Greater Lowell Health Alliance Invites Applications for Community Health Initiatives

The Greater Lowell Health Alliance is comprised of healthcare providers, business leaders, educators, civic, and community leaders with a common goal of helping the greater Lowell community identify and address its health and wellness priorities.

In support of this mission, the alliance is inviting applications for its 2019-20 Community Health Initiatives Grants. Through the program, grants ranging between $10,000 and $100,000 will be awarded in support of programs and services aimed at improving overall health of the greater Lowell community.

Based on the health priorities identified by commissioned researchers and students from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the engagement of more than fifty community agencies, the Greater Lowell Health Alliance has developed a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Grants will be awarded in support of the health priorities and programs that meet specific areas of focus identified by the CHIP process, including:

Mental Health — Efforts to increase well-trained, culturally-diverse, and culturally competent mental health providers and community health workers; reduce mental health stigma among youth, the general population, and the elderly (i.e., community forums, panel discussions, workshops, and train-the-trainer programs); and strengthen the integration of behavioral health services, based on awareness of cultural factors in substance use.

Substance Use and Prevention — Early intervention through preventative education, assessments, and screenings; collaboration on strategies that emphasize treatment over punishment (i.e., jail diversion, recovery coaching); and efforts to increase access and awareness to treatment services and resources.

Access to Healthy Food — Educational opportunities on healthy eating; healthy incentive programs (within grocery stores, public schools, healthcare facilities, senior centers); efforts to improve or create nutritional practices within municipal policies; and efforts to promote and educate economic benefits of accessing healthy foods (i.e., SNAP & HIP benefits).

Physical Activity — Policies and practices that increase access to physical activities; efforts to establish or promote safe indoor or outdoor physical activity sites (playgrounds, recreational sites, walking trails, green space, community centers, gyms); and efforts to develop and promote workplace initiatives.

Asthma — Efforts to increase resources to conduct asthma assessments, education, and prevention; communications designed to enhance the continuity of care (pharmacies, healthcare providers, healthcare workers, care givers, schools, and daycares; outreach to residents with respect to triggers and environmental issues; and efforts to advocate for the development of and adherence to better policies with respect to air quality in housing, schools, and public areas.

Social Determinants of Health — Trainings and workshops for providers and community leaders to increase their awareness of contextual, social, historical and cultural factors that influence health behaviors and health outcomes; efforts to increase access and capacity to preventative care for low-socioeconomic populations; and efforts to increase understanding of specific underserved communities’ health-related priorities, obstacles and strengths.

Nonprofit organizations or public entities (such as municipalities, schools, health institutions, and services) are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to agencies with representatives serving on one of the six GLHA task forces and/or working groups and whose service area is within the CHNAs designated by the Department of Public Health, including Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, and Westford, Massachusetts.

See the Greater Lowell Health Alliance website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

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Deadline: July 24, 2019