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Press Release STATE AWARDS $2.5 MILLION TO FOUR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO TARGET SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH AND PROMOTE HEALTH EQUITY

The HPC and DPH, in collaboration with other state agencies, launch MassUP, a new investment program to address “upstream” causes of poor health outcomes and health disparities in Massachusetts
For immediate release:
6/10/2020
  • Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

Media Contact for STATE AWARDS $2.5 MILLION TO FOUR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO TARGET SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH AND PROMOTE HEALTH EQUITY

Matthew Kitsos, Press Secretary

BOSTONToday, the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) announced an investment of more than $2.5 million in four new innovative community partnerships through the Moving Massachusetts Upstream (MassUP) investment program. The MassUP investment program aims to support partnerships between health care providers and community organizations to enable sustainable improvements in community health and health equity by moving upstream to address the social determinants of health (SDOH). The four awards, selected through a competitive application and review process, focus on two significant SDOH: food systems and security, and economic stability and mobility.

The vision for MassUP, an interagency initiative formed by HPC, the Department of Public Health (DPH), MassHealth, Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the Attorney General, is better health, lower costs, and reduced health inequities in Massachusetts through effective collaboration among government, health care systems, and community organizations. The investment program, a key component of the MassUP initiative, will be administered by HPC in partnership with DPH which is contributing award funding, providing technical assistance and conducting an evaluation of the program.

“Every day we witness racial injustice in our country and in our communities, and it is imperative that we find bold new solutions to address inequities experienced by communities of color and other disadvantaged groups,” said Dr. Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. “The MassUP investment program is part of DPH’s ongoing work to achieve health equity by supporting grassroots, community innovation that can lead to lasting change.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on both health inequities and the economic fragility of many of our underserved communities,” said Marty Cohen, HPC Vice-Chair and President and CEO of the MetroWest Health Foundation. “The MassUP investment program represents a unique opportunity to bring the skills and passion of health care providers, community-based organizations, cities and towns, and – most importantly – citizens themselves, to the work of creating lasting improvements to the social, economic and environmental conditions that influence health and well-being.”

Addressing upstream SDOH is an essential step in improving population health and reducing health inequities and health care spending. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified such inequities, as people of color have been disproportionately affected by both the health and economic effects of the pandemic. The MassUP investment program will support partnerships of health care providers, local advocacy organizations, social service providers, municipal governments, and local residents with lived experience to implement new strategies to address underlying causes of poor health outcomes and disparities, such as food insecurity, income instability, and other health-related social needs.

“By investing in multi-stakeholder community partnerships that include active engagement from residents with lived experience, MassUP represents an innovative approach to advance long-term improvements in health and health equity,” said David Seltz, HPC Executive Director. “In close collaboration with DPH and other state partners, the HPC is proud to contribute to this initiative and is committed to ongoing research, investments, and policy development toward our shared goal of improving health outcomes for all citizens of the Commonwealth.”

MassUP Investment Program Awards

The MassUP investment program will fund four awards totaling $2,504,601, focused on two significant SDOH: food systems and security, and economic stability and mobility. More information on the awardee initiatives, including proposed programs and community organization partners, can be found on the HPC’s website.

MassUP Awardee

Community

SDOH of Focus

Requested Funding

Cooley Dickinson Health Care

Hampshire County

Food Systems and Security

$555,555

Heywood Hospital

Winchendon

Economic Stability and Mobility

 $649,547

Massachusetts General Hospital

Chelsea, Revere

Economic Stability and Mobility

$649,499

Mercy Medical Center

Springfield

Food Systems and Security

 $650,000 

In December 2019, the HPC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for organizations to apply for funding, and in late February 2020, received 22 applications from organizations across the Commonwealth, including 13 hospitals, five community health centers, and four accountable care organizations or other provider organizations. Applications targeted seven SDOH including social inequity, transportation, housing, economic stability, immigration status, early childhood needs, and food security. The HPC anticipates that programs will launch operations in fall 2020.

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The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) is an independent state agency that develops policy to reduce health care cost growth and improve the quality of patient care. The HPC's mission is to advance a more transparent, accountable, and innovative health care system through its independent policy leadership and investment programs. Visit us at Mass.gov/HPCTweet us @Mass_HPC.

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Media Contact for STATE AWARDS $2.5 MILLION TO FOUR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO TARGET SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH AND PROMOTE HEALTH EQUITY

Massachusetts Health Policy Commission 

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), established in 2012, is an independent state agency charged with monitoring health care spending growth in Massachusetts and providing data-driven policy recommendations regarding health care delivery and payment system reform. The HPC’s mission is to advance a more transparent, accountable, and innovative health care system through independent policy leadership and innovative investment programs. The HPC’s goal is better health and better care – at a lower cost – for all people across the Commonwealth.
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