The Baker Administration announced $15.9 million in grants to 24 nonprofit community-based organizations, cities and towns, and regional planning commissions to fund community health and healthy aging efforts in the Commonwealth.
These funds come from the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds, administered by Health Resources in Action, Inc. (HRiA) in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA). The 24 newly funded organizations are in addition to 32 organizations funded in 2020, bringing the total funding to $30.6 million for community health efforts statewide. These funds are made available to the Commonwealth for community health improvement initiatives from health care entities that engage in the Determination of Need process.
The work of these organizations will focus on addressing the root causes of health inequities; disrupting and removing barriers to health; and advancing racial and health equity by tackling institutional and structural racism head-on.
The awardees in the Healthy Aging category include the following:
Advancing Housing Equity for Seniors
Community Teamwork will establish Advancing Housing Equity for Seniors project, in partnership with Age Friendly Lowell, Coalition for a Better Acre, REACH LoWell, and Community Teamwork’s AmeriCorps Senior Programs to address the root cause of housing instability among low-income seniors.
Dominican Development Center, Inc
Seniors Transforming Other Seniors
This project brings together community resources and professional expertise from two organizations—The Dominican Development Center and Nuevo Dia, an Adult Day Health Center—that support seniors in Latino communities in the Boston Area. Our proposed, Senior Transforming Other Seniors, builds upon our experiences with seniors in multiple cities to create a new community model to support the mental health needs of our Latino elders and cultivate their untapped leadership potential. Our goal is to empower seniors through programming that nurtures their physical and mental well-being, honors their knowledge and leadership skills, and restores them to social spaces of joy and companionship
Reducing Chronic Diseases Through Engagement and Empowerment of Seniors in Chelsea
The Reducing Chronic Diseases Through Engagement and Empowerment of Seniors in Chelsea project is planning to address environmental injustice and improve public health by increasing seniors and the aging population’s participation in transit justice. GreenRoots will uplift, engage, and empower multilingual Chelsea seniors to ensure their voices are heard in decision making processes and ultimately ensure they can enjoy a reliable, equitable and accessible public transit system.
Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts
Healthy Aging in Place
The Health Aging-In-Place project is planning to address interconnected barriers to aging- in-place in a way that is secure and healthy (For example, food insecurity due to dietary and cultural barriers; undiagnosed and untreated trauma from their past while having few options for mental health treatment; language barriers). The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts will assess, plan, and implement culturally relevant service expansion for Southeast Asian elders in Central and Western Massachusetts; advocate for the implementation of culturally relevant services and programs with partner organizations; and engage and train elders and their caregivers for self-advocacy.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Community-engaged family-based healthy aging intervention to promote social and mental health among older adults in Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has a profound legacy and commitment to social justice, extending across generations and spanning disciplines. One of the main visions for campus strategic plan is to “organize for success by ensuring the inclusion of underserved communities in the university’s outreach and engagement efforts.” In alignment with this vision, our community-engaged family-based healthy aging intervention, including psychoeducation, problem-solving, breathing exercises, and yoga, aims to improve five “Age-Friendly” movement areas to make communities more welcoming and livable for older residents and people of all ages such as “community and health service,” “communication and information,” “social participation,” “respect and social inclusion,” and “civic participation and employment.”