Health plan foundations awarding $1M for vaccine education

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation are giving a total of $1 million in grants to 42 organizations across five New England states to expand COVID-19 vaccine education, awareness, and outreach efforts in communities of color.

Along with groups from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, the awardees include 13 Massachusetts organizations: African Community Education Program in Worcester ($20,000); Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association in Lowell ($25,000); Greater Boston Latino Network ($25,000); Greater Lawrence Community Action Council ($25,000); La Colaborativa in Chelsea ($25,000); Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition ($45,000); Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers ($50,000); New North Citizens Council in Springfield ($20,000); One Holyoke Community Development Corporation ($20,000); Pinnacle Partnerships in Brockton ($20,000); Public Health Institute of Western Mass. ($30,000); Resilient Sisterhood Project in Boston ($20,000); and Worcester Interfaith ($25,000).

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan last month combined into one organization, and the health plans described the grants as their “first joint community investment.”

Michael Curry, president, and CEO of the Mass. League of Community Health Centers, said in a statement that the money will help his organization “build our workforce capacity to engage patients in conversations about their COVID-19 vaccine questions and concerns.”

“Addressing hesitancy in Black and Brown communities, which is grounded in centuries of mistreatment by the medical system, requires that staff at every level of our organizations provide the information and tools patients need to make their own decisions about this life-saving measure,” Curry said.

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