January 9, 2019

Partnerships will use 13 grants to address 'social determinants'

Photo | State House News Service
Attorney General Maura Healey

Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday doled out $3 million in grant funding to help community organizations address issues in society that affect people's health, like nutrition, safe housing, violence prevention and substance use.

The attorney general's Social Determinants Partnership program is providing $3 million to 13 partnerships made up of health care providers, social service organizations and municipal governments.

"As a state and as a country, we continue to spend most of our health care dollars treating people who are already sick, rather than investing to keep people healthy," Healey said in a statement. "These grants will support new partnerships to improve nutrition, housing, and other social determinants to protect the health of every Massachusetts resident."

One partnership funded through the grants -- between Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, the Community Healthlink Inc., Duffy Health Center and Mercy Healthcare for the Homeless -- will seek to steer long-term homeless individuals who frequently use emergency health care and behavioral services towards permanent housing.

The grants will also fund a program that uses music therapy to engage at-risk adolescents reluctant to participate in traditional behavioral health services, with a focus on young people who have experienced trauma. That program is a partnership between Children's Services of Roxbury, Boston Public Schools, Beats, Rhymes & Life, Boston Afterschool & Beyond, and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

The other programs that will receive grant funding will serve residents in Everett, Revere, Lynn, Boston, Lowell, New Bedford, Worcester County, Hampden County, Franklin County and the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts.

The grant program is funded by money obtained through settlements reached by the attorney general's Health Care Division

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