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

Grants Made in 2012

Grants Made in 2012$2,443,996
A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way - Pilot$554,313
Community Septic Management Technical Assistance Program$55,825
Green and Healthy Homes Project$90,215
Home Health Care Preceptor and Nurse Training Program$75,000
Hunger-Free & Healthy - Implementation, Year 4$109,465
Improve Access to Care - Pilot$442,695
Ready, Willing & Able: Addressing the Workforce Development Gap$71,148
Reducing Depression Among Latino Elders$92,050
Straight Up Kitchen: Community Kitchen & Catering Project$62,000
The Compass Project - Pilot$397,595
The Winchendon Project - Phase V$75,049
Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry - Pilot$373,641
Title:A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way - PilotAmount:$554,313
Recipient:Worcester Housing Authority
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way
The pilot project for A Better Life will provide 30 families with intensive case management and support services from a variety of partner agencies.  The program will be voluntary and will address a broad range of needs, including educational, personal, financial and occupational, in order to provide participants with the tools they need to be able to exit public housing.  The anticipated time line for the pilot project is 15 months which will enable the evaluators to track the participants for a full 12 months.

The Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) will begin in Great Brook Valley (GBV) -- Great Brook Valley Gardens and Curtis Apartments -- an area that houses about 3,000 residents.  Most of the area's residents (75%) are Latino, and 89 percent of GBV households are headed by single females and include nearly 1,400 children.

Project Director: Mr. Raymond Mariano
Fiscal Agent: The Worcester Housing Authority
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Title:Community Septic Management Technical Assistance ProgramAmount:$55,825
Recipient:RCAP Solutions
Grant Type: Activation Fund
RCAP Solutions plans to help local communities develop and submit Community Septic Management Plans to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in order to access a revolving loan fund to help finance home septic system repairs at very low interest rates. Of the 39 communities in Worcester County that rely on septic systems, 26 communities (home to about 150,000 residents) have not submitted plans. RCAP will work with the local board of health and town officials to develop these plans. RCAP estimates that they would be able to assist between four and five communities. The final number will depend on which communities are interested and the quality of data they have available for RCAP. It is anticipated that as many as 80 homeowners in these communities could get loans as a result of this work.

Project Director: Mr. James P. Starbard
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Title:Green and Healthy Homes ProjectAmount:$90,215
Recipient:Montachusett Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Montachusett Opportunity Council, together with the Twin Cities Community Development Corporation and the City of Fitchburg are planning a Green and Healthy Homes Project. This project will take an integrated, comprehensive approach to addressing housing, health, safety and energy efficiency in rehabilitating homes in Fitchburg. This work will improve the health of residents who live in the rehabilitated properties and strengthen the community by making these rehabilitated properties homes of choice rather than homes of last resort.

The Montachusett Opportunity Council's Weatherization Assistance Program was recently highlighted in Weatherization Plus Health's blog.

Project Director: Ms. Mary Giannetti
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Title:Home Health Care Preceptor and Nurse Training ProgramAmount:$75,000
Recipient:VNA Care Network & Hospice
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The VNA Care Network & Hospice is planning an accelerated home health care nurse preceptor preparation program and field nurse orientation program. This project will enable the VNA to create a preceptor program which will increase their capacity to orient registered nurses who do not have any home health care experience. The VNA Care Network will identify and train ten experienced home health care nurses to serve as preceptors. These preceptors would then mentor ten newly hired RNs so that they could carry a full patient caseload within six months. This project will provide the VNA with the capacity to continue to train additional nurses by having a cadre of preceptors available to continue training new nurses as they are recruited to the VNA.

Project Director: Ms. Linda Baker
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Title:Hunger-Free & Healthy - Implementation, Year 4Amount:$109,465
Recipient:Worcester County Food Bank
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Hunger-Free & Healthy
Hunger-Free & Healthy (HFH) will continue its efforts to sustain various elements of the project as Foundation funding concludes in 2012.  The Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB) anticipates supporting the SNAP Outreach Worker with help from Project Bread which will receive federal reimbursement from the USDA for this outreach effort. 

The Regional Environment Council (REC) has secured funding for an Americorps VISTA position to run the school gardens program and work has been done to incorporate the gardens into the curriculum at various grade levels.  REC is working to develop a sustainable business model for the Farmer's Markets in Main South and Great Brook Valley and is also partnering with Cooking Matters to continue to offer classes on nutrition and health eating. 

The HFH advocacy efforts are continuing ont he federal Farm Bill reauthorization, the implementation of the state's school nutrition guidelines, the Act Fresh Campaign sponsored by the Massachusetts Public Health Association and the local school wellness policy.

Project Co-Directors: Ms. Jean McMurray
Mr. Dennis Irish
Fiscal Agent: Worcester County Food Bank
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Title:Improve Access to Care - PilotAmount:$442,695
Recipient:Milford Regional Medical Center
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Improving Access to Health
Milford Regional Medical Center (MRMC) has created the Greater Milford Health Access Coalition which met several times during the planning grant year and determined that the solution for improving access to health care among the underserved in the region was to work with the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (EMKCHC) to open a satellite location in Milford.  The plan is to open the satellite health center in the fall of 2012.  The first part of the year will be spent identifying a location, determining the scope of services and completing whatever construction will be necessary.  EMKCHC plans to offer primary care services on site and is working with local specialty and behavioral health providers to arrange for the provision of those services at this satellite location.

Project Director: Ms. Kathleen Corcoran
Fiscal Agent: Milford Regional Medical Center
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Title:Ready, Willing & Able: Addressing the Workforce Development GapAmount:$71,148
Recipient:South Middlesex Opportunity Council
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Empowerment Center (MLKJ-BEC) plan to establish SMOC's Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) program in Worcester. RWA is a staffing agency that works to provide homeless and chronically unemployed individuals with job readiness training through supported employment opportunities in day-labor jobs. The goal is for these individuals to transition to independent employment within three to six months which means that they would be able to afford housing and not become homeless again. The goal during the grant period is to have 120 of SMOC's Greater Worcester Housing Connection clients become part of RWA. Of those, 100 will receive a pre-employment assessment and get pre-employment skills training and 20 of them will receive additional training/skill building as needed (GED, ESOL, etc.). All of them will be provided temporary employment opportunities through RWA and 60 individuals will achieve private work placements with employers.

Project Director: Mr. Robert Thomas
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Title:Reducing Depression Among Latino EldersAmount:$92,050
Recipient:Centro Las Americas
Grant Type: Activation Fund
This project is for Reducing Depression Among Latino Elders. Centro Las Americas (CLA) will test the efficacy of Behavior Activation (BA) therapy for depression among Latino elders in a community-based setting. BA is an evidence-based version of cognitive behavior therapy which consists of up to 12 one-hour individual sessions. It will be adapted by UMass Medical School for use with Latino elders as part of this project. CLA plans to have 40 elders receiving BA therapy and an equal number in a control group receiving case management services that Latino seniors may receive now at CLA. The goal is to have 20 in each group who are participants in the Latino Elder Program and 20 who are not. This will enable them to evaluate the efficacy of BA therapy in a community-based setting.

Project Director: Mr. Juan Gomez
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Title:Straight Up Kitchen: Community Kitchen & Catering ProjectAmount:$62,000
Recipient:Straight Ahead Ministries
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Straight Ahead Ministries (SAM) is dedicated to reducing recidivism among young offenders. SAM offers GED and ESL classes, recovery groups, counseling (individual and group) and job readiness training for these young people. SAM anticipates serving 180 youth in Main South (120 transitioning out of lockup and 60 in the community identified as high risk) each year. SAM also operates a café in Worcester which is open to the community and employs reentering youth. This grant will enable SAM to build out space in their facility for a commercial kitchen that will allow them to provide a fuller menu in the cafe, expand into catering and start a retail business selling food products using locally grown produce. Plans call for the business to be revenue generating for SAM. It is anticipated that six to nine youth would be employed at any given time.

Project Director: Pastor Robert S. Stone
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Title:The Compass Project - PilotAmount:$397,595
Recipient:LUK, Inc.
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - The Compass Project
The pilot project for The Compass Project will work toward prevention of transition age homelessness through the use of intensive case management and the development of a coordinated system of care.  The project plans to address the issue of transition age homelessness at the level of youth and families by providing supportive services; at the level of the community by developing a coordinated system of care to meet the needs of the youth and their families; and ensuring that successful changes are sustained through policy advocacy.  The project will be based on the principles of positive youth development (PYD).

The goals of the project are: to identify ways to successfully stabilize the living situation of vulnerable youth and prevent them from becoming homeless; to develop a coordinated system of care to address the needs of these youth and their families; and to develop a policy agenda with the goal of decreasing the likelihood of transition age homelessness.  The project will also work to provide employment training, work readiness skills and other life skills to the participants.

Project Co-Directors: Dr. Gordon Benson
Dr. Laurie Ross
Fiscal Agent: LUK, Inc.
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Title:The Winchendon Project - Phase VAmount:$75,049
Recipient:Winchendon Public Schools
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - The Winchendon Project
The Winchendon Project has successfully transitioned to the Winchendon Public Schools (from the Montachusett Opportunity Council) thus allowing parts of this project to be sustained by school personnel.  Notably, students are able to access behavioral health treatment services on site through the school-based health center and the All Stars curriculum continues to be offered in grades 7 and 8.  In addition, two teachers have been trained in a social norming model and can continue the social norming campaign at Murdock Middle High School (MMHS).  Staff and parents know that students can access behavioral health services at MMHS and 58 students accessed these services in the spring of 2011.  Efforts are underway to ensure that the schoool-based health center continues to operate and include behavioral health services for students at MMHS.

Project Director: Mr. Steve Meyer
Fiscal Agent: Winchendon Public Schools
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Title:Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry - PilotAmount:$373,641
Recipient:Henry Lee Willis Community Center
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR)
The Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR) is a coordinated reentry program for men involved with Superior Court Probation.  The goal is to reduce the rate of recidivism by providing clinical and case management services by increasing employment and housing stability and reducing alcohol and drug use.  Participants will be assessed prior to release and will each have an individual strengths-based service plan (ISP) that will be revised as appropriate throughout the project.  They will receive intensive supportive case management and be linked to medical, mental health, housing, vocational and educational resources designed to bolster their ability to address those factors and life-circumstances that will contribute to their ability to remain crime free.

Eligible program participants for the pilot project will: be adult men between the ages of 20 and 50; have either a high school or GED diploma; have three or fewer convictions and episodes of incarceration; have some demonstrated employment and housing history; have no previous convictions for sex offenses, arson or murder; and have positive or at least neutral views on engaging in treatment.  Twenty-five men will be recruited for the pilot project.

Project Co-Directors: Mr. Dave McMahon
Mr. Carlton Watson
Fiscal Agent: Henry Lee Willis Community Center
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