We begin our 23rd year with deep appreciation to our community partners for their significant contributions to improving the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts by 209 organizations having effectively administered grants totaling $50 million and also for the highly valued leadership of the Foundation’s founding President & CEO, Dr. Jan Yost, who will retire later this year. Importantly, we also begin 2022 with enthusiasm and confidence in Dr. Amie Shei, who has been appointed President & CEO-elect, to assume the leadership role when Dr. Yost retires. Dr. Shei has been ably serving since 2016 as the Foundation’s Vice President for Programs. The Board has wholeheartedly endorsed the continuation of the Foundation’s grantmaking approach and the Activation Fund and the Synergy Initiative funding avenues. As we transition staff leadership, we are very pleased to welcome the involvement of new Directors Lindsay Greenfield, Diane Gould, and Katie Lee to the Board and new Community Members Gail Gramarossa, Jasmin Rivas, and Connor Robichaud to the Foundation’s Community Outreach Committee. We are also grateful for the robust investment markets in recent years. The Foundation’s assets are currently valued at an all-time high of nearly $100 million, which enables the distribution of our largest grantmaking budget of $3.5 million this year. Thus, we are pleased to announce that the Activation Fund is open to applications in 2022 with the expectation of awarding $850,000 for one-year projects targeting a range of $60,000 to $120,000 each. Although it is not open to applications this year, we have increased our support to $1.8 million for the four Round 5 Synergy Initiative projects. We invite you to learn more about these collaborative efforts and explore with staff any interest you may have in partnering on these projects: Private Well Program to Protect Public Health – addressing potential contaminants in private well water; READYGO – supporting a skilled workforce of early childhood educators prepared in trauma-informed learning and environments; Encompass – developing a model of foster parents supports that includes peer trauma coaches; and the Quaboag Connector – developing a sustainable rural transportation system. Thus far, the Foundation has committed $4.2 million for these projects that are beginning full implementation in their third year, following a year of planning and another of piloting. Their end goal is to document effective new interventions and win policy or systems changes that will sustain the interventions when the Foundation’s support concludes. We look forward to continuing to support community-driven efforts that enhance health equity in our region.
Timothy M. Bibaud, JD Chairman