Tufts Health Plan Foundation Awards $1.2 Million to 11 Community Organizations Investments advance healthy aging policies and practices

WATERTOWN, MA – December 17, 2018 – Tufts Health Plan Foundation today announced 11 new community investments of more than $1.2 million, reflecting the Foundation’s commitment to advancing policies and practices that support healthy aging. These investments are in addition to more than $2 million in previously announced work.

“Advocating for public policy or systems change is essential to achieving social change at scale,” said Thomas P. O’Neill III, who chairs the Tufts Health Plan Foundation board of directors. “By supporting age-friendly efforts, the Foundation hopes to create communities that work for all generations.”

Tufts Health Plan is the only regional funder exclusively focused on healthy aging. The new grants support efforts to engage and train older people as advocates on critical policy work, including addressing gaps in oral health, nutrition, housing, transportation, and community safety.

“We are investing in initiatives that promote coalitions and bring together government, nonprofit organizations, and older people to create communities that are great places to grow up and grow old,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for corporate citizenship at Tufts Health Plan. “Critical to any success is supporting older people as they lead and make their voices heard.”

The new grants engage community organizations in three states. All are aligned with the Foundation’s focus on supporting efforts that are inclusive, collaborative, address quality of life, and improve conditions for all across the lifespan.

Ten Policy and Advocacy grants were announced:

Community Catalyst (Boston, Mass.)
Lift Up Your Voice for Better Care! / Levanta Tu Voz para una Mejor Salud!
To train older people in Rhode Island as effective advocates and educated health care consumers. Trainees will become members of the Rhode Island Organizing Project, a local advocacy nonprofit, which organizes participants in health policy advocacy. Two-year grant for $125,000.

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (Roxbury, Mass.)
Development Without Displacement
To assist older people residing in affordable community land trust housing to prevent displacement. One-year grant of $50,000.

GreenRoots (Chelsea, Mass.)
A Diverse, Intergenerational Model for Equitable Public Transit Delivery
To support organizing and advocacy by older people on transportation issues affecting those with low-incomes in Chelsea, Mass. Two-year grant for $130,000.

Health Care For All (Boston, Mass.)
Engaging Older Adults to Mobilize and Advocate for Oral Health
To educate and engage older people in Massachusetts in Health Care For All’s Oral Health Advocacy Coalition. Advocacy goals include policy or system changes that ensure better oral health for older people, such as additional oral health benefits for MassHealth members and dental therapist licensure programs. Three-year grant for $120,000.

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (Boston, Mass.)
Older Adult Nutrition Access Project
To increase older people’s participation in the SNAP program by addressing policy and system level barriers. This will be accomplished through advocacy, training of enrollment agency staff and coalition building for stronger defense of federal nutrition programs. One-year grant for $60,000.

Massachusetts Public Health Association (Boston, Mass.)
Integrating an Age-Friendly Built Environment and Community Health
To continue advocacy on statewide policy initiatives addressing healthy housing and transportation. Efforts will include older people and focus on improving the social determinants of health and health equity. Two-year grant for $130,000.

New Hampshire Legal Assistance (Concord, N.H.)
New Hampshire Alliance for Healthy Aging Advocacy Initiative
To organize older people across New Hampshire and to lead the policy and advocacy work for the New Hampshire Alliance for Healthy Aging, the statewide collaboration advocating for healthy aging. Three-year grant for $180,000..

Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island (Providence, R.I.)
Senior Voices for Aging in Community – Years 4 & 5
To support the Senior Agenda Coalition as they engage older people with low incomes and develop their capacity as community leaders effectively advocating for policy change. Two-year grant of $120,000.

WalkBoston ( (Boston, Mass.)
Building a Massachusetts Community of Age-Friendly Walking Advocates
To expand the Massachusetts cohort of age-friendly walking advocates and practitioners while enhancing the capacity of the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative and other leaders to promote walking and walkability as core elements of the age- and dementia-friendly movement. Three-year grant of $165,000.

Way Finders, Inc. (Springfield, Mass.)
Flexing Civic Muscle for Equitable Infrastructure and Improved Public Safety
To increase the capacity of older advocates working on policy and system changes in Springfield. The advocates are residents of a low-income neighborhood and lead efforts targeting the built community environment and community safety. Two-year grant for $140,000.

The Foundation also awarded one grant focused on Systems and Best Practices.

HomeStart (Boston, Mass.)
Renew Collaborative
To conduct an impact evaluation and increase the sustainability and scalability of the Renew Collaborative, a program that promotes housing stability among older adults and other vulnerable populations by tapping the savings generated by preventing evictions. One-year grant of $50,000.

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