HCN News & Notes

Way Finders Receives $140,000 Grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation

SPRINGFIELD — Way Finders Inc. was awarded a two-year grant for $140,000 from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to advocate for equitable infrastructure and improved public safety in Springfield. This is one of 11 new community investments totaling more than $1.2 million that reflect the foundation’s commitment to advancing policies and practices that support healthy aging, including addressing gaps in oral health, nutrition, housing, transportation, and community safety.

“We are investing in initiatives that promote coalitions and bring together government, nonprofit organizations, and older people to create communities that are great places to grow up and grow old,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for Corporate Citizenship at Tufts Health Plan. “Critical to any success is supporting older people as they lead and make their voices heard.”

Through this grant, Way Finders will increase the capacity of low-income, older people who are advocating for policy and system changes in Springfield. These older people will lead efforts to address the built environment and community safety. The project leverages Way Finders’ existing Resident Health Advocate programming and its relationships with LiveWell Springfield and the Massachusetts Senior Action Coalition to enable the development of a robust advocacy infrastructure for the city.

“Way Finders is excited about doing the work this grant award makes possible, enabling us to bring resources to city elders so they can realize their desire to be effective advocates for change in their communities,” said Sarah Page, senior vice president of Community Building and Engagement at Way Finders. “Our city’s seniors want to be heard and are eager to continue their work — like what they have done to improve street lighting — with the aim of promoting vibrant, safe neighborhoods.”