For Immediate Release - September 09, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office to Offer Grants to Promote Health and Reduce Health Disparities

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office is now accepting grant applications from municipalities and non-profit organizations aimed at promoting health and wellness in underserved populations and reducing health disparities in Massachusetts. Grants that provide a maximum of $250,000 over a two-year period will be awarded to qualified organizations that can develop programs that will benefit residents by reducing health disparities, manage chronic diseases and/or promote wellness in underserved populations. A total of $1.5 million in grants will be awarded to qualified applicants in November.

"Developing strategies to promote health and wellness for all Massachusetts residents, especially for disadvantaged populations who face particular health challenges, is an important part of our efforts to improve health care quality and contain health care costs," said AG Coakley. "We are pleased that the settlements we obtained against pharmaceutical and health care companies will help fund innovative programs that will promote wellness, improve chronic disease management and reduce health disparities in communities around the Commonwealth."

The funding for this grant program stems from a series of settlements obtained by the Attorney General's Health Care Division against pharmaceutical and health care companies Merck, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer. Those settlements required the funds to be spent on programs that promote health. Previous programs funded by the settlements include the Prescription Drug Assistance Program and Project YES Wellness Program.

To qualify, grant recipients must be either a municipal agency or board or a qualified non-profit organization. The applicant must propose a use of the funds that expands or provides new programs or services for underserved populations consistent with the goals of the grant program. Successful applicants will propose data-driven, evidence-based programs to address identified needs.

Interested applicants can visit the Attorney General's website, www.mass.gov/ago/grants, for additional information about the application process and application materials. The application deadline is October 22, 2010. The grant money will be awarded on or around November 22, 2010 and will be for the two-year period beginning January 3, 2011 and ending December 31, 2012.

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