BWH donates money to local organizations

MissionSafe and Sociedad Latina, along with other local community organizations, will receive funding as part of an investment from Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s (BWH) Center for Community Health and Healthy Equity, according to a press release.

The hospital has awarded $640,000 in funding to 14 community organizations to help extend their reach and increase their impact. Grants may range from $20,000 to $100,000 per year for three years. The hospital investment will ultimately total $4.45 million to support community-led health equity efforts taking place in five priority neighborhoods, including Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and Roxbury.

The hospital funds were provided through a community health improvement allocation associated with the approval of two building projects: the expansion on its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the creation of the Building for Transformative Medicine.

“Eighty percent of what makes us healthy can be attributed to factors outside of the health care system, such as whether we live in a safe neighborhood, have access to high-quality education or have access to healthy, affordable foods,” said Wanda McClain, vice president of Community Health and Health Equity at BWH, according to the press release. “These 14 organizations are working closely with their communities to address the social factors that contribute to poor health outcomes. We see these funds as an opportunity to expand what is often thought as the traditional scope of health care to promote prevention and wellness at the community level.”

BWH used a community health needs assessment and an interactive online community engagement tool to decide what areas should receive grant funding.

As a result of that process, BWH identified three main areas for funding: 1) community psychological wellness and well-being, 2) employment and job skill development opportunities, and 3) addressing health inequity issues with a racial equity lens. Of 86 community organizations that applied, 14 were selected for funding.

The following is a list of the organizations that were selected for the first round of three-year grants:

  • All Dorchester Sports League: Fit Kitchen program will enable parents and guardians to participate in multilingual interactive healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition education;
  • Alternative for Community and Environment: Engaging community members in the Dudley Square neighborhood on the issue of the health and social impacts of residential displacement;
  • Baraka Community Wellness: Jamaica Plain project that will provide fitness classes, nutrition and parent nurturing education, housing advocacy and enhanced food access for low-income residents of local public housing developments;
  • College Bound Dorchester: To provide highly disengaged and proven at-risk students with the skills and support networks needed to succeed academically;
  • Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition: Engage young people in Mattapan as leaders in multigenerational community building efforts that increase opportunities for physical activity and enhance social and trauma support;
  • MissionSAFE: Outreach and work with young people ages 14-19 at risk of violence, in collaboration with other organizations, the program will provide activities aimed at restorative justice, and building resilience among youth;
  • Mothers for Justice and Equality: Help young mothers who are incarcerated prepare for release with personal leadership training, financial literacy and parenting supports with mentoring that continues when they return to the community;
  • Sociedad Latina: Supports young people ages 14-21 from Boston’s low-income Latino and Mission Hill/Roxbury communities, providing them with skill building and exploration, sector-specific training, internship placements, mentoring and academic case management;
  • Span, Incorporated: An evidence-based model of case management support to incarcerated individuals prior to and following their release, to enhance their physical and behavioral health, as well as socioeconomic stability;
  • St. Stephen’s Youth Programs: Social and emotional support for young people, families and staff, including individual, group and family therapy and staff members are provided with individual support and clinical training on a variety of mental health topics;
  • The HEART Consortium: Home health aide training for entry level employment in the healthcare sector, promote networking among home health aides to reduce isolation inherent in their work and to expand job growth and career development;
  • Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry: Job readiness program offering trauma survivors a healing and nurturing environment to develop life navigational skills that enable success in next-step skills training, entry-level work or secondary education;
  • United South End Settlements: Provide holistic wellness and healthy lifestyles support to low-income seniors to enable them to attain optimum health and enhanced social engagement;
  • Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts: Provide job training and skills development to individuals 45 years and above to support their reentry to the workforce or continued employment to gain and maintain their financial independence.

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