What We Fund

What We Fund

The Funds focus on addressing health and racial inequities and are guided by the following principles:  

  • The Social Determinants of Health account for significant variation in health outcomes 
  • Policies, systems, and social/physical environments are historically based in structural and institutional racism and other forms of oppression. 
  • Structural and institutional racism and other forms of oppression need to be understood and disrupted to eliminate inequities in population health outcomes and the social determinants of health.  

Funding Streams

Three funding streams make up the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds. 

Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change

The Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds focus on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change approaches.

  • Policy change approaches include the passing or changing of laws, also known as legislation, as well as ordinances, resolutions, mandates, regulations, or rules.
  • Systems change approaches create fundamental shifts in how problems are solved and how resources and services get distributed.
  • Environmental change approaches involve the economic, social, or physical surroundings or contexts that affect health outcomes.

These PSE change approaches are different from direct service or programmatic approaches. This funding opportunity does not fund initiatives that focus only on direct service delivery. PSE change approaches make long-lasting changes within communities to make healthy choices practical and available to all residents. Learn more about PSE change approaches from the DPH program, Mass in Motion.

PSE Resources

Healthy Aging

The Healthy Aging funding stream supports strategies that: 

  • focus on the eight multi-sector domains of livability for age-friendly communities defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the AARP (see figure below) 
  • emphasize social determinants of health, and use policy, systems, and environmental change approaches 

The eight domains of Livability for age-friendly communities are transportation, housing, social participation, respect & social inclusion, work & civic enagement, communication & information, community & health services, and outdoor spaces & buildings. For more information on the eight domains, click here

Healthy Aging Resources 

Community Health Improvement Planning

A Community Health Improvement Plan (or CHIP) is a long-term effort to improve the health of a community. The CHIP is based on the results of a community health assessment (CHA), which studies the health-related needs and strengths of a community. CHIPs aim to respond to CHA results, bring together resources and stakeholders, and create a shared framework for community health. CHIPs coordinate strategies between different sectors and stakeholders. These include health care systems and hospitals, health departments, local government, community-based organizations, businesses, and residents. 

The Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds support the development and/or implementation of local and/or regional community health improvement planning processes. 

Community Engagement. 1) Reflect and strategize. 2) Identify and engage stakeholders. 3) Define the community. 4) Collect and analyze data. 5) Prioritize community health issues. 6) Document and communicate results. 7) Plan implementation strategies. 8) Implementation strategies. 9) Evaluate progress.
Community Health Improvement Processes (CHIP) Approaches

CHIP Resources 

The Health Tree: Connecting Health Outcomes to Root Causes 

The Funds’ strategy is based on a model that connects health outcomes to the root causes of health inequities. Awardees focus their initiatives on the root causes of health and social determinants of health to create a sustainable impact on health outcomes. The tree below shows the relationship between health outcomes and the root causes of health. 

The Health Tree is adapted by Health Resources in Action from the Human Impact Partners 

Grantmaking Process

Grantmaking Process Idea Development , Request for Proposals ,Apply , Applicant TA, Review, Notifications, Feedback