Way Finders Receives $195,000 Grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation

January 14, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, MA– January 14, 2021 – Way Finders was awarded a three-year grant for $195,000 from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to continue working with community advocates to advance age-friendly policies in Springfield. 

“Way Finders is thrilled to receive renewed funding from Tufts Health Plan Foundation,” said Keith Fairey, President and CEO of Way Finders. “The work our Community Advocates are doing will benefit not only older adults, but people of all ages in Springfield. These civic-minded residents are learning new skills and using their voices to advocate for projects that will have long-term, meaningful impact.” 

Way Finders provides comprehensive community development programs in Western Massachusetts and is committed to advancing equity in housing, economic mobility, and community building. This project builds on the Flexing Civic Muscle program, providing Community Advocate training for older adults in Springfield’s historically underserved neighborhoods. The Community Advocates will use their skills to engage in civic life to influence policy and policy implementation they identify as crucial to the community. The Community Advocates will undertake social justice campaigns aimed at eliminating the digital divide, advancing an equitable ADA transition plan, and will continue efforts to bring about improvements in the infrastructure and other elements of the built environment in their neighborhoods. 

“We are seeing trends —notably food insecurity and the need to ensure our long-term services and supports system advances healthy aging,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for corporate citizenship at Tufts Health Plan. “We’ve seen the consequences of generations of systemic racism; we hope these grants will create space to listen and hear older people as they promote policy solutions that make sense for all of us.” 

Tufts Health Plan Foundation is the only regional funder exclusively focused on healthy aging. This is one of 10 new community investments totaling more than $1.325 reflecting the Foundation’s commitment to policies and practices that advance healthy aging. The new grants engage older people in systems-level change to remove barriers responsible for inequities in communities across the region. 

About Tufts Health Plan Foundation 
Established in 2008, Tufts Health Plan Foundation supports the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve. The Foundation has given more than $45 million to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island nonprofits that promote healthy aging. The Tufts Health Plan Foundation funds programs that move communities toward implementing age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on older adults and include them in community solutions. Visit www.tuftshealthplanfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.