Southcoast Health awards $135,000 in grants to 22 non-profit organizations throughout the region

In the most recently reported fiscal year 2014, Southcoast Health invested more than $22 million in community benefits initiatives

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health today announced the recipients of its Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program grants for fiscal year 2016. This is the first of an annual competitive grant process focused 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 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 22 non-profit organizations throughout the region. Southcoast Health awarded a total of $135,000 in its first Community Benefits Impact Opportunity program grants.

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 2016 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. Projects also help address high rates of chronic disease in our region by helping residents better manage conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Organizations awarded grants this year are:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Fall River
  • Boys and Girls Club of Greater New Bedford
  • Coastline Elder Services
  • Drug Free New Bedford-Greater New Bedford Inter-Church Council
  • Family Services Association
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
  • High Point
  • Immigrants Assistance Center
  • Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts
  • Learn to Cope
  • Marion Institute
  • Mass in Motion New Bedford
  • Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community
  • People Incorporated
  • Southeastern Massachusetts SER Jobs for Progress
  • Trips for Kids New Bedford
  • United Neighbors of Fall River
  • Wareham School Department
  • YMCA Southcoast
  • Youth Build Fall River
  • YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts

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 2014, Southcoast Health invested more than $22 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.