Fallon Health awards $100,000 to nine community-based programs in Massachusetts

Funding programs that support and focus on “at-risk” and “proven-risk” youth; improved access to nutrition and/or physical activity; health and social services for seniors; individuals with behavioral/mental health issues

Worcester, Mass., January 29, 2016 ― Fallon Health, a nationally recognized not-for-profit health care services organization, announced today that it awarded $100,000 in grants to nine innovative, not-for-profit, community-based programs across its service area in Massachusetts. Through its Community Benefits Grants program, Fallon supports like-minded organizations which share its mission of making our communities healthy. The company has distributed more than $1.2 million in Community Benefits Grants in the last 10 years. During that same period the number of grant requests annually has increased more than 400 percent.

Fallon determines its funding priorities every three years following a complete Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) of our service area. The following organizations were chosen for their ability to achieve positive health outcomes in four critical focus areas:

2015 focus areas and Community Benefits Grant recipients

1. Programs that promote opportunities for “at-risk”/”proven risk” youth and young adults between the ages of 12 to 21

• Bellesini Academy, Lawrence:  A grant of $10,000 for an after-school and evening study program for students from limited financial means living in Lawrence. The mission of the school is to provide an academically challenging and highly structured environment that develops the potential for each student to succeed in competitive secondary schools and colleges.

• UTEC, Lawrence and Lowell:  A grant of $10,000 for mentoring, casework and parenting services for proven-risk youth. This program helps young parents stabilize their family lives and achieve success in UTEC programs.

• Springfield Boys & Girls Club, Inc.: A grant of $10,000 for a teen enrichment program that helps teens with educational and career pursuits. It results in a trained, ready workforce for local employers.

2. Programs that improve access to good nutrition and/or promote physical activity

• Appalachian Mountain Club, Lawrence, Lowell and Worcester: A grant of $15,000 to bring powerful outdoor experiences to young people in Lawrence, Lowell and Worcester who would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in these unique character-building opportunities.

• Doc Wayne Youth Services, Central MA and Middlesex County: A grant of $10,000 to address the needs of children and youth with mental health concerns in Central MA and Middlesex County. The grant will fund Chalk Talk, a seven-week sports-focused group run by a clinician paired with a youth worker. While playing sports, youth practice pro-social behaviors such as positive decision-making and impulse control. These life skills improve behavioral health and enable youth to succeed at school, at home and in their communities.

3. Programs that focus on preventive health and social services for seniors

• Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services, Greater Lawrence:  A grant of $10,000 for its Tranquility Project II to expand programs offered to residents challenged by memory loss as well as provide support for their families

• Saint Paul’s Elder Outreach Program, Worcester:  A grant of $10,000 for the Worcester Prevention Wellness Trust Falls Prevention Program. This program works to reduce rates of falls among older adults living in Worcester, while also advancing healthy behaviors as they apply to fall prevention as well as increase the availability of fall prevention evidence-based programs.

4. Programs that provide services to support individuals with behavioral and/or mental health issues with specific emphasis on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable group by their ethnicity, age, demographics and risk-factors

• Community Healthlink, Worcester:  A grant of $15,000 to Families and Communities Together (FCT) to integrate wellness interventions into children’s behavioral health services. FCT’s pilot initiative for children with serious emotional disorders will build a platform for the integration of pediatric care and behavioral health care. The project will encourage healthy habits for the children and their families that can improve the quality and length of their life.

• Father Bill’s & Main Spring (FBMS), South Shore: A grant of $10,000 for The Main Spring Outreach Program. The program is committed to ending and preventing homelessness in Southern Massachusetts with programs that provide emergency and permanent housing and help people obtain skills, jobs and services. This grant allows FBMS to further establish partnerships among mental health provider/facilities, emergency medical centers and substance abuse treatment programs.

“Throughout our 39-year history, we’ve recognize that partnerships play a critical role in our ability to help people of all ages, income levels and health statuses to achieve their health goals,” said Richard Burke, interim President and CEO. “Fallon is fortunate to once again partner with non-profits across the state to improve the health and well-being of the community and to create sustainable change in 2016 and beyond.”

In addition to its Community Benefits Grant program, Fallon offers robust community support including in-kind donations, wellness programs and volunteering. For more information, visit fallonhealth.org/community.

Carrie Wattu

About Fallon Health
Founded in 1977, Fallon Health is a leading health care services organization that supports the diverse and changing needs of those we serve. In addition to offering innovative health insurance solutions and a variety of Medicaid and Medicare products, we excel in creating unique health care programs and services that provide coordinated, integrated care for seniors and individuals with complex health needs. Fallon has consistently ranked among the nation’s top health plans, and is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its HMO, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid products. For more information, visit www.fallonhealth.org.