For Immediate Release - February 23, 2011

AG Coakley Announces $1.5 Million in Grants for Preventive Care and to Reduce Health Care Disparities

Grants are the Result of Funds Obtained from Settlements with Merck, Eli Lilly and Pfizer

FALL RIVER - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that her office awarded $1.5 million in grants to seven organizations across the Commonwealth that work to promote preventive care and reduce health care disparities in Massachusetts.

AG Coakley made the announcement at Health First Family Care Center in Fall River, one of the seven organizations receiving the grant funding. Health First Family Care Center is a not-for-profit, federally funded health care facility for adults and children in the Fall River area, especially those without health insurance. AG Coakley toured Health First Family Care Center and met with the CEO and employees. The facility will receive a $250,000 grant to expand their case management program for patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

"We are pleased that these organizations and the people in their communities will benefit from these settlement funds," said Attorney General Coakley. "The organizations receiving these grants do critical work to reduce asthma, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic and potentially life-threatening diseases. Not only does this help care for the patients in their communities, but this kind of preventive care is on the front lines of our work to reduce health care costs in Massachusetts."

Seven recipients were selected after the office solicited proposals in September 2010. In order to qualify, the applicants must have proposed a use of funds that expands or provides new programs or services for underserved populations consistent with the three goals of the grant program: reducing health disparities; managing chronic disease; and promoting wellness for underserved populations.

The other six recipients are:

  • Berkshire Health Systems/Tri-Town Health Department , Lenox/Lee/Stockbridge: $250,000 to help reduce hypertension in the community through a county-wide blood pressure education and targeted clinical interventions.
  • Boston Medical Center, Boston: $242,000 to expand their Centering Pregnancy program and reduce tobacco use in expecting mothers to reduce disparities in preterm birth and low birth weight.
  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton : $163,000 to expand care management of patients with secondary psychological issues accompanying chronic diseases or other complex medical issues.
  • East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Boston: $250,000 to expand outreach and better track patients with the chronic diseases of adult and pediatric asthma and Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease (COPD).
  • Project COPE, Inc., Lynn: $250,000 to do outreach to and intensive case management with Black and Latina women and youth to reduce the risk of HIV and other infectious diseases.
  • Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, Orange: $95,000 to promote wellness and nutrition of low-income teens and increase food self-reliance among low-income households.

The grants are made possible under the terms of settlements reached by Attorney General Coakley's Office as a result of investigations of marketing conduct of pharmaceutical manufacturers for the blockbuster drugs Bextra, Vioxx and Zyprexa as well as with Hopkinton based medical defense manufacturer Stryker.

The settlements that funded these grants were handled by the Attorney General's Health Care Division; the grant selection process was handled by Attorney General Coakley's Community Information and Education Division.