New Funding to Eliminate Disparities
BOSTON - As part of the city’s ongoing commitment to improving the health of communities of color, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Public Health Commission have announced the creation of a Center for Health Equity and Social Justice. The center, launched last month, combines two
Commission offices to expand efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities: the REACH Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (CEED) and the Office of Health Equity, formerly the Disparities Project.
In one of its first activities, the center awarded new funding to 13 organizations in Boston and throughout New England, totaling $975,000 over three years.
“Providing all communities with access to reliable, quality health services has been one of my top priorities,” Mayor Menino said. “I’m proud that the city of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission have taken a lead role in the elimination of health disparities. By partnering with these
organizations, we can continue to improve the health of our residents in Boston and in communities throughout New England.”
Nine Boston organizations will receive funding to support three areas: improving access to healthy and affordable foods; expanding youth to health careers programming; and developing neighborhood strategies to eliminate disparities. The center will also fund four organizations in Fitchburg, Springfield, Worcester, MA, and Manchester, NH to help them develop regional strategies to eliminate disparities.
“We all have a role to play, as individuals and as organizations, in developing solutions to eliminate disparities,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director at the Commission. “I am very pleased to help announce the new center, which will help support this effort across New England.”
In addition to providing the organizations with funding, the new center will provide education, training, and technical assistance to reduce the burden of death any disease in communities of color that nationwide experience disproportionately higher rates of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases than white residents.
“I feel confident that Worcester is now part of a larger movement,” said Keesha LaTulippe of the Worcester Community Partnership to End Health Disparities. “As a person motivated by the pursuit and dream of social justice, having the opportunity to make that an explicit goal of the work that we do is empowering.”
The funding marks yet another step the city of Boston and the Commission have taken to eliminate
disparities in health. In June 2005, under the leadership of Mayor Menino, Boston was the first city in the nation to produce a report detailing the problem locally and developing a comprehensive blueprint to address the issue. The Mayor’s Blueprint Report and Hospital Work Group Report provided a
framework to use to close the gap in health and health care disparities in Boston.
In 2007, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated Boston as a Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities, recognizing Boston’s efforts as a nationwide model in the elimination of disparities. The designation brought millions in federal funds to the city for work focused on cardiovascular disease and breast and cervical cancer as they affect communities of color. With
this funding, the Commission, through the Center of Health Equity and Social Justice, will infuse similar efforts across New England. In the future, the CEED expects to identify and fund more community-based health equity projects in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. To date,
the 13 grant recipients are as follows:
Funding Area Organization Amount Per Year
Neighborhood Strategies Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center (Jamaica Plain) $25,000
Chronic Disease The Food Project (Dorchester) $20,000
Chronic Disease The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (Mattapan) $19,975
Chronic Disease Bowdoin Street Health Center (Dorchester) $20,000
Chronic Disease Sociedad Latina (Roxbury) $20,000
Workforce Diversity Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine $30,000
Workforce Diversity Health Careers Academy (Fenway) $30,000
Workforce Diversity American Red Cross (Boston) $30,000
Workforce Diversity Youth and Family Enrichment Services, Inc. (Hyde Park) $30,000
Organization Amount Per Year
New Hampshire Minority Health Coalition (Manchester, NH) $25,000
North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition (Fitchburg, MA) $25,000
Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. (Springfield, MA) $25,000
Worcester Community Partnership to End Health Disparities (Worcester, MA) $25,000
November 7, 2008