HCN News & Notes

Health New England Offers $80,000 in DEIB Grants to Address Youth Health, Well-being

SPRINGFIELD — Health New England will award grants totaling $80,000 to eligible nonprofit organizations for programs that work to advance youth health and well-being in Western Mass.

In 2023, Springfield Public Schools conducted a youth health survey and found that more than four in 10 surveyed eighth-grade students felt so sad or hopeless for two weeks or more that they stopped doing some usual activities.

Health New England’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) mission mirrors its corporate mission to improve the health and lives of the people in its communities, as it applies to individuals of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and levels of ability. Health New England is committed to advancing equitable health outcomes for all members of its community.

The 2024 DEIB grant program will focus on improving the health and well-being of young people in Western Mass. by providing funding to organizations that help adolescents achieve what the World Health Organization’s Adolescent Well-being Framework says they need to thrive: good health and optimum nutrients; connectedness, positive values, and contribution to society; safety and a supportive environment; learning, competence, education, skills, and employability; and agency and resilience.

Eligible grant recipients must address at least one of these needs and at least one of the social determinants of health, which are non-medical personal, social, and environmental factors that affect health. Now in its fifth year, the Health New England DEIB grant program has awarded nearly $440,000 to local nonprofits addressing health equity in Western Mass.

“The results of the many studies that point to the worsening of overall health and well-being of our youth are extremely concerning,” said Richard Swift, president and CEO of Health New England. “Healthy childhood and adolescent years play such an important role later in life, and the stressors on our youth are at crisis levels. It is our hope that these grants help accelerate the programs that can make a difference for those who need them most.”

Grant applicants must be IRS-designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations focusing on Health New England’s service area, including Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. The deadline to apply is July 31. Only complete submissions made online will be considered. Nonprofit organizations will be eligible for Health New England community benefit funding only once per calendar year.

Click here to apply. For more information about the 2024 DEIB grant program, visit healthnewengland.org/community/charitable-giving.