The “Moving Massachusetts Upstream” (MassUP) initiative is a partnership across Massachusetts state agencies including the Health Policy Commission (HPC), the Department of Public Health (DPH), MassHealth, the Office of the Attorney General, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The vision of the MassUP initiative is better health, lower costs and reduced health inequities across communities and populations in Massachusetts through effective collaboration among government, health care systems, and community organizations. MassUP includes two distinct but complementary work streams: an investment program administered by the HPC, and a state-level interagency policy alignment working group with representatives from each participating agency.
The MassUP investment program supports partnerships that include health care provider organizations and community organization partners (such as CBOs, municipalities, and schools) working to address upstream social, environmental, and/or economic challenges, and aim to enable sustainable improvements in community health and health equity. The purpose of the MassUP investment program is to build and/or expand upon existing efforts to implement programs that address the social determinants of health (SDOH) and root causes of health inequity.
MassUP Investment Program Awards
Following a competitive procurement process, the HPC is pleased to announce investment awards to four partnerships, focused in two key SDOH areas: economic stability and mobility, and food systems and security.
Economic Stability and Mobility Awards:
Heywood Hospital, in partnership with CHA9, GFA Federal Credit Union, Growing Places, The Winchendon School, Three Pyramids, Town of Winchendon, and Winchendon Community Action Council.
The partnership will improve health and wellbeing in the town of Winchendon, MA, through economic empowerment, focusing on building social, financial, and community assets. Activities will include resident leadership and civic engagement programming; updating Winchendon’s Master Plan to promote economic mobility; providing personal finance education opportunities; assisting residents in building credit; and updating local policy to allow for mixed use developments. The partnership has been awarded $649,546 in funding.
Massachusetts General Hospital, in partnership with The Neighborhood Developers, CONNECT, The Chelsea Collaborative, the City of Chelsea, the City of Revere, and MassHire Metro North Workforce Board.
The partnership will establish a Cross-City Coalition to coordinate municipal workforce development efforts in the cities of Chelsea and Revere to increase skilled, benefitted jobs for residents. Activities will include reviewing and aligning the two cities’ workforce development plans; aligning job training programs to identified growth sectors; advocating for municipal policies that support economic opportunity; and bolstering ongoing programs that provide technical assistance and promote access to capital for women and minority businesses. The partnership has been awarded $649,498 in funding.
Food Systems and Security Awards:
Cooley Dickinson Health Care, in partnership with the Collaborative for Educational Services, Hilltown Community Health Center, and Hilltown Development Corporation.
The partnership will establish a Hampshire County Food Policy Council to strategically align organizations working to improve regional food security and address a systemic lack of access to healthy food. Activities will be informed by a 2017 Food Access Action Plan and may include collective advocacy for policy change, developing farmers’ markets in underserved areas; establishing resident-governed community-gardening infrastructure in food insecure communities; and community organizing in affordable housing complexes to improve connections to food access interventions. The partnership has been awarded $555,555 in funding.
Mercy Medical Center, in partnership with the Springfield Food Policy Council, Open Pantry Community Services, Fertile Ground, Gardening the Community, and Square One.
The partnership will establish a Springfield MassUP Food Justice Steering Committee that will work to create a more effective food system to help residents lead healthier lives. Activities will include policy advocacy to address the “SNAP/HIP Gap” and other issues; modifying public transit routes to facilitate food access for seniors; engagement with food retailers and residents, including creating a Food Retail Committee to expand locations of affordable, healthy food; and offering resident leadership development activities. The partnership has been awarded $650,000 in funding.