Massachusetts Medical Soiety & Alliance Charitable Foundation announces 2012 grants

Contact: Richard Gulla
Tel: 781-434-7101
Email: rgulla@mms.org 

Waltham, Mass. - May 4, 2012 -- The Massachusetts Medical Society & Alliance Charitable Foundation has awarded 14 grants totaling $207,500 to agencies across the state to support health and medical services that address healthy lifestyles, infectious disease, pediatric care, chronic disease, mental health, and primary care for the uninsured. The Foundation also announced four International Health Studies Grants of $2,000 each to one medical student and three physicians.

Five agencies are receiving grants for the first time; nine have previously been awarded grants from the Foundation. The recipients, awards, and purposes of the grants, with links to available websites:

Whittier Street Health Center, Roxbury was awarded $30,000, to support the implementation of the CenteringParenting™ program, a model that integrates three major components of care - health assessment, education, and support - into unified care within a group setting. The Center provides comprehensive health services including primary care, behavioral health care, substance abuse services, dental care and eye care to more than 18,500 patients annually.  http://www.wshc.org/  

Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Dorchester, $25,000,  to support a dedicated half-time pediatric care coordinator to facilitate medical coordination, provide family education, and help with other non-medical determinants of health such as housing, school issues, and financial subsistence.  The Center serves as a primary health care provider to families and children of the North Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury communities of Boston in particular and the City of Boston in general. http://www.harvardstreet.org/  

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, $25,000, to support the Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program, the oldest of 13 such programs in the United States. The program supports students in medicine and other health professions who are engaged in community service projects that promote health and improve access to health care for underserved populations. The Fellowship has received an annual contribution from the Foundation since 2002.  http://www.schweitzerfellowship.org/features/us/bos/

Metro West Free Medical Program, Sudbury, $20,000,  to support the continued expansion of a multidisciplinary approach to combating chronic disease in the low-income uninsured and underinsured population in Framingham, Marlborough, and surrounding communities. This is the fourth grant this program has received; previous grants totaling $65,000 were made in 2009, 2010, and 2011.    www.metrowestfreemedicalprogram.org/

MAP for Health, Boston (Mass. Asian and Pacific Islanders), $20,000, to support the establishment of a community health access network to increase screening for and detection of hepatitis B in Asian and Pacific Islanders. Since 1993 MAP has been Massachusetts and New England's voice on Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander (API) HIV, sexual health and health disparities. http://www.maphealth.org/  

Peer Health Exchange, Boston, $15,000, to support the training of 475 volunteers from six college sites to deliver a comprehensive health curriculum to 4,000 ninth-grade students in Boston public schools with the goals of increasing high-school students' ability to make healthy decisions and fostering a commitment to public service among college student volunteers.  PHE currently has 24 college sites in five cities (Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles) where Peer Health Exchange recruits, selects, and trains undergraduate volunteers to be PHE Health Educators. This is the second grant from the Foundation received by the organization.  It was awarded $20,000 in 2010.      http://www.peerhealthexchange.org/phe-sites.html  

Holyoke Health Center,  $10,000,  to support the Futuro Saludable (Healthy Future) project, which provides children and families with education, community linkages, and support in a provider-led group setting to help them make lifestyle changes that promote healthy eating and increased physical activity. This is the second Foundation grant to the agency; it received $15,000 in 2009 to support its Healthy Weight for Women project for Latina women.  The Center serves 16,000 people annually. http://www.hhcinc.org/

Father Bill's & MainSpring, Brockton,  $10,000, to support the MainSpring Clinic Project in Brockton, which provides basic medical care, testing, and screening and helps patients with insurance and referral to primary care physicians. This is the fifth grant the agency has received from the Foundation; previous grants totaling $48,200 were made in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2003. With locations in Quincy and Brockton, the agency serves 40 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts and works to end homelessness by focusing on the areas of housing, prevention, emergency shelter, and workforce development. www.fatherbillsmainspring.org/

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro West, Marlborough, $10,000, to support the organization's Triple Play Program for Hudson youth in grades two through seven. The program demonstrates how eating right, staying fit, and forming positive relationships lead to a healthy lifestyle. This program received funding in 2011 for the Marlboro clubhouse.  www.bgcmetrowest.org

REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, Waltham, $10,000, to support the Peers Against ViolencE (PAVE) program, a teen-dating violence prevention initiative that includes classroom-based education for students, training for faculty and clinical staff, technical assistance and support for peer leadership groups, policy work with administration, and monitoring and evaluation. This is the fourth grant the agency has received; previous grants, totaling $30,000 were made in 2008, 2006, and 2003.    http://www.reachma.org/ 

Sociedad Latina, Roxbury, $10,000, to support expansion of mental health services provided to Latino youth and families in the community through an enhanced case management program and weekly mental health workshops for families.  http://www.sociedadlatina.org/  

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, Great Barrington, $10,000, to support the clinic's case management program, which provides access to primary, preventive, and episodic health and dental care and care coordination, follow-up, and referral services for uninsured and underinsured adults. This is the eighth grant the agency has received; previous grants totaling $140,000 were awarded for the seven years 2004 through 2010.   http://www.vimberkshires.org/

The Sharewood Project, Malden, $7,500, to support the Malden health clinic run by medical students, including improvements to their electronic medical record system and increases in network security, implementation of new Sharewood awareness projects, and continued offering of lab testing services. This is the fifth grant the project has received; previous grants totaling $40,000 were made in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2006.   http://www.sharewood.info/ 

Cuttyhunk Medical Services, Cuttyhunk Island, $5,000, to improve medical equipment and advance a health project throughout the island of Cuttyhunk designed to mitigate Lyme disease and Erlichiosis, infectious diseases spread by ticks.  Cuttyhunk Medical Services, which provides free primary medical care to the residents and visitors of the island, is a program of the Marilyn Snow House Foundation, whose mission is to enrich the health, well-being, and cultural life of Cuttyhunk Island. The medical services project has been operating since 1998.   

The four International Health Studies Grants were made to the following: 

Alana Arnold, a fourth-year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine who completed a clinical elective at the Sao Rafael Hospital in Salvador, Brazil, where she focused on inpatient pediatrics, as well as exposure to the PICU, pediatric ER, and radiology and anesthesiology. The hospital houses over 85 residents in 21 specialties.

Pooja Mehta, M.D., a third-year OB/GYN resident at Boston University/Boston Medical Center and one of four Boston-based OB/GYN resident physicians travelling in succession to Bayalpata Hospital in Achham, Nepal, during the 2011-2012 academic year. The physicians are implementing a research project on determinants of institutional delivery with the help of local staff.

Julia E. von Oettingen, M.D., a third-year pediatric resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children who coordinated and expanded the diabetes program at the JFK Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, including teaching physician assistants and residents who see diabetic patients in the outpatient department and providers in the emergency room who see newly diagnosed or acutely ill diabetic patients. 

Sushama A. Saijwani, M.D., a third-year emergency medicine resident at Boston Medical Center who worked alongside emergency practitioners (EPs) in training at Nyakibale Hospital in Uganda to teach management of common patient presentations to their ER. 

The 14 awards to organizations bring the total amount of grants made by the Foundation to more than $2.3 million since its inception in 2000. Among the 79 programs supported are those addressing homelessness, sexual abuse and domestic violence, hunger, and health care for the uninsured and underinsured. More information on the MMS and Alliance Charitable Foundation may be found at www.mmsfoundation.org.

The Foundation is a supporting organization of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians, and the MMS Alliance, the organization of physicians' spouses committed to promoting good health among the citizens of Massachusetts and to advancing the health and well being of the medical family. The Foundation's mission is to support the charitable and educational activities of the Society and Alliance and address issues affecting the health, benefit, and welfare of the community.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with nearly 24,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education for health care professionals throughout Massachusetts, conducting a variety of medical education programs for physicians and health care professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country.

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