Southcoast Health awards $132,500 in grants to 31 non-profit organizations throughout the region

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health today announced the recipients of its Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program grants for fiscal year 2017. This annual competitive grant process focuses on addressing unmet health needs on the South Coast.

“As a not-for-profit health system, we are driven by our mission of promoting the optimal health and well-being of individuals in the communities we serve. Safeguarding and improving the health of hundreds of thousands individuals and families in the South Coast region is a passion and commitment that we take very seriously,” said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health. “We work collaboratively with many community partners and we are happy to be able to support this work through our new grant process.”

Southcoast Health had an overwhelming response to its request for proposals and was able to provide funding to 31 non-profit organizations throughout the region. Southcoast Health awarded a total of $132,500 in its second annual Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program grants. During its first two years, the program has awarded 53 community impact grants totaling more than $250,000.

Grant recipients’ goals are aligned 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.
  • 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 2017 represent a variety of programs that positively impact communities across the South Coast. These range from a program providing laundry services to homeless residents, to outreach and care coordination and support groups for residents impacted by the opioid crisis. Other projects promote wellness through programs that impact healthy eating and opportunities for physical activity.

Organizations awarded grants this year are:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Fall River (Fall River)
  • Boys and Girls Club of Greater New Bedford/Wareham (New Bedford/Wareham)
  • Bristol Elder Services (Fall River)
  • Child and Family Services (New Bedford)
  • Citizens for Citizens, Inc: Head Start/Early Head Start (Fall River)
  • Community Foundation of Southeastern MA: The Southcoast LGBTQ Network (Regional)
  • Dartmouth Board of Health (Dartmouth)
  • Fall River Public Schools: Fall River Parent Academy (Fall River)
  • Fall River Public Schools: Health and PE Department (Fall River)
  • Fall River Re-Creation (Fall River)
  • Grace Episcopal Church: Laundry Love (New Bedford)
  • Healthy Tri-Town Coalition (Marion/Mattapoisett/Rochester)
  • Immigrants Assistance Center (New Bedford)
  • Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford (New Bedford)
  • Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts (Regional)
  • Marion Council on Aging (Marion)
  • The Marion Institute (New Bedford)
  • Mayor’s Youth Council (Fall River)
  • New Bedford Community Service Department (New Bedford)
  • New Bedford Parks and Recreation (New Bedford)
  • PACE New Bedford (New Bedford)
  • People Incorporated-Diabetes Association, Inc. (Fall River)
  • River to Recovery Fall River)
  • South Shore Women’s Center (Wareham)
  • SSTAR (Fall River)
  • Steppingstone Incorporated (Fall River)
  • United Neighbors of Fall River (Fall River)
  • Wareham School Department (Wareham)
  • YMCA Southcoast (Regional)
  • Youth Opportunities Unlimited (New Bedford)
  • YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts (New Bedford)Visit to learn more about Southcoast Health’s overall impact on the communities it serves.

The annual Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program is part of larger community benefits efforts which positively impacts hundreds of thousands of residents on the South Coast. In the most recently reported fiscal year 2015, Southcoast Health invested almost $20 million in community benefits initiatives, including charity care, hospital-based programs, collaboration with federally qualified community health centers, regional health and human service partnerships and support of community health programs.