Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Awards $4 Million for Childhood Obesity Prevention Efforts

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, has announced grants and technical assistance totaling $4 million to organizations working to combat childhood obesity and health disparities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Through its Growing Up Healthy initiative, the foundation awarded three-year, $1.5 million grants to ChildObesity180 in Boston and MaineHealth in Portland to expand campaigns that promote healthier environments and lifestyles for young people. ChildObesity180, which is led by researchers at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, will use its grant for an out-of-school time nutrition and physical activity initiative, while MaineHealth will use the funds to expand a childhood obesity prevention initiative to more than one hundred and ninety primary care physicians and fourteen hospitals.

The foundation also contributed $1 million in technical assistance and consultation services over three years through its Culture InSight program, which supports healthcare organizations and professionals working to improve care for populations and communities affected by health disparities. The recipients are the NH Health & Equity Partnership, which is coordinated by the Concord-based Foundation for Healthy Communities; Health Resources in Action and Neighborhood Health Plan in Boston; Advocates, Inc. in Framingham, Massachusetts; and the Hanley Center in Portland.

"Childhood obesity and healthcare disparities not only impact those operating within the healthcare industry but, more importantly, are issues which families across our region and country struggle with every day," said Harvard Pilgrim Health Care president and CEO Eric Schultz. "At Harvard Pilgrim, we recognize our responsibility to support and expand innovative initiatives that inform, educate, and engage children, their families, those on the front lines of health care, and the broader community, and help change behaviors and improve people's lives."