RELEASE: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan Foundations Give $1 Million to Expand COVID-19 Vaccine Education in Communities of Color

In their first joint community investment, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation are giving $1 million to 42 organizations across the region to expand vaccine education, awareness and outreach in communities of color. Eight Connecticut organizations will receive a total of $225,000 in funding. Just one month after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan announced their combined organization, this investment is an immediate response to emerging needs in Black and Brown communities across the region disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“We are at an inflection point in the pandemic,” said Thomas Croswell, chief executive officer of the combined organization of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, and a member of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation board. “As vaccine production and distribution are ramping up, important education efforts are taking place to address community concerns and we need to support them.”

Grant recommendations were informed by community organizations, public health leaders and other key stakeholders engaged in the vaccine rollout in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

“With the pandemic continuing to have a devastating impact on Black and Brown communities, this funding will give a boost to organizations across the region working tirelessly to support the needs of their community members and create awareness around the importance of the vaccine, ”said Michael Carson, president of the combined organization of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, and chairman of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation board.

Grants will support a range of organizations—from statewide organizations to local community nonprofits. They include faith-based organizations, trusted Black/Latinx-led community nonprofits, and organizations with experience coordinating multilingual efforts.

One of the organizations receiving a grant is the Hartford Health Department, serving the city of Hartford, Connecticut.

“Funding from the Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts Health Plan Foundations will support the development and dissemination of key messages to our Hartford residents about the efficacy, safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Liany E. Arroyo, MPH, CPH, director of the Department of Health and Human Services for the City of Hartford. “Working with our trusted partners at Trinity Health – Saint Francis and community partners like Malta House, now is the time to continue to connect with our communities of color and immigrant and undocumented populations around vaccine safety and ways they can access the COVID vaccine and keep themselves and their families healthy.”


The nine Rhode Island nonprofit organizations receiving grants are:

  • Children’s Friend (Providence), $15,000
  • Comprehensive Community Action Program (Cranston), $20,000
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (Newport), $10,000
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation RI (Providence), $20,000
  • ONE Neighborhood Builders (Providence), $20,000
  • Progreso Latino (Central Falls), $15,000
  • Thundermist Health Center (Woonsocket), $20,000
  • United Way of Rhode Island (Providence), $35,000
  • West Elmwood Housing Development Corp. (Providence), $20,000


Read the full Press release here