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South Shore health group offers bigger grants

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 17, 2013 04:30 PM

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With 10 years of offering small community grants to organizations throughout the South Shore, the Blue Hills Community Health Alliance will start a new initiative this year, offering up to two larger grants to worthy organizations.

Geared towards groups in Braintree, Quincy, Hingham, Scituate, Canton, Cohasset, Hull, Milton, Norwell, Norwood, Randolph, Sharon, and Weymouth, the goal of the grants is to improve local health.

As has occurred in the past, several grants, typically 10-20, ranging from $500-$3,500 each, will be handed out for smaller initiatives. Yet for the first time this year, one or two “Impact Grants” will be given out ranging from $3,600-$10,000.

“We did fund many wonderful grants last year,” said Stephanie Nitka, Blue Hills Community Health Network Area Coordinator. “It’s exciting to see what each group does with a small amount of money, and it will be exciting to see what happens with these Impact Grants.”

Last year, grants were given to a variety of organizations after an extensive vetting process, with Quincy’s Germantown Neighborhood Center, Point Webster Middle School, Quincy Asian Resources, and Manet Community Health Center all receiving funding.

Over $39,000 in funding was doled out in total to 13 organizations.

This year, along with the opportunity to win larger grants, the organization has also received more money, preparing to hand out $55,000 in funding to a variety of organizations.

According to Nitka, the funding comes from a Determination of Need funding from hospitals – money that is taken from hospital renovations and given to the Department of Public Health to be dolled out to community organizations.

On the Health Alliance website, funders included the South Shore Hospital, Norwood Hospital, Harvard Vanguard, and Weymouth MRI.

With more money this year, the process will be no less intensive. Those looking to apply will have to attend a mandatory information session on either April 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. or on April 25 from 5 to 7 p.m.

From there, organizations will fill out an application. Projects must either improve access to care, prevent or manage chronic disease, improve mental health in the community, or address substance abuse.

A judging panel made up of reviewers from the community judge the applications on how they fit the criteria and will decide who receives funding.

According to Nitka, applications are due by May 16 and winners will be announced by June 30. Awarded programs will start July 1.

For more information and to register for an information session, visit here.

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