NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health announced today the recipients of its Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program grants for fiscal year 2019. These annual, competitive grants address unmet health needs in communities on the South Coast.
“We are passionate about improving the health of our patients and our communities, and mitigating the social conditions that contribute to poor health. As a leading healthcare provider, Southcoast Health plays a critical leadership role in our community,” said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health. “One of the greatest attributes of our region is a unique spirit of collaboration. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to support and collaborate with so many worthy organizations across our region that are making a positive difference for individuals and families here in the South Coast.”
This year, Southcoast Health received an overwhelming response to the request for proposals and has committed to funding 18 programs from across the region. Southcoast Health awarded a total of $150,000 in its fourth annual Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program grants. During its first four years, the program has awarded 111 community impact grants totaling $559,565.
Grant recipients’ goals align with Southcoast Health’s community benefits priorities, which are based on a comprehensive health needs assessment. These identified priorities for our region include:
– Reduction of the high rate of chronic disease in our region, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer and other diseases.
– Reducing health disparities, including racial and ethnic disparities, income-based disparities, and education-based disparities.
– Reduction in the incidence of youth risk behaviors such as teen violence, high rates of teen pregnancy and substance abuse.
– Behavioral health issues that include substance abuse and mental health, with improved coordination of a regional behavioral health system.
– Reducing homelessness in our region through collaborative efforts on issues including education and housing.
– Development of healthy “system and environment” change, including healthy food options, increased access to free and low-cost opportunities for active living such as public parks, bike trails etc., and reduction in the high rate of smoking in our communities.
– Maternal and children’s health, including fetal and infant health, abuse and neglect, hospitalizations, substance abuse, healthy weight and mortality.
The selected grantees for fiscal year 2019 represent a variety of programs that positively impact communities across the South Coast. This year, funded initiatives range from a program providing health screenings to the homeless to supporting case management for those struggling with an opioid use disorder. Some of the projects promote wellness through promoting healthy eating and opportunities for physical activity. Others help residents build healthy families through positive youth development and provide socialization for elders experiencing memory issues and their caregivers.
Organizations awarded grants this year are:
Acushnet Council on Aging
Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Fall River
Boy’s and Girl’s Club of New Bedford/Wareham
City of New Bedford Community Services Department
Community Economic Development Center of SE MA
Father Bill’s & Mainspring in collaboration with Wareham Area Committee for the Homeless
Grace Church: Laundry of Love
Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
Immigrants Assistance Center
Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford
Junior Achievement of Southeastern Massachusetts
Our Sisters School
People Inc.: Diabetes Association, Inc.
SSTAR: Family Health Center
United Neighbors of Fall River
YMCA Southcoast: Gleason
Youth Opportunities Unlimited