EforAll prize winners; Jewish Federation food card donations; name change

EforAll made grants to aspiring entrepreneurs; Jewish Federation of Western Mass. supports refugees; Community Research Initiative becomes AcessHealth MA.

EforAll Berkshire County announces prizes winners for its Spring cohort

June 20,2022 — Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County awarded nearly $10,000 in prizes to the Spring 2022 Business Accelerator Cohort at an awards ceremony held on Zoom.

The celebration and gala began with remarks from Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier who emphasized the robust public-private partnership that supports EforAll’s regional efforts and lauded the efforts of the 12 businesses that completed the program. The Class Speaker, Rachel Hailey of DEI Outdoors was chosen by her colleagues and shared many of the lessons of the program for future EforAll participants.

The awards were granted as follows:

• Jenny Gitlitz (Dalton) of Berkshire Family Advocates received the Paula Buxbaum Award–established in honor of a member of the Fall 2021 cohort who died in a car crash in October 2021. This award in Paula’s memory is granted to an individual making a career pivot and incorporating a social mission into their business.

• $1,000 to Rachel Hailey (North Adams) for DEI Outdoors.

• $2,300 to Deirdre Horan (Great Barrington) of Dri Ocean Products.

• $2,500 to Jackye Stoddard (Hudson, NY) for Hierba Buena Foods.

• $3,500 to Elizabeth Heller (Pittsfield) for The Kids Super Journal.

EforAll’s next Accelerator class will begin in September 2022 and applications are due at www.eforall.org before August 25.

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a nonprofit organization that partners with communities nationwide to help under-represented individuals successfully start and grow a business throughintensive business training, mentorship and an extended professional support network.

The Jewish Federation of Western Mass. and its Rachel’s Table Program donate $11K in food cards to support refuge-seekers

June 16, 2022 – The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts (JFWM) and its Rachel’s Table program gave a $5,000 donation in food cards to Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts (JFS) to support the organization’s New American Refugee Settlement Program. This is the second such donation to JFS in the past six months for a total of $11,000.

These gift cards have benefitted more than 100 families who were or are still awaiting full refugee status and support. The gift cards were purchased from the Healthy Community Emergency Food Fund, which was originally created to meet the immediate needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently expanded to help fill food gaps for local organizations in the Pioneer Valley. This was part of the Healthy Community Emergency Fund initiative begun by the JFWM at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“Giving food to those in need is at the root of everything that Rachel’s Table does,” said Jodi Falk, director of Rachel’s Table. “These two donations of gift cards from our Emergency Food Fund came at a time when many groups fleeing their countries of origin, such as the Afghanis and Ukrainians, did not yet have refugee status and were not yet getting other services which would provide help for food.”

RT and JFWM began supporting JFS’s New American Refugee Settlement Program in December 2021 by providing $6,000 in food cards for displaced Afghan citizens. With an influx of Ukrainian, Congolese and Haitian refugees, RT and JFWM have expanded their support to provide an additional $5,000 in gift cards to meet the need for food purchasing.

Community Research Initiative announces new name: AccessHealth MA

Boston-based nonprofit Community Research Initiative (CRI) announced it will be changing its name to AccessHealth MA, beginning June 15, 2022. The change, which includes a brand-new website (accesshealthma.org), comes after an extensive assessment and rebranding process guided by the team at Sametz Blackstone Associates.

“We have been working to update and align our communications and website with news of our growing programs,” said Julie Marston, CRI co-founder and executive director. “The HIV medical and treatment landscape has changed enormously in the past 32 years (since the inception of CRI in 1989) with about 46 HIV drugs now, up from just a few drugs then. So too have the expectations of our supporters and the people that we serve, and our changes address this as well. As HIV treatment has become better and better, thanks in part to CRI’s research contributions — we have grown and shifted to help our clients access these many life-saving medications. We are also helping people at risk for HIV get bio-medical interventions to prevent getting HIV; gain access to our tuberculosis drug assistance program and assist our clients in securing and paying for health insurance.”

AccessHealth MA will continue to focus on providing access to those in need, and continue to integrate treatment, prevention, research, and education, offering a holistic, client-centered approach that advances social justice and equity in healthcare.

“Our updated identity of AccessHealth MA, brings our verbal and visual communications in line with who we are today,” says Marston, “It also helps us better connect with those we serve, elevate our value, and bring forward the ongoing relevance and urgency of our work”

AccessHealth MA will continue to participate in life-saving clinical trials and continue to administer the Massachusetts HIV Drug Assistance Program, the TB Drug Assistance Program, PrEP and nPEP Drug Assistance Programs, and assist in paying for health insurance premiums for people living with HIV through the Comprehensive Health Insurance Initiative.