2017 Community Health Improvement Grants

We are pleased to announce a second round for 2017.  

A total of $20,000 (two $10,000 grants) will be awarded to successful applicants; one $10,000 grant will be available for each of our two primary thematic areas: Elder Health and Youth/Adolescent Behavioral Health.  Grant requests should be for 9 months only (October 2017 – June 2018) in the amount of $10,000. 

NSCHN is looking to invest in high-impact projects for which the additional infusion of $10,000 will make a substantial contribution to the project’s ultimate success.  Applicants should be able to detail specific actions and deliverables made possible by this grant award that otherwise would not be accomplished.  Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate their experience with quick turn-around projects that can be carried out within a 9-month timeframe. 

Examples of competitive projects might include a demonstration or pilot effort that has strong replication potential; a new relationship or collaboration that must be funded to proceed; and/or a project likely to have high community impact for which a funding gap remains.  NSCHN is willing to provide “gap” funding to support a large-scale project primarily funded by another entity or entities; however, please note that specific deliverables tied to this one-time award are required.

Strategies and activities suitable for funding have been left intentionally broad.  Eligible grant uses include, but are not limited to, staff time, training, equipment and other capital expenditures.  Non-eligible uses include:

1.        General operating support for an ongoing program;

2.        Subscriptions;

3.        Conference fees and/or associated travel costs; and

4.        Funds that substitute for or displace existing project support dollars. 

Applications open August 1 and are due no later than 5 pm EST on Friday, August 25. See http://eccf.org/nschn for the application.

Meet our most recent awardees: 

A total of $84,400 was awarded to the following organizations for programs addressing Elder Health:

Backyard Growers (Gloucester) will expand healthy food access and gardening for seniors.

Care Dimensions (Regional) will provide specialized training in dementia for hospice care providers.

Danvers CARES (Danvers) will develop a series of informational workshops addressing substance abuse among the elderly.

North Shore Elder Services (Regional) will enhance services provided through the North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering.

SeniorCare (Regional) will carry out an assessment of gaps and develop an action plan for establishing dementia-friendly communities.

The Open Door (Gloucester) will intensify focus on nutritional needs of the elderly and improve access to healthy foods.

YMCA of the North Shore (Regional) will expand the availability of specialized fitness programs for seniors.

A total of $134,000 was awarded to the following organizations for programs addressing Youth/Adolescent Behavioral Health:

Centerboard (Lynn) will expand its male mentoring program for at-risk boys aged 6-18.

Children's Law Center (Regional) will train legal and social service providers in mental health needs of immigrant youth.

Danvers CARES (Danvers) will develop programming for middle-schoolers addressing substance abuse and prescription drug safety.

Express Yourself (Regional) will increase the number of youth with behavioral health needs participating in its expressive arts program.

HAWC (Regional) will provide direct clinical support to children impacted by trauma of domestic violence.

Justice Resource Institute/Children’s Friend and Family Services (Regional) will provide specialized care to children whose parents experience post-partum and early childhood depression.

LEAP for Education (Regional) will bring greater awareness of behavioral health issues to youth participating in after-school programs.

NAN Project (Lynn) will collaborate with Raw Art Works to raise awareness of mental health risks and suicide prevention.

North Shore Community Health (Regional) will introduce medical care for substance abuse disorders in existing school based clinics.

Northshore Education Consortium (Regional) will expand outdoor education opportunities for children with behavioral and development health needs.

Pathways for Children (Regional) will reinforce healthy parenting approaches through expansion of the nurturing curriculum.

Background

In May 2014, CHNA 13/14 was awarded Determination of Need (DoN) funding by Lahey Health totaling approximately $1.7 Million, which was part of Lahey Health’s mandate when they were granted approval to expand their emergency departments in the region.  CHNA 13/14 contracted with John Snow, Inc. (JSI), a recognized expert in community health assessment and planning who has been working in CHNA 13/14’s service area for nearly a decade, to undertake a quantitative and qualitative assessment of priority health needs in the region. Click here to see a copy of the final assessment.

The project was conducted in three phases, which allowed CHNA 13/14 to: 1) compile an extensive amount of quantitative and qualitative data, particularly with respect to older adults (65+) and youth; 2) engage and involve key community stakeholders; and 3) develop a sound strategic plan that had the buy-in and support of CHNA 13/14’s partners.

The assessment identified serious impediments to community health that impact all area residents.  These include:

  • Limited Access, Barriers to Care, and Disparities in Health Outcomes
  • Health Risk Factors:  High Rates of Obesity, Limited Physical Exercise, Poor Nutrition, Tobacco Use, Stress
  • High Chronic Disease Rates, Including Cancer
  • High Rates of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

The assessment also confirmed the impact that could be achieved through priority attention to the health needs of youth/adolescents and elders.

details on funding priorities

Category 1

Youth and Adolescent Behavioral Health

Areas of Need: Young people across the Network communities face multiple threats to their health and well-being.  Some of the greatest areas of need identified through our assessment are:

  • Depression and Other Mental Health Concerns
  • Alcohol, Opioid/Prescription Drugs, Marijuana, and Other Substance Abuse
  • Suicide
  • Risky Sexual Behavior
  • Safe Internet Use
  • Stress

Highlighted Responses/Interventions: The Network is open to proposals addressing these and other areas of need with evidence- and/or experience-based approaches that will have the greatest impact.  Examples of high quality responses and interventions cited in our assessment include:

  • Peer to Peer Programs in Schools
  • Programs to Support “Mindfulness” and Promote Resilience/Stress Reduction
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Collaborations among Schools, Community Organizations, and Law Enforcement
  • Employment and Training Interventions with Businesses and Stakeholders
  • Promotion of Diverse After-school Opportunities
  • Safe and Responsible Internet Use
  • Family Case Management and Support Programs
  • Sexual Health Education and Gender Identity Interventions

Category 2

Elder Health and Services

Areas of Need: Older adults are among the fastest growing age groups in Network communities.  Many of the cities/towns in our service have higher percentages of 65+year old residents and households with one or more persons 65+ years or older compared to the Commonwealth as a whole.  Many older adults grapple with health risk factors that have a major impact on their physical, emotional and mental well-being.  Older adults are especially impacted by barriers to care such as social isolation, food insecurity, cost, transportation challenges, fragmentation of services, and lack of care coordination and caregiver support.  Specific needs include:

  • Depression and Stress/Anxiety
  • Dementia and Other Cognitive Impairments
  • Falls Prevention
  • Chronic Disease Management and Self-Management Support
  • Alcohol and Opioid/Prescription Drug Abuse
  • Programs to Address Barriers to Care 

Highlighted Responses/Interventions: The Network is open to proposals addressing these and other areas of need with evidence- and/or experience-based approaches that will have the greatest impact.  Examples of high quality responses and interventions cited in our assessment include:

  • Activities Focused on Identifying and Engaging Isolated Elders
  • Initiatives Enhancing the Care Transitions Process from Hospital and Other Service Settings (Particularly with the Integration of Behavioral Health)
  • Initiatives Focusing on Navigation of Community-Based Services
  • Programs to Support Independent Living and Caregiver Support
  • Programs Supporting “Options” Planning for Frail Elders
  • Interventions to Address Hoarding
  • Programs Enhancing Geriatric Care Management
  • Programs Enhancing Screening and Identification of Elders with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues
  • Programs Addressing Transportation Barriers and Isolation

review criteria

Check back for a copy of our scoring rubric for the 2017 applications (Round 2).  

Alignment with MassachusetTS DPH Priorities

In January, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released updated guidance for the Determination of Need process that underlies this and other CHNA funding rounds.  In particular, the new guidelines prioritize strategies that address the Social Determinants of Health, or the factors impacting people’s physical, social and economic environments, as the preferred means for promoting improved health outcomes over the long term. The most competitive applicants for the 2017 Community Health Improvement Grants should be able to describe the impact their proposed project or program will have in enhancing the social determinants of health for their identified target community.

The six priority social determinants of health identified by the Commonwealth are:

  1. Social Environment -- a community’s social conditions, cultural dynamics, and degree of social capital, including social networks, participation, cohesion, support, inclusion, integration, discrimination, trust, and norms. When strong, these elements provide people with a source of support; protect people from stressers; buffer the effects of stress; connect people with resources; and influence health behaviors.
  2. Built Environment -- the physical parts of where we live, work, travel and play, including transportation, buildings, streets, and open spaces. The built environment is a complex system made up of “hard” infrastructure, such as houses, parks, and transportation systems, as well as “soft” infrastructure, such as walkability and air quality.
  3. Housing -- the development and maintenance of safe, quality, affordable living accommodations for all people. Safe and stable housing provides personal security, reduces stress and exposure to disease, and provides a foundation for meeting basic hygienic, nutritional, and health care needs.
  4. Violence and Trauma -- Violence has been shown to influence the physical, mental, and emotional health of victims and their families. The fear of violence as well as violent acts exacerbate existing illness and increase the risk for onset of disease. As a result, a safer community is linked with better health outcomes.
  5. Employment -- the availability of safe, stable, quality, well-compensated work for all people impacts health in many ways. Jobs that protect against exposure to physical risks and hazards; environments that support healthy activities and behaviors; organizational structures that limit stress; and wages, salaries, and benefits that protect against poverty and support and promote health are key to individual and community health.
  6. Education -- Individuals with higher levels of educational attainment are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors (e.g., regular physical activity, routine screenings), have better health outcomes, and live longer. Children of educated adults also experience better health outcomes compared to children of less educated adults.