HCN News & Notes

Baystate Health Awards $500,000 in Better Together Grants to Community Initiatives 

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health, in partnership with the Community Benefits Program, announced the recipients of the 2024 Better Together Grants. 

This year, proposals considered focused on advancing youth well-being through strategic interventions that seek to decrease adverse youth mental-health outcomes. Projects funded by Better Together must apply a framework of social determinants of health, be evidence-based, include routine performance evaluation, and align with Baystate’s community health needs assessment. 

“We recognize that addressing youth mental health is not limited to clinical and traditional medical settings,” said Dr. Tyonne Hinson, senior vice president and chief Diversity, Health Equity, and Inclusion officer. “These grants were awarded to organizations implementing initiatives that focus on the development of strategies and practices to address social determinants of health, access, and the social environment to make our communities a healthier and safer place to live.” 

Baystate Health announced the five winning proposals of the 2024 Better Together grants, totaling $500,000 in funding: 

• Community Legal Aid ($100,000 for its Family Preservation Project); 

• Follow My Steps Foundation ($100,000 for its Steps to Empowerment Program); 

• Latino Counseling Center ($100,000 for its Mindful Connections/Conexiones Conscientes); 

• Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services ($100,000 for its Beat the Odds Project); and 

• Springfield Pride Parade Organization ($100,000 for its Safe Space Program). 

Funding for the Better Together grants is made possible through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s determination-of-need requirements. In addition to funding the grantees, Baystate Health has also contracted with the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts to provide technical assistance and evaluation support to the grantee cohort over the next one to two years.