Springfield, MA– July 8, 2021 – The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts (PHIWM) was awarded a two-year grant of $160,000 from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to work with the Live Well Springfield Coalition to foster an age-friendly ecosystem and health equity approach to policies and practices in Springfield and Hampden County.
“We are grateful to Tufts Health Plan Foundation for their continued partnership in building capacity for policy change so older adults can lead healthy lives. Our collaborative work in Springfield is a model for the state and nation,” said Jessica Collins, Executive Director.
The LiveWell Springfield Coalition will use this funding to ensure housing policies and solutions make resources accessible to all older people. The work includes: collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department, criminal justice reform advocates, housing, and behavioral health providers to advance supports for older adults with criminal records to ensure housing and health access; the development of an action plan and digital toolkit to support older adults’ health at home; and an effort to recruit and train older adult resident leaders who can advocate for age-friendly best practices and initiatives. Our key partners working to advance the ecosystem for older adults under this grant include Baystate Geriatrics, TechSpring, Baystate Neighborhood Health Centers, New North Citizen's Council, Men of Color Health Awareness, and the Alliance for Digital Equity as well as the Age Friendly Advisory Board.
“The promise made in the 2019 designation to make Springfield an Age-Friendly city continues through this grant. I believe that older adults' voices are being heard in our coalition and will continue to be heard and reflected in our work through our Age-Friendly ecosystem.” Samantha Hamilton, Live Well Springfield Program Manager.
Tufts Health Plan Foundation is the only regional funder exclusively focused on healthy aging. This is one of 16 new community investments totaling nearly $2 million reflecting the Foundation’s support for collaborative initiatives helping communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island be great places to grow up and grow old. The new grants engage older people in systems-level change to remove barriers responsible for inequities in communities across the region.
“Older people were among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for corporate citizenship at Point32Health. “These investments will support community resiliency and build on what we’ve learned in the past 16 months—that collaboration across organizations and sectors strengthens communities and result in better outcomes.”
About the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts
The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts was formed over 25 years ago with the goal of building measurably healthier communities using data and its convening power to create collaborative partnerships. PHIWM convenes the Live Well Springfield Coalition which brings together over 30 organizations working together to build and sustain a culture of health in Springfield that includes the broadest definition of health, including healthy eating, active living, the built environment, economic opportunity, housing, and education. Visit https://www.publichealthwm.org/ and http://www.livewellspringfield.org and follow us on Facebook.
About Tufts Health Plan Foundation
Established in 2008, Tufts Health Plan Foundation supports the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve. The Foundation has given nearly $50 million to nonprofits in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Our focus is healthy living with an emphasis on older people and moving communities toward age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on older people, and include them in community solutions. In 2021, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan combined under a common parent organization, Point32Health. Moving forward, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan Foundations will work as one to benefit community. Visit www.tuftshealthplanfoundation.org for grant program information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.