October 31, 2018

More than $1M in grants awarded for 15 Central Mass. health projects

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts has awarded more than $1 million in grants to support a range of health-related projects throughout the region.

Francis Saba, the former CEO of Milford Regional Medical Center and chairman of the foundation's board, said the foundation received a near-record 73 letters of intent for financial support.

"The hard work of the agencies which applied, along with a thorough analysis of the proposals completed by the Foundation's Distribution Committee, resulted in the Board's awarding of 15 Activation Fund grants, totaling $1,067,849 in funding support," he said.

The grants awarded are:

  • Athol Area YMCA -- $68,000 for renovations to its Men's Residence Center to increase its capacity to provide stable and affordable short-term and long-term housing for men by increasing the number of rooms, updating bathroom facilities, and installing a kitchen and laundry area.
  • NEADS World Class Service Dogs -- $60,544 to purchase a new handicap accessible van to be used to safely transport clients and service dogs/puppies for training and veterinary care.
  • YWCA of Central Massachusetts -- $95,000 for the addition of a pre-kindergarten classroom to increase its pre-school student capacity and enhance its preschool STEM programming to meet the demand for quality childcare in Worcester, especially for underserved children.
  • Genesis Club of Worcester -- $50,000 to collaborate with Open Sky Community Services to coordinate care for individuals with serious mental illness who are eligible for the Central Community Health Partnership, a community partner approved to work with MassHealth Accountable Care Organizations.
  • Catholic Charities of Worcester County -- $75,000 for the installation of a fire suppression system and an ADA-compliant bathroom as part of renovations to open a 20-bed substance abuse recovery home for unaccompanied women in Leominster.
  • Community Health Connections -- $100,000 to create an in-house dental prosthetics laboratory to increase access and training opportunities in the Fitchburg area.
  • Community Healthlink -- $65,000 to hire a full-time registered nurse to expand access to office-based opioid treatment at the Worcester Counseling Center for patients seen at Community Healthlink's Urgent Care center.
  • World Farmers -- $99,805 for the construction of a mill house to house a commercial-grade food mill for immigrant and refugee farmers to produce milled value-added products for personal consumption and for sale.
  • The SHINE Initiative -- $57,000 to promote mental health education through enhancements to its website and the development of social media tools to increase scalability for its programs related to mental health and wellness for youth and adults.
  • Southbridge Public Schools -- $100,000 to hire a district-level Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) expert for one year to work with principals, school-based PBIS coaches, teachers, and staff on this program aimed at improving academic and social behavior outcomes for students.
  • Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation -- $37,500 to be used for pottery wheels, signage, marketing, and initial staffing for the launch of a pottery studio as part of the redevelopment of a downtown building block to revitalize downtown Ware and create jobs and healthy activities.
  • Riverside Community Care -- $100,000 to construct new offices to house four additional child clinicians to increase access to mental health services for children and adolescents in South Central Massachusetts.
  • Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester -- $30,000 to support its Critical Home Repair program which repairs homes for low-to-moderate income seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and their families.
  • Jeremiah's Inn -- $100,000 for furnishings and fixtures for a Massachusetts Alliance of Sober Housing certified sober housing program being launched in Worcester.
  • Employment Options -- $30,000 to hire a part-time Prep Chef to increase the capacity of its Catering Options social enterprise for individuals with mental health conditions primarily in the MetroWest area.
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