment of the various communities that might be part of a regionalized public health effort and develop a fee structure which could form the basis of a self-sustaining program.
Project Director: Derek Brindisi
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Title:Sustainable Approaches to Decriminalizing Mental IllnessAmount:$38,500
Recipient:National Alliance on Mental Illness - MA
Grant Type: Activation Fund
NAMI MASS and the Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) plan to hire DMA Health Strategies to research and write a position paper that examines funding opportunities for statewide training and service programs that would divert individuals with serious mental illness from the criminal justice system. Significant work has been done nationally to design, test and implement systemic interventions to divert at risk individuals from criminal justice involvement into mental health treatment. These efforts have been shown to be effective by directing those in need of treatment to more appropriate resources and conserving public safety resources.

Project Director: Laurie Martinelli

Click here to access the NAMI and ABH position paper "Building Alliances between the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems to Prevent Unnecessary Arrests."

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Title:The Winchendon Project - Phase III Amount:$376,940
Recipient:Montachusett Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - The Winchendon Project
Phase III of The Winchendon Project (TWP) will continue to build on the work done in each of the first two phases including providing school-based behavioral health services; coordinating school and community resources through the work of the Learning Supports Facilitator; continuing a social norming campaign to address youth substance use; working to integrate the provision of medical and behavioral health services; introducing the All-Stars curriculum (a program to delay the onset of or prevent substance use, violence and sexual activity in youths ages 11 to 14); and establishing Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (a community organizing program designed to reduce adolescent access to alcohol by changing community policies and practices) in Winchendon.

The goals of Phase III include:
- building the capacity of staff at Murdock Middle High School to address youth behavioral health and substance use issues so that they can be addressed before clinical intervention is the only option,
- continuing to provide school-based behavioral health services which will also include collateral services, and
- institutionalizing systems to ensure that school personnel continue to be aware of available community resources.

The Winchendon Project will continue to be supportive of the Children's Mental Health Campaign, most specifically in their efforts to ensure payment for collateral contacts which are especially important in behavioral health services for children.

Project Co-Directors: Ms. Kathleen J. McDermott
Ms. Catherine S. Apostoleris
Fiscal Agent: Montachusett Opportunity Council
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