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July 3, 2020
 
BCBS Gives $300K to Aid 20 Mass. Nonprofits Fighting Crisis
Blue Cross Foundation

June 1, 2020 — The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation last week announced it awarded nearly $300,000 in grants to 20 nonprofits across Massachusetts to support their efforts to expand and adapt operations in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation said 10 of the grants, for $25,000 each were awarded to nonprofits that predominantly serve people of color, rural communities, people experiencing homelessness, and other at-risk populations. The grants will support increased staffing needs, investments in IT infrastructure to abide by physical distancing guidelines, and changes in programs necessitated by the pandemic.

“Organizations providing critical services across the state are facing significant new challenges during the pandemic, and the Foundation recognized the need to bolster their capacity to respond,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the foundation. “These grants will help these nonprofits reach and care for some of our most vulnerable individuals and families.”

Receiving the grants were the following:

  • Advocates, Framingham, to address behavioral health access inequities for the Latinx population by investing in telehealth infrastructure and equipment for six newly hired bilingual clinicians and two medical assistants.

  • East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, East Boston, to support a collaboration with the Chelsea Senior Center to expand COVID-19 food delivery services in one of the hardest hit areas of the state by including medications and pharmacy goods to ensure access to necessary medications and encourage physical distancing.

  • Father’s Uplift, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, to help families meet their basic needs such as food and other necessities so that they can engage in mental health services.

  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Hatfield, to cover staffing costs for counseling, referrals, emergency food, and other health resources.

  • Hilltown Community Health Center, Huntington, Worthington, to support increased staff time for patient navigators and community health workers, along with Community Sustainable Agriculture shares for people with food insecurity.

  • La Alianza Hispana, Boston, to support telehealth services for seniors through the Aliancianos Senior Center and for families with children ages 5 and younger through the Madres y Niños en Proceso program.

  • Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell, to support multicultural communication and outreach efforts, focusing on immigrants and communities of color, and help expand capacity for medical interpretation to ensure that patients are referred to trusted partners to address health-related social needs.

  • Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Oak Bluffs, to will help meet a dramatic increase in client requests for emergency assistance for basic needs.

  • Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Lynn, to partner with the Lynn Community Health Center to assist referred families with food and housing assistance and develop plans to address their health-related social needs.

  • Samaritans, Inc., Boston, to fund upgrades to IT infrastructure that support a transition to virtual workshops for youths and their caregivers.

In addition, the foundation said it awarded $49,800 in grants to 10 unidentified organizations across the state to help provide basic needs to the vulnerable populations the grantees serve, including individuals experiencing homelessness, older adults, individuals with disabilities, low-income and immigrant families, and youth with mental health conditions.

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