Tufts Health Plan Foundation Supports Efforts to Make Communities Better for All Ages

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced new community investments that reflect its commitment to make our cities and towns great places to grow up and grow old.

The nearly $1.8 million supports 16 community organizations working to make communities healthier for people of all ages, with a specific interest in engaging older adults. These investments are in addition to nearly $1 million in previously announced work.

“Our investments encourage collaboration and leverage accumulated wisdom we trust will lead to vibrant, inclusive, supportive communities,” said Thomas P. O’Neill, III, chair of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation board of directors. “Communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island recognize older people as assets for creating a better future.”
The supported grants in systems improvement and best practices reflect a trend of increased regional and local efforts to create age- and dementia-friendly communities. The initiatives promote cross-sector collaboration, expand engagement of older people, advance improvements to support the health and well-being of older people, and foster intergenerational connections.

“Each community will follow its own path to becoming age- and dementia-friendly. Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation helps ensure resources reach under-represented communities at greatest risk for disparities,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “Everyone has a voice; it’s important that we listen.”
The 16 new grants represent collaborations with more than 300 community organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Fourteen Systems and Best Practices grants address Health and Wellness, Purposeful Engagement, and Field and Capacity Building.

  • Cheshire Medical Center (Keene, N.H.) Promoting Age-Friendly Communities in Southwest New Hampshire—to build the capacity of rural communities in southwestern New Hampshire to respond to changing demographics using an age-friendly framework. Cheshire Medical Center is the fiscal agent for the Southwest Region Planning Commission. Two-year grant for $80,000.
  • Coastline Elderly Services (New Bedford, Mass.) Age-Friendly Greater New Bedford—to create thriving communities that reflect and honor the diversity of older people; engage community members, businesses and civic leaders; and positively change attitudes towards aging in New Bedford. Three-year grant for $245,000.
  • Elder Services of Merrimack Valley (Lawrence, Mass.) Healthy Living Evidence-Based Program Implementation and Sustainability—to transition a fully integrated, statewide network for program delivery from reliance on philanthropic support to one that has an established value proposition for health care providers, housing and other payers. One-year grant for $93,788.
  • Enterprise Community Partners (Boston, Mass.) Senior Affordable Housing Learning Collaborative—to support the continuation of a successful health and housing learning collaborative that includes Boston-area community development corporations. One-year grant for $50,000.
  • Friends of Dedham Council on Aging (Dedham, Mass.) Livable Dedham: Implementation—to build the capacity of the Livable Dedham initiative, a suburban model/example of an age-friendly community. One-year grant for $57,000.
  • Groundwork Lawrence (Lawrence, Mass.) Age-Friendly Lawrence—to lead a multi-stakeholder group that will plan, assess and develop strategies to support age-friendly efforts in Lawrence. Two-year grant for $199,813.
  • Honoring Choices Massachusetts (Weston, Mass.) Who’s Your Agent? Health Care Planning Ambassador Program: Peer-to-Peer Health Care Planning Discussions to Improve Healthy Living—to expand into New Hampshire and Rhode Island a program meaningfully engaging older adults in peer-to-peer health care planning discussions. One-year grant for $45,000.
  • Local Initiative Support Corporation (Providence, R.I.) The Intergenerational Farmers’ Market Project—to address social isolation for older adults through relationship-building activities that capitalize on the integration of arts, culture and community resources across Rhode Island. Two-year grant for $120,000.
  • Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (Boston, Mass.) Public Education and Systems Orientation for Community Organizations Serving Older Adults: Building a Level Playing Field for Mental Health Knowledge and Care Navigation Competency—to build and strengthen the capacity of nonprofits and frontline staff to focus on older adult mental health, substance use, and co-occurring mental health and substance abuse conditions. Three-year grant for $270,000.
  • Mill City Grows (Lowell, Mass.) Marketing to Older Adults to Increase Healthy Food Access—to increase older people’s access to fresh, local foods in Lowell through marketing, incentives, conveniently placed mobile market locations and a tailored product line. One-year grant for $20,000.
  • Rhode Island Parent Information Network (Cranston, R.I.) Own Your Health: A System to Support Evidence-Based Health Promotion in R.I. for Older People—to improve Rhode Island’s system for providing evidence-based programs for older adults and their caregivers. One-year grant for $63,085.
  • Southwest Boston Senior Services (ETHOS) (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) AgeWell Equality—to improve the systems used by aging services and other providers to reach, engage and serve LGBT elders and to help providers become more relevant to older LGBT people. Two-year grant for $80,000.
  • St. Elizabeth Community (Providence, R.I.) Support and Services at Home (SASH)—to expand and sustain the nationally recognized Support and Services at Home program, a proven best practice, in Rhode Island. One-year grant for $49,500.
  • Sustainable Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (Manchester, N.H.) Becoming an Age-Friendly Community – Phase II—to utilize the completed community assessments and lessons learned from several age-friendly pilot communities conducted over the last year to guide additional communities as they develop short and long term age-friendly approaches. Two-year grant for $79,600.

The Foundation also awarded two Collaboration and Community Engagement (James Roosevelt, Jr., Leadership Fund) grants.

  • Cape Cod Foundation (South Yarmouth, Mass.) Healthy Aging-Cape Cod: A Two-Year Assessment and Planning Process to Become an Age-Friendly Region—to build upon initial planning to undertake assessment and action plan development for a regional age- and dementia-friendly effort on Cape Cod. Two-year grant for $121,520.
  • University of Massachusetts Foundation (Boston, Mass.) Age-Friendly Boston Initiative: Phase II—to leverage partnerships, build collaborations, and intersect with initiatives in other sectors identified as priorities in the implementation phase of Age-Friendly Boston Initiative. Two-year grant for $200,000.
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