Tufts Health Plan Foundation grants $232K to R.I. organizations to boost healthy elder communities

PROVIDENCE — The Tufts Health Plan Foundation has awarded a total of $232,585 to three Rhode Island organizations, part of the nonprofit organization’s 16-grant, $1.8 million effort to make cities and towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the Ocean State friendlier to aging populations.

“Each community will follow its own path to becoming age- and dementia-friendly. Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation helps ensure resources reach underrepresented communities at greatest risk for disparities,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Foundation and vice president, corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “Everyone has a voice; it’s important that we listen.”

Moreno Cargie said the foundation, founded in 2007, has been focused primarily on building and improving healthy communities for older people. The foundation’s endowment of roughly $97 million funds about $3.5 million in grants annually in the three states the organization covers, which will soon also include Connecticut.

The following Rhode Island organizations were included in this round of grants:

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The foundation granted the Local Initiative Support Corporation $120,000 over two years for The Intergenerational Farmers’ Market Project, which addresses social isolation for older adults through relationship-building activities integrating arts, culture and community in Rhode Island.

LISC is a key part of the Providence Health Equity Zone, Moreno Cargie said, so they were enthusiastic about the opportunity to support the program, in which older and younger people socialize with and learn from each other.

“What we know is that we need to see initiatives that are healthy and strong for older people but for younger people as well,” she said.

A one-year foundation $63,085 grant was also awarded to the Rhode Island Parent Information Network‘s Own Your Health: A System to Support Evidence-Based Health Promotion in R.I. for Older People program to improve Rhode Island’s system for providing evidence-based programs for older adults and their caregivers.

The Saint Elizabeth Community in Providence has received a $49,500 grant supporting their expansion of Support and Services at Home, a service model aiding older people in affordable housing in coordinating their health and social service needs.

“That is a national model where they have evidence,” said Moreno Cargie, that proves the work keeps people out of nursing homes longer by keeping a close eye on their health.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.