For Immediate Release - January 27, 2014

Patrick Administration Announces $42 Million for Community Partnerships to Promote Health and Wellness

First-in-the-nation program bolsters preventative health care, cuts costs

BOSTON — The Patrick Administration today announced more than $40 million in grants awarded to nine community-based partnerships to help fight chronic illness and improve health outcomes while reducing health care costs. Part of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, this first-in-the-nation effort is part of a $60 million grant over four years created by the Legislature and administered by the Department of Public Health (DPH).

“In Massachusetts, we believe that health care is a public good and every resident deserves access to affordable, quality care,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “These grants will help us reach that goal by funding the intervention strategies proven to work.”

“The Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund will help us promote innovative health and wellness programs in communities across our Commonwealth,” said Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz. “By addressing the specific health needs that cause the most common chronic illnesses, we can reduce long term costs of health care.”

The Fund supports community-based partnerships in achieving measurable health goals through research-based interventions. Working together, municipalities, healthcare systems, community organizations, businesses, regional planning organizations and schools design community-specific programs addressing issues such as: hypertension, smoking, falls prevention among older adults and pediatric asthma. As a condition of funding, each partnership must achieve specified health and cost saving benchmarks on at least two of the four health issues prioritized by the Trust.

“As a registered nurse, I’ve seen the power of prevention in improving health outcomes, and the importance of local partnerships in driving change at the community level,” said DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett. “These Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund grants will promote both of these worthy objectives in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”

Funded partnerships will work to reduce rates of the most prevalent and preventable health conditions, advance healthy behaviors, increase the adoption of workplace wellness or health management programs and address health disparities.

“By supporting wellness efforts in the Commonwealth, we are investing in good health,” Senate President Therese Murray said. “Too often we spend our resources treating short-term problems such as broken bones and infections, instead of looking at our long-term health and how to prevent disease. Chapter 224 takes the first step to reduce costs tied to diseases like diabetes, obesity and asthma and it’s important that we continue to expand our wellness programs and educate residents on how to maintain and manage their health.”

Each of the nine grantees will receive up to $250,000 for the first phase of their work. As grantees demonstrate their readiness to implement interventions in community and clinical settings, they will receive additional funding between $900,000 and $1.5 million for each of the next three years. The amount each partnership receives depends upon population covered and the number of conditions addressed.

"Community-based, proactive wellness initiatives effectively improve both health and financial outcomes," House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. "Massachusetts' preeminence in health care has benefitted our citizens immeasurably and I thank the Patrick Administration for extending that commitment."

“The Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund supports community-based prevention and wellness programs aimed at reducing the most costly and prevalent avoidable health conditions,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler, assistant majority leader and co-chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus. “By focusing on prevention and certain quantifiable benchmarks, the Trust enables the Commonwealth to provide new ways to deliver and fund health care.”

“As we seek to contain health care costs, it has become increasingly apparent that prevention is an important piece of the puzzle,” said Representative Jason Lewis, vice chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health and co-chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus. “The Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund will allow us to quantify the effect of specific prevention strategies and to establish their role in helping us decrease health care costs.”

“Wellness and prevention are critical to not only improving health, but reducing health care costs,” stated Senate President Pro Tempore Richard T. Moore, lead Senate negotiator for the Ch. 224 health care cost containment bill. “That is why we created this first-of-its-kind Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund through our recent health care cost containment and payment reform initiative. Through these strategic investments, the Commonwealth will partner with community organizations to work toward promoting quality of life while making health care more affordable across the board.”

“This funding addresses the health of the whole person and recognizes that the services and conditions in the community are equally important as what happens in the doctor’s office,” said Rebekah Gewirtz, executive director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, which led the effort to create the Trust. “This funding will help Massachusetts combat health disparities and reduce preventable health conditions that are costly to our businesses, families, and Commonwealth.”

"The Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund is innovative not only because it focuses on using best practices to address some of the most costly health factors, but also because it engages community partners to employ these strategies and holds grantees accountable to reaching health improvement outcomes. Evidence shows that investments in prevention pay off," said Susan Servais, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Council and a member of the Trust’s advisory board.

“Massachusetts has led the way in trying new approaches to health care reform, and the Trust shows the Patrick Administration’s continued dedication to addressing the health care cost crisis,” said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Trust for America’s Health.

List of Funded Partnerships

Barnstable County Department of Human Services (coordinating organization)

  • Community Health Center of Cape Cod
  • Duffy Health Center
  • Harbor Community Health Center, Hyannis
  • My Life, My Health Coalition of Cape Cod
  • YMCA of Cape Cod

Berkshire Medical Center (coordinating organization)

  • Berkshire County Boards of Health
  • Berkshire United Way
  • Berkshire Regional Planning Commission / Berkshire Public Health Alliance
  • Fairview Hospital
  • North Adams Regional Hospital
  • North Berkshire Community Coalition
  • Tri-town Health Department District

Boston Public Health Commission (coordinating organization)

  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • Boston Commission on Elderly Affairs (CBES and BSH)
  • Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Bowdoin Street Health Center
  • Codman Square Health Center
  • Dimock Center
  • Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
  • Ethos
  • Harbor Health Services
  • Health Resources in Action
  • Massachusetts Health Quality Partners/The Greater Boston Aligning Forces for Quality (GB AF4Q)
  • Upham’s Corner Health Center
  • Whittier Street Health Center

Holyoke Health Center (coordinating organization)

  • City of Holyoke
  • Greater Holyoke YMCA
  • Holyoke Medical Center, Inc.
  • River Valley Counseling Center, Inc.
  • Western Mass Physician Associates, Inc.

City of Lynn (coordinating organization)

  • Greater Lynn Senior Services, Inc.
  • Lynn Community Health Center
  • Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development
  • Lynn Public Schools
  • Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
  • Metropolitan Area Planning Council

City of New Bedford Health Department (coordinating organization)

  • New Bedford Health Department
  • Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center
  • Bristol County Elder Services
  • Catholic Social Services
  • Child and Family Services, Inc.
  • City of Fall River
  • Coastline Elderly
  • Fall River Housing Authority
  • Fall River Public Schools
  • Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, Inc.
  • Healthfirst Family Care Center, Inc.
  • Immigration Assistance Services
  • InterChurch Council of Greater New Bedford
  • Maguire Allergy Pediatrics
  • Mass in Motion / Mass in Motion Kids
  • New Bedford Housing Authority
  • New Bedford Public Schools
  • Partners for a Healthier Community
  • Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction
  • Seven Hills Behavior Health, Inc.
  • Stanley Street Treatment and Resources
  • Steward St Anne’s Hospital Corp.
  • Southcoast Health System
  • Tobacco Free Community Partnership
  • UMASS-Dartmouth
  • YMCA Southcoast

City of Worcester (coordinating organization)

  • Central MA Area Health Education Center
  • Community Legal Aid, Inc.
  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
  • Fallon Community Health Plan
  • Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc.
  • MA Audubon Society / Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Mosaic Cultural Complex
  • UMASS Medical School
  • UMASS Memorial Medical Center
  • VNA Network Care and Hospice
  • Worcester Child Development and Head Start Program
  • Worcester Public Schools

Manet Community Health Center (coordinating organization)

  • Bay State Community Services, Inc.
  • City of Quincy (Quincy Health Department)
  • Quincy Medical Center
  • South Shore Elder Services, Inc.
  • South Shore Hospital
  • South Shore Workforce Investment Board
  • South Shore YMCA, Inc.
  • Town of Weymouth

Town of Hudson (coordinating organization)

  • Central MA Area Health Education Center, Inc.
  • City of Marlborough
  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
  • JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
  • Latino Health Insurance Program, Inc.
  • Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • MetroWest Medical Center
  • MetroWest YMCA
  • Town of Framingham
  • Town of Northborough
  • YMCA of Central Massachusetts

For more information on the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund please visit: www.mass.gov/PWTF.

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