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Health Foundation Announces Five Central MA Activation Fund Grants

Wednesday, October 08, 2014


The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts has announced five activation fund grants to area organizations totaling more than $350,000.

These grants will support a wide range of projects throughout Central Massachusetts, from work on area water systems to two grants to community health centers for physician, nurse practitioner and physician assistant recruitment and for expansion of optometry services.

 “The Foundation is pleased to provide funding for five projects that we believe will make a difference in improving health in Central Massachusetts, particularly among vulnerable populations,” said Dr. John P. Gusha, Chair of the Board of the Foundation. “Each of these grants addresses a different problem, but all of the projects are working to improve some aspect of the health of our region.”

“The goal of the Activation Fund is to enable an organization to move to a higher level of capacity and to then continue to function at that higher level after the grant ends,” noted Dr. Jan Yost, President and CEO of the Foundation.  Yost explained that Activation Fund grants typically are for one-year projects that demonstrate a creative and innovative approach to alleviate an existing community health concern or that address an emerging health challenge in the region. 

Grant Awards

Community Health Connections, Inc. - $100,000 for the Improving Access to Primary Medical Care Project. Community Health Connections (CHC) is working to build its primary care provider panel by adding physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. CHC plans to recruit four additional physicians and nine to 12 mid-level providers. 

Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Inc. - $50,000 for the Enhancing Vision Care Project to improve its eye care program. 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.

RCAP Solutions, Inc. - $60,000 for the Small Water System Financial Sustainability Project to 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 its water systems. RCAP will work with a number of area communities on asset management and capital needs planning and help them with technical assistance and training around compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. RCAP will also look for opportunities for these small water systems to regionalize in order to maximize the impact of this effort.

GVNA HealthCare, Inc. - $99,000 for the Baby’s Breath Project. This project will address the high rate of smoking among pregnant women in Gardner as well as focus on the prevention of smoking among young women through the development of a social norming campaign aimed at adolescents. 

Worcester State University - $42,400 for the CHIPs In Action Project to establish a partnership with Worcester's Division of Public Health (WDPH) to help further the goals of Worcester's Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This grant will support faculty and student teams working on projects in each of the five CHIP action areas (Healthy Eating & Active Living, Primary Care & Wellness, Behavioral Health, Violence & Injury Prevention and Health Equity & Disparities).   


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