Southcoast Health offering $125,000 in community grants to help address region’s unmet health needs

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Southcoast Health today announced that it is offering $125,000 in grants to community partners uniquely positioned to effectively address the unmet health needs of the South Coast region.

“We look at optimal health from a broad definition and understand that many factors can impact health,” noted Kerry Mello, Community Benefits Manager for Southcoast Health. “These include the social determinants of health such as food security, housing, educational and work opportunities, and safe neighborhoods and outdoor spaces where there are opportunities for all to engage in healthy activities.”

As a not-for-profit health system, Southcoast Health invests significantly in community benefit programs and services that provide care for the region’s most vulnerable residents and help improve the health of our communities. In 2014, Southcoast Health invested almost $22 million in community benefits, including almost $10 million in charity care for the region’s neediest residents.

Southcoast Health is offering a Community Benefit Impact Opportunity Grant/Request for Proposals (RFP), which seeks applications that align with the health priority areas identified in Southcoast Health’s most recent 2014 Community Benefits Report. The average anticipated award will range between $5,000 and $10,000 with an upper limit of $20,000.
Southcoast Health’s priority areas for this current year 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, including 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 deadline for submission of grant proposals is January 31. Grant selection will be finalized by February 29. To obtain a copy of the full RFP, contact Kerry Mello at or visit