Page 59 - Healthcare News Nov/Dec 2021
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 Health New England Awards $400,000 to Three Local Nonprofits
SPRINGFIELD — Health New England (HNE) awarded $400,000 in grants to help three nonprofit organizations improve
the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in Western Mass.
The grants, made via HNE’s Where Health Matters grant program, will allow Wellspring Cooperative’s GoFresh Mobile Farmers’ Market, Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts, and the Care Center’s Roqué House Program to expand needed programs focusing on food, girls’ health, and supporting mothers seeking college educations, respectively.
“Health New England has a responsibil- ity to help lift our communities, espe- cially now with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing unprecedented challenges to
those with fewer resources than most,” said Richard Swift, president and CEO of Health New England. “The recipients of this year’s Where Health Matters grants serve these populations in creative and ef- fective ways, and we are proud to support the work they do.”
The Wellspring Cooperative’s GoFresh Mobile Farmers’ Market aggregates fresh local produce and delivers it through pop-up markets at low-income housing sites, senior centers, health clinics, and community organizations. The three-year, $150,000 grant will enable Wellspring to double the number of people it provides access to fresh, healthy, local foods; enact a pilot program to expand the GoFresh farmers market throughout winter (the
current program operates from May to October), providing year-round access
to health foods; partner with local health clinics to establish a food-referral program that meets the needs of patients with chronic conditions through education and access to healthy foods; and continue to support minority and immigrant farmers via the Wellspring Harvest greenhouse program in the Indian Orchard neighbor- hood.
Girls on the Run of Western Mas- sachusetts helps girls develop essential social, emotional, and physical skills to successfully navigate life experiences and prepares them physically and mentally to participate in a celebratory 5K run. The two-year, $100,000 grant will enable
the organization to double the number of chapters of the popular program and expand into Holyoke and Chicopee.
The Care Center’s Roqué House Program provides stable housing for young parents, primarily women of color, working toward a college degree, as well as their children. The three-year, $150,000 grant will fund an artist in residence and counselor for families who live in Roqué House.
Health New England’s Where Health Matters grant program, now in its fourth year, has invested $1.2 million in nonprof- its in Western and Central Mass. Health New England also partners with each awardee via volunteering and advising to help them thrive.
 Mercy’s Diabetes Education Program Merits ADA Recognition
SPRINGFIELD — The prestigious American Diabetes Assoc. (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) service was recently awarded to the Diabetes Education Program at Mercy Medical Center. ADA be- lieves this service offers high-quality education that is an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.
The association’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational services meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-management Education and Support. The DSMES standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983 and were revised by the diabetes
community in 1994, 2000, 2007, 2012, and 2017. Educa- tion Recognition status is verified by an official certificate from ADA and awarded for four years.
DSMES services apply for recognition voluntarily. Ser- vices that achieve this status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management. Education Recognition status is verified by an official certificate from ADA and awarded for four years.
“With the support of the healthcare team and in- creased knowledge and awareness of diabetes, patients are empowered to be more responsible for their diabetes management and the prevention of complications from
the disease,” said Jean Klepacki, quality coordinator and team lead of Nutrition Education for Mercy’s Diabetes Education Program. “The ADA Education Recognition is a tremendous distinction that not only gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of the services we provide, it also helps consumers to identify these quality programs.”
According to Klepacki, the recognition from the ADA is also especially meaningful because November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The American Diabetes Assoc. is the nation’s leading nonprofit health organization supporting diabetes research, advocacy, and information for health professionals, people with diabetes, and the public.
 Mercy Receives Trinity Health Grant to Support Vaccination Efforts
 SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center’s Community Health and Well Being (CHWB) department has received a $100,000 grant to support new and ongoing community engagement and mobilization efforts around making the COVID-19 vaccination accessible to all eligible popula- tions. The grant is being made available to Mercy through Trinity Health’s “It Starts Here” campaign, a COVID-19 vaccine-education initiative focused on communities of color.
Under the terms of the grant, Mercy’s CHWB de- partment facilitates and manages the grant funding to community-based organizations that demonstrate deep community relationships in the geographic “areas not yet achieving 75% or greater fully vaccinated populations, to support community-engagement strategies that promote COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination events.”
All funds will go directly to community-based orga- nizations in Springfield to support their community- engagement strategies that promote COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination events. Specifically, Mercy will partner with the Black Springfield COVID Coalition, New North Citizens’ Council, Gándara Center, the Mental Health Assoc., and Extreme Kids Inc. to promote education about the vaccine and support opportunities for Springfield area residents to receive it. These efforts will continue through
June 30, 2022. According to
Trinity Health, this funding opportunity is designed to support all communities to ensure easy access to the vaccine. It also reflects the organiza- tion’s commitment to serving those who are poor and vulnerable and reducing health inequities.
“Communities of
color, and people
who are poor and un-
derserved, have been
disproportionately af-
fected by COVID-19
infections and death. We are committed to providing equitable access to the vaccine by removing barriers for all people to receive it, especially in communities such as Springfield that have less than a 75% vaccination rate,” said Cherelle Rozie, Massachusetts regional director of
Cherelle Rozie shows off Mercy’s community health van.
Community Health and Well Being for Trinity Health Of New England. “This funding will have a significant impact on our COVID outreach efforts in Springfield and pushes us one step closer to improving the vaccination rate across the city.”

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