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For 10 years, Tufts Health Plan Foundation has been steadfast in its commitment to healthy aging, embracing a strong core belief: Communities that listen to and include older people in solutions are stronger, more vibrant and healthier.

In our early years, we funded programs to help older people maintain healthy bodies and minds. We learned from experts in the field. And we brought people together to explore new ways to forge personal paths to wellness.

As the Foundation matured, we got more ambitious. We listened more closely to communities and, as we did, we began to understand the need to engage more broadly, to think about how policies and systems could evolve to make communities better places to grow up and grow old.

In this report, we look back on our first decade with pride. And while it only highlights our milestones and features a few stories, it shows how our grantmaking has expanded to include innovative multiyear initiatives, collaborations with roots in community and partners in the four states where Tufts Health Plan does business. We’ve selected three stories to show the different ways we’ve grown throughout these 10 years. But even as we’ve changed over the years, our core mission has grown stronger: to promote the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve.

We’ve grown in other ways, too. With Foundation support, we created the Corporate Citizenship program at Tufts Health Plan and are exceeding our goals for how we give back to community. Through the matching gifts program that supports employees and board members who have contributed financially to nonprofits, the Foundation has matched $500,000 to community organizations this year alone. And members of our Tufts Health Letter ImagePlan family — our employees and leaders —also gave their time. In this anniversary year, employees spent nearly 10,000 volunteer hours in their communities.

In all our work, we strive to be responsive and relevant, to honor communities in their work and to be open and inclusive in how we engage with them.

Because now that we’re a decade older, we’re wise enough to know we can’t do this work alone, nor should we. It’s just better to grow old together.

Thomas P. O’Neill III
Thomas P. O’Neill III
Chair, Tufts Health Plan Foundation Board of Directors
Nora Moreno Cargie
Nora Moreno Cargie
President, Tufts Health Plan Foundation Vice President, Corporate Citizenship Tufts Health Plan
Thomas A. Croswell
President and Chief Executive Officer Tufts Health Plan

Milestones

2008

First grants awarded by newly endowed Foundation ($2.5 million to 60 nonprofits in MA)

2010

Co-sponsored Massachusetts as a Model for Healthy Aging event, laying groundwork for healthy aging movement in Massachusetts

2013

Launched grantee capacity-building program with Root Cause

2015

Official Corporate Citizenship program created and matching gifts program launched

2017

First meeting of Age-Friendly Rhode Island

Age-Friendly Boston released action plan with Foundation support

2019

Release first New Hampshire Aging Data Report

2009

Expanded to Rhode Island

2012

Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative officially launched

2014

Released first Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report

2016

First grants awarded in New Hampshire

Released first Rhode Island Healthy Aging Data Report

Funded and hosted first Dementia-Friendly Massachusetts Leadership Summit

2018

Age-Friendly Berkshires released action plan

Massachusetts becomes second Age-Friendly State, just behind New York

Launched new Momentum Fund mini-grants

First age-friendly communities signed on in New Hampshire

Since its beginning, Tufts Health Plan Foundation has invested more than $32 million in community. This does not include grantmaking by Tufts Health Plan before the creation of its Foundation.
In 2019, Tufts Health Plan celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

Community Voices

Emily Shea

“Tufts Health Plan Foundation has been a primary catalyst in advancing healthy aging and age-friendly initiatives in Boston and throughout the Common-wealth. By supporting the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative, it’s helped make our state a national leader in the age-friendly movement.”

EMILY SHEA Commissioner on Affairs of the Elderly for the City of Boston
David Abelman

“What stands out to me is how the Foundation went from a twinkle in the eye to an established, critical community institution. Its ability to evolve and mature into a highly sophisticated philan-thropic organization hasn’t surprised me but is something the entire Foundation team from 2008 to today should be very proud of.”

DAVID ABELMAN Former President, Tufts Health Plan Foundation
Jennifer Raymond

“Tufts Health Plan Foundation understands the critical role communities play in the health and well-being of older people. Their investments in innovative programs make it possible for community organizations to partner with health systems to honor what matters to older people, improve health outcomes and build stronger communities.”

JENNIFER RAYMOND Chief Strategy Officer, Director, Healthy Living Center of Excellence, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley
Charlie Baker

“We are fortunate to work with groups like Tufts Health Plan Foundation who are willing to provide their time, energy and support to help make Massachusetts a leader on aging.”

CHARLIE BAKER Governor of Massachusetts

“When funders come together in deep collaboration we share more than our financial resources. We share our compassion, courage and commitment for improving the health and wellbeing of the people we serve. And we learn and grow together as we listen to the voices of our communities..”

YVONNE GOLDSBERRY, PhD President, Endowment for Health, Member, Tufts Health Plan Foundation Board of Directors
DAVID STEVENS

“The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report is the best tool I’ve seen in over 35 years working in healthy aging. The community profiles make it easier for community leaders, elected officials and the public to identify strengths and challenges facing their communities, target scarce resources and develop new initiatives.”

DAVID STEVENS Executive Director, Massachusetts Councils on Aging
Bobbie Orsi

“Our initial work was informal — meeting with various individuals, community organizations and businesses engaged in some facet of “elder services.” Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s support helped us realize we had to take our work in this movement to the next level — because it would affect the well-being of all residents.”

BOBBIE ORSI, RN Age-Friendly Berkshires Founder and Steering Committee Member
Elecia Miller

“Tufts Health Plan Foundation helps us think more strategically and creatively about the issues impacting older people in Lawrence, the communities we want to have when we are older and the legacy we want to leave behind.”

ELECIA MILLER Coordinator, Mayor’s Health Task Force, City of Lawrence
ANN MONROE

“Tufts Health Plan Foundation brings a unique perspective because of its close connection to older people and communities. That kind of engagement also makes them an effective partner at the policy level where important decisions are made.”

ANN MONROE Chair, Grantmakers In Aging Board of Directors
Taino Palermo

“The Foundation fills critical funding gaps at small organizations that need to demonstrate proof of concepts and whose work often exposes systemic and institutional disconnects that might pose a threat to important programs.”

TAINO J. PALERMO, EdD Program Director, Community Development and Healthy Communities, University College, Roger Williams University; Rhode Island Momentum Fund Steering Committee Member
REFRAMING AGING
10 Years of Innovation and Transformation

This year marks 10 years of community investing by Tufts Health Plan Foundation. As the only regional funder focused on the vital work of promoting healthy aging, we know only one thing for certain: we can count on change. And while we’ve led in reframing aging, we’ve hardly done it alone. These three featured stories highlight what we can accomplish when we work with others.

Change-Makers
Working together, creating communities that work for all generations.
Massachusetts is working to be an Age-Friendly State. With more than 140 cities and towns in the Commonwealth taking steps to become great places to grow up and grow old, Governor Baker adopted AARP’s planning process, making it the second of three states to take on the work.
Change-Makers
Working together, creating communities that work for all generations.

Massachusetts is working to be an Age-Friendly State. With more than 140 cities and towns in the Commonwealth taking steps to become great places to grow up and grow old, Governor Baker announced last year Massachusetts had joined AARP’s age-friendly network, making it the second of three states to take on the work.

How are they doing it? Through initiatives addressing transportation, support to caregivers, economic insecurity and housing. Programs that encourage intergenerational activities and welcome those living with dementia. And by listening and responding to community ideas, what they need and what they are already doing.

Collaboration is key, and the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) is a prime example. With roots dating back to 2010, the collaborative started out as an informal group, co-sponsored by Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the Brandeis Health Policy Forum. Today, the Collaborative brings together more than 100 agencies and organizationscommitted to advancing healthy aging and supporting vibrant, age-friendly communities throughout the state.

Commitment is crucial. From the Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts to the Community Compact program, the state has been a consistent leader in this work. The Community Compact, a state-supported program that provides cities and towns a list of approved best practices and offers grants and assistance to those municipalities that adhere to the best practices, now includes age-friendly options.

This is the first state-supported aging initiative of its kind — and proof positive that Massachusetts is leading the way in age-friendly community development.

What do age-friendly communities have in common?

  • Safe and accessible public transportation options
  • Safe, affordable and accessible housing
  • Safe and pleasant parks and outdoor spaces
  • Top-quality community and health services
  • Plenty of employment and volunteer opportunities
  • Engaging social activities and events for people of all ages
  • Respect for older people and their knowledge, skills, resources and contributions
Transformation
Rooted in community, the Healthy Living Center of Excellence is relentless about improving health care for older people.
Innovation is a hallmark of the Healthy Living Center of Excellence (HLCE). Many communities have resources to help older people manage chronic conditions and become active partners in their own care. The pioneering team at Lawrence, Mass.-based HLCE has found a way to connect people to the resources they need, when they need them.
Transformation
Rooted in community, the Healthy Living Center of Excellence is relentless about improving health care for older people.

Innovation is a hallmark of the Healthy Living Center of Excellence (HLCE). Many communities have resources to help older people manage chronic conditions and become active partners in their own care. The pioneering team at Lawrence, Mass.-based HLCE has found a way to connect people to the resources they need, when they need them.

A division of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., HLCE gives older people access to evidence-based programs in their choice of setting within 30 miles of their homes and 30 days of referral.

HLCE creates an integrated partnership between health care delivery systems and community-based programs. And it’s working: Since 2008, they’ve signed up over 100 independent organizations, from the Amesbury Council on Aging to the YWCA, offering a healthy mix of everything from balance classes to nutrition programs.

These community-based programs are both more accessible and more effective. They employ cultures and languages that reflect diverse communities. The result: better care and improved patient outcomes. Yet, many providers are unaware of these programs.

The HLCE network functions like a well-oiled machine, creating a seamless process for health care providers and ensuring patient referrals that make a difference.

The best part: HLCE offers all its programs at no cost to participants thanks to funding commitments from sources like Tufts Health Plan Foundation. What’s more, HLCE has nearly halved its reliance on grants by pursuing contracts with health care insurers. That’s a model for not just healthier aging but the future of health care.

HLCE by the Numbers

100+
community organizations in network
20,000+
older people enrolled since 2008
600+
program leaders trained in evidence-based programs statewide
Enduring Effects
As we grow, we’re changing the way people think about aging.
Tufts Health Plan Foundation launched in January 2008. That year, we awarded $2.5 million to 60 Massachusetts nonprofits and pledged to focus on improving the lives of people over 60.
Enduring Effects
As we grow, we’re changing the way people think about aging.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation launched in January 2008. That year, we awarded $2.5 million to 60 Massachusetts nonprofits and pledged to focus on improving the lives of people over 60.

By 2013, we had expanded to include Rhode Island and had invested $14 million to support 150 organizations serving more than 65,000 older people.

We made our first New Hampshire grants in 2016. That year, we announced 21 new grants representing collaborations with more than 200 community organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Our investments had evolved. Our board had moved us to fund fewer, larger multiyear grants that were based in collaboration. These grants were focused on efforts to improve systems and scale best practices. And we saw how powerful it can be when older people are trained to advocate for policy changes.

It’s been a decade of milestones we’re so proud to look back on, but we’re especially excited about looking forward. And we’re proud to have played a role in something truly enduring: changing the way people think about getting old.

In geographic terms, we’ve grown way beyond our expectations in our first 10 years, diversifying and expanding to new communities. This year, we introduced the Momentum Fund, a new mini grant program to support early-stage initiatives and innovative age-friendly efforts. We also launched a program to engage Tufts Health Plan employees in grantmaking. Each of the company’s five business resource groups recommended a nonprofit organization for a grant of up to $5,000. Next year, we’ll begin funding in Connecticut.

It’s been a decade of incredible momentum. With each passing year, we’re growing and learning — and so are the communities we serve.

Looking Ahead to the Next 10 Years

We’re so proud of the accomplishments of the past decade and so grateful to everyone who helped. Stay tuned as we launch the next phase of our work. The future looks more vibrant and age-friendly than we ever imagined.
Our Thanks

To our board for their vision and guidance

To Tufts Health Plan, whose leadership, commitment and generous endowment brought the Foundation to life and helped sustain us for 10 years

To the staff, past and present, who have made this all possible


BOARD MEMBERS
David Abelman; John Baackes; Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP; Patty Blake; Nora Moreno Cargie; Thomas Croswell; Yvonne Goldsberry, PhD; David S. Green, MD; Lydia Greene; Jackie L. Jenkins-Scott; Barbara Shattuck Kohn; Vincent Mor, PhD; Thomas P. O’Neill III, Charlotte Golar Richie; James Roosevelt Jr.; George A. Russell Jr.; Sarah E. Slater, MD; Steven A. Tolman; Rev. Liz Walker
STAFF
David Abelman, Kimberly Blakemore, Anne Marie Boursiquot King, Regina Donovan, Abby Driscoll, Anne Dumke, Phillip González, Sara Leib, Stacey Mann, Kristyn McCandless, Alrie McNiff Daniels, Nora Moreno Cargie, Caite O’Brien, Theresa O’Toole, Ruth Palombo, Kayla Romanelli

OUR MISSION

The Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve.
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