In October 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the second round of awardees for the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds (known as “The Funds”). The Funds, established in 2017 as part of a landmark revision of the Determination of Need (DoN) regulations, are intentionally invested throughout the Commonwealth to promote health equity by disrupting and removing barriers to health including structural and institutional racism, poverty, and deep power imbalances. 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 and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) in partnership with HRiA, the 24 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.
The 2022 cohort, in total, includes $15.6M in grants that will support 24 lead organizations and their partner organizations, ultimately impacting 183 cities and towns across the state.
“We are excited to bring on this new cohort to the MA CHHAF. The scope and depth of their work to address social determinants of health in their communities ensure that those most impacted by these issues are at the forefront of the work. This is one of the key factors in dismantling the root causes of health inequities in addition to using a racial justice and health equity lens to fight these issues head-on. I’m honored to be in company with all the awardees, past and present!” says Alberte Altine-Gibson, Director of the Funds at Health Resources in Action.
In total, the Funds have distributed $30.3M to 56 awardees and 60+ of their community partners across the Commonwealth. The Funds have become one of the largest health funders in the state, operated uniquely through a public-private partnership between MDPH and Health Resources in Action (HRiA), a nonprofit public health institute. Awardees from both cohorts will have opportunities to network with their peers throughout the state as the Funds hosts several learning sessions and other peer learning opportunities each year.
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 65 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:
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize is a national program designed to uplift communities across the United States to advance health and promote health equity. After 7 years of impactful work, the foundation decided to make a shift in the capacity of the program and partner with HRiA to manage and lead the Culture of Health Prize program. We at HRiA along with sub-partners are tasked with redesigning and relaunching the Prize program with a focus of increasing the programs range with an emphasis on racial equity, and narrative change of what signifies a healthy and equitable community.
- Jeffress Memorial Trust – The Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, founded in 1981 by Robert M. Jeffress in memory of his parents, is guided by its mission to benefit the people of Virginia and their research in chemical, medical, or other scientific fields. The goal of the Jeffress Trust Awards Program in Research Advancing Health Equity is to further leverage the strengths of Virginia communities, organizations, and institutions in continuing to help its residents achieve optimal health. The Program will distribute funding to support research activities in Policy, Systems, and Environmental change strategies (PSE strategies) Analysis, Program/Practice Analysis, and General Research
To learn more about The Funds, visit https://mahealthfunds.org/. Subscribe to the newsletter to learn about Funds’ developments and awardee activities and progress.