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

Grants Made in 2014

Grants Made in 2014$1,663,952
A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way - Implementation, Year 2$567,933
Baby's Breath$99,000
CHIPs in Action$42,400
Enhancing Vision Care$50,000
Improving Access to Health - Implementation, Year 2$100,000
Improving Access to Primary Medical Care$100,000
Small Water System Financial Sustainability$60,000
Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry - Implementation, Year 2 $499,619
Title:A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way - Implementation, Year 2Amount:$567,933
Recipient:Worcester Housing Authority
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way
The goal of A Better Life (ABL) is to provide each participant with the tools they need to be able to exit public housing. ABL continues to address five areas of need: educational, occupational, financial, personal, and healthcare. There are signs that the program is having an impact including; a substantial decrease in the average reported credit card balance, a significant decrease in the number of participants who said they were scared about their financial situation, a substantial increase in the proportion of ABL participants that reported finishing high school, and a reported increased sense of control over their lives.

In Year 2, ABL will put additional emphasis on helping participants find jobs by adding an employment recruiter to the staff. That individual will work with employers to identify job opportunities that match the employment skills of the ABL participants. Once a participant has a job, their FLC will work with them on how to maintain that job and succeed in the workplace.

Project Director: Mr. Raymond Mariano
Fiscal Agent: The Worcester Housing Authority
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Title:Baby's BreathAmount:$99,000
Recipient:GVNA Healthcare
Grant Type: Activation Fund
GVNA Healthcare will address the high rate of smoking among pregnant women in Gardner. That rate was more than three times the state rate -- 19.5 percent vs. 6.7 percent (data is for two years 2008 to 2010, the most recent data available). The infant mortality rate in Gardner for the same time period also significantly exceeded the state rate -- 12.2 per 1,000 live births in Gardner and 4.7 statewide. This project will focus on prevention through the development of a social norming campaign aimed at adolescents to keep them from smoking and on treatment through the use of cessation counseling for pregnant women who have continued to smoke.

Project Director: Ms. Elaine T. Fluet
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Title:CHIPs in ActionAmount:$42,400
Recipient:Worcester State Foundation
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Worcester State University, in partnership with Worcester's Division of Public Health (WDPH), is working to bridge academic scholarship with public health practice, specifically by providing resources to further the goals of Worcester's Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This grant will support up to 12 faculty and more than 350 students to work in teams focusing on one of the five CHIP domains. The teams plan to work with the WDPH to identify areas of programmatic and research needs. Faculty and students will then work together to develop activities and strategies to address those needs. WSU also plans to recruit and place ten student interns with WDPH to provide additional support for this work.
The project will engage students on relevant public health topics and lead to practice-focused research that will inform public policy.

Project Director: Dr. Linda S. Larrivee
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Title:Enhancing Vision CareAmount:$50,000
Recipient:Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
Grant Type: Activation Fund
The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (EMKCHC) plans to expand optometry services in Worcester through a partnership with the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS University). Grant funds will be used to build out the space for these expanded services. MCPHS will provide optometry providers, students and equipment.

Project Director: Dr. Jose Ramirez
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Title:Improving Access to Health - Implementation, Year 2Amount:$100,000
Recipient:Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Improving Access to Health
The construction of the satellite health center is complete. EMKCHC has filed the necessary paperwork for licensure and billing and is awaiting approval. EMKCHC anticipates that the satellite will open early in 2014. EMKCHC has hired two providers and two medical assistants who will begin seeing patients in Milford once the satellite is open. EMKCHC plans to make referrals for behavioral health services. They plan to provide dental services at their other sites in Framingham and Worcester and they are meeting with specialty physicians in the Milford area to arrange for necessary specialty referrals.

Project Director: Ms. Leah Gallivan
Fiscal Agent: Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
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Title:Improving Access to Primary Medical CareAmount:$100,000
Recipient:Community Health Connections
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Community Health Connections (CHC) is building a new model of care delivery that will include physicians and mid-level practitioners (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) working at the top of their licenses. This model allows for staffing flexibility and operational efficiency while maintaining quality of care. CHC plans to recruit four additional physicians and nine to 12 mid-level providers. This grant will be used to offset some of the costs associated with recruiting these new providers. CHC is the only non-profit, federally-qualified health center organization in North Central Massachusetts and serves the most vulnerable population throughout the region, providing a coordinated, comprehensive approach to care including dental, behavioral health and primary care services.

Project Director: Ms. Jacqueline W. Buckley
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Title:Small Water System Financial SustainabilityAmount:$60,000
Recipient:RCAP Solutions
Grant Type: Activation Fund
RCAP Solutions will provide on-site technical, managerial and financial assistance and training support in order to increase a community's capacity to plan, operate, manage and sustain their water systems. RCAP will work with four communities on asset management and capital needs planning and help them with technical assistance and training around compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. An Act Improving Drinking and Wastewater Infrastructure was enacted this year by the Massachusetts Legislature and provides funding for a number of projects related to the sustainability of water, wastewater and storm water systems. The legislation also creates a state infrastructure fund to assist communities in addressing financing and sustainability.

Project Director: Mr. John R. Linehan
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Title:Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry - Implementation, Year 2 Amount:$499,619
Recipient:Advocates, Inc.
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR)
In 2013, WISR served 80 men who had been released from the Massachusetts Department of Correction or the Worcester County HOC with Superior Court From and After probation and have returned to the Worcester area. WISR also expanded to serve men who are participating in the Worcester County Sheriff's new After Incarceration Support Services (AISS) program which serves men who release from the House of Correction (HOC) and have District Court From and After probation. The goal for WISR in 2014 is to serve 144 participants, sixty will be served through the WISR/AISS partnership with District Court probation; the remaining 84 will be WISR participants with Superior Court probation. In addition to assistance with housing and employment, WISR will provide an evaluation of AISS for the Sheriff.

Other partners for this project include: Massachusetts Department of Correction; Massachusetts Parole Board, Region 4 Office; Worcester Superior Court Probation; Worcester District Court Probation; Worcester County Sheriff's Office/Worcester County House of Correction; Dismas House; and Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center.  The project is being evaluated by researchers from Brandeis University.

Project Director: Ms. Diane Gould
Fiscal Agent: Advocates, Inc.
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