Initiatives Promote Cross-Sector Collaboration, Address Inequities

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced new community investments of more than $1.7 million to build healthier communities by promoting collaboration and improving systems and best practices. These grants reflect the Foundation’s commitment to advancing age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on older adults, and include them in community solutions.  To date this year, the Foundation’s active community investments, including ongoing commitments to previously announced grants, total more than $2.6 million.

“Momentum is building around the age-friendly movement,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president, corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan.  “These grants emphasize collaboration and system change. Whether in Boston, Cape Cod, the Berkshires, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, these efforts will lead to health improvements for older adults and the entire community.”

In addition to supporting regional and local efforts to help communities become more age-friendly, the new Foundation investments: train first responders and healthcare professionals to better understand the needs of those living with dementia; inform older adults about healthcare choices; improve access to wellness programs and classes for vulnerable older adults to manage their chronic diseases; expand availability of supportive services at senior housing sites; identify factors influencing the health of older adults; and increase awareness of social isolation and mental health among older adults.

“Our investments focus on improving community livability and addressing inequities to help older adults live healthier, fulfilling lives,” said Moreno Cargie. “Every community has different needs and opportunities. Some communities are just starting; others have been engaged in this work and are ready to take their initiatives to the next level. We want to honor communities where they are.”

The 21 new grants represent collaborations with more than 200 community organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Eighteen Systems and Best Practices grants address health and wellness, workforce development, purposeful engagement, and field and capacity building.

Rhode Island grantees were:

  •     GCRI Member Local Initiative Support Corporation (Providence, RI)
    The Intergenerational Farmer’s Market Project—to support intergenerational programming that alleviates social isolation by bringing together older adults and teens in the Central Falls/Pawtucket area of Rhode Island. One-year grant for $75,000.
  •    Rhode Island Parent Information Network (Cranston, RI)
    Own Your Health: A System to Support Evidence-Based Health Promotion in RI for Older Adults—to work with partners in the Own Your Own Health Collaborative to improve Rhode Island’s system for accessing evidence-based programs for older adults. One-year grant for $81,497.
  • St. Elizabeth Community (Providence, RI)
    The WellCare Program—to expand and sustain the nationally recognized Support and Services at Home (SASH) program, a proven best practice, in Rhode Island. One-year grant for $65,000.