As reported by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the Worcester Business Journal, the Foundation recently awarded eleven Activation Fund grants totaling just under $900,000 to support a wide range of projects aimed at improving health and addressing barriers to health equity in Central Massachusetts. A generous $500,000 distribution was received from the Central Massachusetts Independent Physicians Association (CMIPA) Foundation in early 2022 as part of its Commonwealth approved wind-down, and that distribution has been applied towards these Activation Fund grants, helping the Foundation respond to urgent health needs.
The goal of the Activation Fund is to support discrete one-year projects intended to help an organization increase its capacity or effectiveness in a way that can be sustained over time. Through an extensive outreach process, the Foundation strives to raise awareness about the grant opportunity among community-based organizations of all sizes and types. This year’s recipients represent a diverse mix of organizations located throughout the region, the majority of which are first-time grantees. Since 2000, the Foundation has made $9.7 million in grants to more than 100 organizations through the Activation Fund.
The 2022 grant awards are as follows:
Community Health Center of Franklin County - $88,340 for buildout of office space to maximize patient care and outcomes at its North Quabbin facility, which serves more than 3,500 patients per year.
GAAMHA - $61,000 for installation of a new roof and windows at Pathway House, a 27-bed residential program for adult men with substance use disorders in Gardner, which serves an average of 70 individuals annually.
Guild of St Agnes - $118,000 to construct a 3,000 S.F. outdoor playground at its new state-of-the-art childcare facility and higher education learning lab on Mill Street in Worcester.
Making Opportunity Count - $120,000 to build out space for a new family health clinic in Fitchburg offering no-cost/low-cost sexual and reproductive health care for people in the North Central region.
Milford Youth Center - $115,250 for replacement of the HVAC and steam unit heating systems for the gym and basement areas of its facility to address air quality issues and increase operating efficiency.
Restoration Recovery Center - $33,562 to build capacity of its Recovery Coaching program in Fitchburg by formalizing a partnership with a local behavioral health center for referrals and third-party billing, and for purchase of related software to enhance data collection and reporting capabilities.
Thrive Support & Advocacy - $50,998 for furnishings and equipment to enable expansion of its Family Support Center in Worcester to include a new allergen-sensitive food pantry and additional space for after-school, recreational and vocational programming.
Western Mass Training Consortium - $67,627 for furnishings and technology to equip a new facility housing its Recovery Center of HOPE, a peer-led recovery program in the Quaboag region.
World Farmers - $120,000 for buildout of a new food aggregation and distribution hub adjacent to its main office in Lancaster to meet growing demand for its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and general wholesale operations selling cultural crops throughout the region.
YOU, Inc. - $56,795 for translation services and culturally aligned tools to equip a Bi-Lingual Welcome Center at the co-located Behavioral Health Center and Family Resource Center in Southbridge aimed at increasing accessibility of services for people with limited English proficiency.
Youth Villages - $67,573 for upfront costs associated with scaling its Intercept for Emergency Diversion program in Central Massachusetts, addressing the issue of youth boarding in hospitals as they wait for inpatient psychiatric beds.