For Immediate Release: January 16, 2018
Alrie McNiff Daniels
Tufts Health Plan Foundation Awards MORE THAN $300,000 TO Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging
Easthampton MA: January 10, 2018: Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced a three-year grant of $302,068 to the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging (MCOA) to expand the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative and help more communities across the Commonwealth become welcoming places for those living with dementia. The grant reflects the Foundation’s commitment to advancing inclusive policies that create thriving and vital communities that work for people of all ages.
“Communities have a greater interest in age-friendly initiatives. There’s a growing understanding of the critical role older people play. They are an asset to the community, and their voices and insights are invaluable to the public discourse on what communities need,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, vice president, corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan and president of its Foundation.
The Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative brings together diverse leaders, organizations and individual stakeholders to integrate dementia-friendly principles in communities across the state. Beginning in 2018, the MCOA will serve as the backbone organization for this initiative, which began in 2016 with Jewish Family & Children’s Services coordinating the effort. As Dementia Friendly Massachusetts moves forward to increase awareness and promote the value of dementia-friendly communities, the group will connect with Black and Latino/Hispanic communities which have the highest risk for dementia, share best practices and work to increase participation of faith-based organizations, business owners, municipal leaders and other community representatives.
MCOA already partners with the state’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, the Alzheimer’s Association and LeadingAge. This new role will leverage existing relationships with AARP MA and the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative to strengthen connections between dementia-friendly efforts and age-friendly initiatives.
The Dementia Friendly Massachusetts staff will closely collaborate with training partners from the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative and AARP to further develop and disseminate integrated approaches that communities may use to pursue both age-friendly and dementia friendly initiatives in a streamlined fashion. David Stevens, MCOA’s executive director, stated “The Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s grant will provide the resources to build strategic partnerships, educate and empower municipal leaders who manage local aging services, advocate for policies to improve the quality of life for older adults living with dementia, and ensure the delivery of quality programming to advance healthy aging for older adults.”
In all, Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced eight new grants totaling more than $1.1 million and representing collaborations with nearly 80 community organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
About Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s Grant Program
Twice a year, Tufts Health Plan Foundation awards grants supporting healthy living with an emphasis on older people. Interested organizations should submit a letter of intent (LOI) through the online system accessible via www.tuftshealthplanfoundation.org. Letters of intent for the Systems and Best Practices or Collaboration and Community Engagement focus areas are due on January 22, 2018.
About Massachusetts Association of Council on Aging (MCOA)
MCOA is a non-profit membership organization serving the Commonwealth’s municipally-based Councils on Aging. Our mission is building strategic partnerships to educate, empower, and advocate for professionals who work with older adults. For more information about programs, events, and trainings visit MCOA’s website at www.mcoaonline.com, or subscribe to our free newsletter the Weekly Brief by contacting Lynn@mcoaonline.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the 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 $27 million to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island nonprofits that promote healthy living with an emphasis on older adults. Tufts Health Plan Foundation funds programs that move communities toward achieving age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on seniors and include them in community solutions. Visit www.tuftshealthplanfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.