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The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

The Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative Guidelines

Prior to submitting a letter of intent to the Synergy Initiative, please contact Elaine Cinelli at ecinelli@hfcm.org or (508) 438-0009 ext. 2 to discuss your proposed project.

The Synergy Initiative provides funding for partnership-based projects that target significant anomalies of poor health status in Central Massachusetts, with integrated, comprehensive strategies designed to redress the disparities by enhancing systemic access to care and promoting healthier lifestyles. Grantees may identify targeted populations geographically (e.g., neighborhoods or communities), demographically (e.g., 0 to 3 year olds, frail elderly, Latinos) and/or categorically (e.g., incidence of cardiovascular disease, homelessness, caregivers).  Through key factors that influence its grantmaking, The Foundation will continue to encourage projects that serve the most vulnerable residents of Central Massachusetts.

Key criteria for successful Synergy Initiative proposals include:

Significance of the Problem -
Evidence that the proposal addresses a significant community health issue, in terms of both scope and seriousness, as well as a key criterion of addressing the underserved.

Level of Integration -
The degree to which the proposed approach to the issue being addressed by the applicant(s) is integrated, interdisciplinary, and comprehensive, involving both public health and medical strategies. Where an individual organization lacks the resources to mount such an integrated program itself, it will be expected to partner with other agencies with complementary goals and capacities, and to demonstrate that the collaboration proposed is serious and effective, rather than creating duplicative programming. Public and/or private co-funders of proposals are welcomed.

The Soundness of the Approach -
The degree to which the proposed approach to the health issue addressed by the applicant(s) is based on an in-depth understanding of the issue and the principal factors affecting it; knowledge of “best practices” developed by others working on the same issues; and a strong connection with the community in which the proposed program or intervention will be mounted, including involvement, when appropriate, of the intended target population in proposal planning and implementation.

The Capacity for Enduring Systems Change -
The potential for the approach proposed by the applicant(s) to bring about long-term changes in the systems, policies, and practices that directly influence the conditions affecting the health problem addressed and its prevention, treatment, or management.

The Potential for Impact -
Evidence that the applicant organization has the capacity and capability to implement the proposed program effectively.

The Potential for Replication -
The likelihood that the approach proposed, if proven effective, can be replicated elsewhere.

Quality of the Evaluation Plan -
The soundness of the proposed strategy for assessing the effectiveness and impact of the approach being taken by the applicant(s), and how the lessons learned will be applied and used.

Exit Strategy -
The appropriateness of the plan proposed by the applicant(s) for dealing with the eventual phasing out of Foundation funding.

Click here for a summary report of the impact created by Synergy Initiative projects

To learn more about a specific Synergy Initiative project, please click on the appropriate link below.

InitiativeTotal of Grants
A Better Life: Helping Families Find Their Way$1,803,491
Central Massachusetts Family Caregiving Center$41,475
Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI)$3,643,840
Child Abuse Prevention and Protection Collaborative (CAPPC)$1,961,778
Choices: A Program for Youth at Risk in Webster/Dudley$734,898
The Compass Project$967,595
Home Again$2,205,837
Hunger-Free & Healthy$1,557,443
Improving Access to Health$927,195
Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts (OHINCM)$2,253,672
Together For Kids (TFK)$1,779,018
The Winchendon Project$1,486,962
Women's HIV/Domestic Violence$620,089
Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry$1,486,173