July 7, 2021

Community organizations receive nearly $2 million to support healthy aging

Tufts Health Plan Foundation today announced 16 new grants to support collaborative initiatives helping communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island be great places to grow up and grow old.

“We’ve seen dramatic inequities across the region over this past year,” said Thomas P. O’Neill, III, chair of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation board. “As our region moves toward recovery, we have an opportunity—and an obligation—to rethink how our systems support healthy aging and older people. Communities that are welcoming for older adults are welcoming for young families and everyone in between.”

The grants, totaling $1.95 million, aim to increase access to healthy food, housing, technology, and other supports. They invest in community-led efforts to promote systems change and encourage collaboration.
Comprehensive data on healthy aging now available for every Connecticut city and town
The first-ever Connecticut Healthy Aging Data Report was released last week. It includes 181 comprehensive community profiles: one for each of the state’s 169 cities and towns, plus 12 neighborhoods in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford.

The report was released at an event celebrating the launch of the Connecticut Age Well Collaborative, a group of public, private and philanthropic aging and community leaders with the vision of an Age-Friendly Connecticut: a great place to grow up and grow old. New legislation supporting the state's senior centers also was announced at the event.

“We are all aging,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for Corporate Citizenship at Point32Health. “These data will help us age well as community leaders use the report to understand gaps and opportunities to improve the quality of life for all residents.”

Funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the research was conducted by the Gerontology Institute at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
New name for parent company; our commitment to community remains strong

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan combined to form one organization, now known as Point32Health. This week our Foundations begin operating as one, building on the strong community relationships we have formed over the years.

"Community is at the heart of what we do," said Nora Moreno Cargie, who will lead the Foundations and serve as vice president for Corporate Citizenship for Point32Health. "Our greatest successes have come from listening and learning from communities. We will continue to do that and invest in what matters to community leaders."

The Foundations already have begun working together to support nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. For now, we will retain our existing names.

We will continue to support healthy food and healthy aging efforts. We will build on experiences with our partners as well as lessons learned during the pandemic:
  • Systemic inequities cause health disparities
  • #1 priority during the pandemic was food access
  • Older people and communities of color were disproportionately affected by pandemic
  • Collaboration is a protective factor for communities experiencing crises
To learn more about current grantmaking opportunities, view the recording from our most recent Information Session. We will share updates via our newsletter and website in the coming months. Sign up below to make sure you are on our mailing list.
Policy and Advocacy letters of intent are due July 23

Engaging in policy and advocacy is essential to building healthy communities. Tufts Health Plan Foundation supports policy and/or systems-level change leading to age-friendly communities.

Community organizations interested in submitting to our Policy and Advocacy grant program should do so by 4 p.m. on July 23. View the recording of our most recent Information Session for more information.
Massachusetts marks year-two age-friendly accomplishments

The year two progress report for ReiMAgine Aging, the Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan was released at an event celebrating the strength of communities. Elizabeth Chen, secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, submitted the report to AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa.

“Each May, we celebrate Older Americans Month. This year’s theme – Communities of Strength – is fitting for this moment,” said Executive Office of Elder Affairs Secretary Elizabeth Chen. “It has not been an easy year for anyone, especially older adults. But as much as this has been a challenging time, our communities have come together to demonstrate the power of collective resilience and the importance of building community.”

The virtual celebration, held during Older Americans Month, highlighted work in communities across the Commonwealth.

"Communities demonstrated how to be relevant," said President of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and Vice President of Corporate Citizenship at Tufts Health Plan Nora Moreno Cargie. "They responded with innovation, authentically engaging older people and, most importantly, harnessing the wisdom of all residents as they create neighborhoods that are great places to grow up and grow old."

The event also featured community voices sharing their thoughts on what it means to be an age-friendly community. View the video here.
Community organizations continue to lead the way on COVID vaccine education and outreach

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report all six New England states have vaccinated at least 60% of their population.

A variety of factors contribute to this public health success, including the many community organizations who mobilized to do outreach and education. Earlier this year, Tufts Health Plan Foundation and Harvard Pilgrim Foundation made their first joint community investment, giving $1 million to 42 organizations doing COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education in communities of color in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Several of the organizations have shared their insights in recent weeks.

Foundation offers double match in response to racial injustice and COVID-19 crisis in India

Responding to increasing violence against Asian Americans and the COVID crisis in India, the Foundation extended its double match program.

Thanks to the generosity of Point32Health employees:

  • Nearly $33,000 went to nonprofits advancing racial justice—including organizations supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities experiencing violence.
  • More than $30,000 was contributed to nonprofit organizations providing relief on the ground in India.
Household essentials drive delivers

Point32Health employees supported organizations addressing housing insecurity, an important social determinant of health during our annual household essentials drive.

Nearly $9,500 donations went to organizations serving individuals and families transitioning from homelessness. The items were distributed to Crossroads Rhode Island; DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) in Quincy; Families in Transition in New Hampshire; Hearth, which serves Greater Boston; the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter; and the South Park Inn in Hartford, Conn.
Age- and dementia-friendly summit set for the fall

Plans are underway for a virtual summit to give Massachusetts communities an opportunity to share and learn best practices around age- and dementia-friendly work. The summit will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on both September 27 and 28.

The Foundation is collaborating with AARP MA, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the Massachusetts Councils on Aging. We will share information on speakers and breakout sessions as the agenda develops.
Momentum Fund will support organizations serving older people disproportionately affected by pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities even as we see some recovery. Organizations and coalitions across the region are thinking about how to address ongoing challenges and create a new future that supports healthy aging.

In response, the Momentum Fund will provide general operating support to organizations working with diverse older people in communities disproportionately impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Grants will support nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

No application is necessary.

The Foundation team will gather input from community members and also from participants in age-friendly backbone collaboratives that connect to dozens of nonprofits in each state (Age Friendly Rhode Island, Connecticut Age Well Collaborative, Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative, and New Hampshire Alliance for Healthy Aging). If your organization works with older people and is not familiar with these collaborations, we encourage you to visit their websites and get involved.
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