The Tufts Health Plan Foundation is a slow-and-steady sort of operation based in Watertown, MA. It’s been around only six years, but in that time, it’s worked to develop a well-defined focus on challenges associated with aging in New England.
The THPF recently announced its first round of grants for FY2014, and analyzing the list, some real trends emerge.
For starters, the THPF seems to be moving away from supporting the sorts of groups that focus on one specific malady or another. In 2014, it shifted away from funding projects like TEAMcare for Seniors with Diabetes and Depression at the Community Health Center of Cape Cod. The THPF has always supported more holistic aging support services groups like Elder Services of Berkshire County and Operation A.B.L.E of Greater Boston; as it shifts away from specific disease-focused groups, THPF is continuing its support of those groups committed to meeting a broad array of needs.
But comparing the THFP’s grants list from 2013 with the list from 2014, there are a lot of constants, and not just the support of holistic aging services groups. Elder suicide prevention is one. LGBT aging is another. Physical education and exercise initiatives, arts and literacy initiatives and cultural outreach projects are all continuing from one year to the next, proving that when the THPF finds an organization it likes, it is open to providing multiyear support to that group.
That said, new themes in THPF’s grantmaking are definitely emerging this year. The foundation seems to be latching on to improving elder nutrition as a major focus, as well as supporting more initiatives within its Purposeful Engagement program, such as a media literacy class for seniors, and a docent program. In short, the THPF has chosen to continue most of the initiatives supported by its Health & Wellness program, while actively seeking new grantees for the other grantmaking programs it administers.