First joint community investment supports 42 organizations in 5 states; 5 in Maine
(WELLESLEY, Mass. and WATERTOWN, Mass.) February 4, 2021 – In their first joint community investment, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation are giving $1 million to 42 organizations across the region to expand vaccine education, awareness and outreach in communities of color. Five Maine organizations will receive a total of $125,000 in funding. Just one month after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan announced their combined organization, this investment is an immediate response to emerging needs in Black and Brown communities across the region disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“We are at an inflection point in the pandemic,” said Thomas Croswell, chief executive officer of the combined organization of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, and a member of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation board. “As vaccine production and distribution are ramping up, important education efforts are taking place to address community concerns and we need to support them.”
Grant recommendations were informed by community organizations, public health leaders and other key stakeholders engaged in the vaccine rollout in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
“With the pandemic continuing to have a devastating impact on Black and Brown communities, this funding will give a boost to organizations across the region working tirelessly to support the needs of their community members and create awareness around the importance of the vaccine,” said Michael Carson, president of the combined organization of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, and chairman of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation board.
Grants will support a range of organizations—from statewide organizations to local community nonprofits. They include faith-based organizations, trusted Black/Latinx-led community nonprofits, and organizations with experience coordinating multilingual efforts.
One of the organizations receiving a grant is Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston, Maine.
“Our Somali Bantu Community are individuals who come from the rural part of Southern Somalia. Many don't read or write in their language and have difficulty understanding COVID protocols,” said Muhidin Libah, executive director of the Somali Bantu Community Association. “Now that we have the vaccine, there is a lot of misinformation circulating in our community. With these grant funds, we will work with community health workers to help our Somali community understand what they can do to protect themselves from the virus and the importance of getting the vaccine. We are very thankful for this support from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation.”
The full list of nonprofit organizations receiving grants is:
Connecticut Total Grants: $225,000
Maine Total Grants: $125,000
Massachusetts Total Grants: $350,000
New Hampshire Total Grants: $125,000
Rhode Island Total Grants: $175,000
About the combined organization of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
The combination of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care represents the coming together of two of New England’s most iconic nonprofit health care companies. Representing nearly 90 years of combined service to our members and the community, together we are building upon our diverse legacies and innovative collaboration by making it our purpose to guide and empower healthier lives for our members – no matter their age, health, race, identity, or income.
We strive to be a different kind of nonprofit health and wellbeing company, with a broad range of health plans, and innovative tools that make navigating health and wellbeing easier, guiding our members at every step of their health care journey to better health outcomes. We are committed to providing high-quality and affordable health care, improving the health and wellness of our members, and creating healthier communities throughout New England.
About Tufts Health Plan Foundation
Established in 2008, Tufts Health Plan Foundation supports the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve. The Foundation has given more than $45 million to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island nonprofits that promote healthy aging. Tufts Health Plan Foundation funds programs that move communities toward implementing age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on older adults, and include them in community solutions. Visit tuftshealthplanfoundation.org for grant program information.
About the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Created in 1980, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2020, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $10.4 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $165 million in funds and resources throughout the four states. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.
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