In September 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the first round of awardees for its Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds (known as “The Funds”). The Funds, established in 2018 as part of a landmark revision of the Determination of Need (DoN) regulations, are intentionally invested throughout the Commonwealth to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism and promote health equity. Health Resources in Action (HRiA) is the fiscal agent responsible for leading the planning and implementation of the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds investment approaches. DPH, in partnership with HRiA, the 32 awardees, and their many community partners, aims to create measurable impact on structural racism, social determinants of health, and health outcomes across the state, in areas that typically aren’t supported by DoN community health funding.
“A coordinated approach that invests in community leadership and strengthens efforts to transform systems and practices that perpetuate structural racism is vital to achieving health equity,” says Nineequa Blanding, Vice President and Director of the Funds at Health Resources in Action. “We are thrilled to partner with MADPH alongside all of our new partners to drive collective action. I am certainly energized by their commitment and vision for meaningful change.”
HRiA is committed to centering health and racial equity in our work and uniquely positioned to act as the steward of The Funds. Not only has HRiA has been a leader in advancing public health and medical research through grantmaking for over 60 years, but our capacity building, technical assistance, and community health improvement experience ensures that applicants and awardees are supported and that the Funds’ activities lead to measurable impact.
Our diverse grantmaking and program administration portfolio includes:
- The Innovative Stable Housing Initiative (ISHI) – a pilot project funded by Boston Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Determination of Need Community Health Initiative. With a combined investment of almost $3 million dollars over three years, ISHI’s goal is to identify, assess, and fund strategic approaches to increase housing stability for Boston residents. https://www.ishiboston.org/
- The MassHealth Provider Access Improvement Grant Program (PAIGP) invests funds to help eligible MassHealth Fee-for-Service providers increase access to healthcare and improve outcomes for patients with disabilities or for whom English is not a primary language, through the purchase of accessible medical diagnostic equipment, communication devices, and other resources.
- The Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, supports research proposals from both nonprofit organizations and academic institutions that serve children with physical or developmental disabilities and associated health-related complications within the Greater Boston area with a research focused on improving the quality of life for children with disabilities. https://hria.org/tmf/noonan/
To learn more about The Funds, visit https://mahealthfunds.org/ and subscribe to the newsletter to learn about Funds’ developments and awardee activities and progress.