Mass General Brigham today announced the rapid distributions of over $500,000 to seven community-based organizations working to support the needs of recently arrived migrants to the Commonwealth. The funds, part of Mass General Brigham’s Community Health work, were awarded to address the growing humanitarian crisis faced by migrants seeking asylum in Massachusetts.
The goal is to support local community-based organizations that have deployed an all-hands-on-deck effort to meet the essential needs of new arrivals in the region. The organizations receiving the first round of funding are focused on supporting migrants in several communities, including: Greater Boston, Mattapan, Lynn, Waltham, Lowell, and Manchester, NH.
“We commend the state’s ongoing efforts and those of local municipalities to support resources and relief measures for immigrants entering the Commonwealth — many of whom have had to abandon their homes without a choice. We hope these funds will play a critical role in ensuring that families have their basic needs met,” said Dr. Elsie Taveras, Chief Community Health and Health Equity Officer at Mass General Brigham. “As a healthcare organization, our clinicians are often on the frontline of welcoming displaced people needing medical aid. Clinicians across Mass General Brigham continue to offer the highest quality of care to for all our patients, regardless of immigration status, with the compassion and dignity our patients deserve. They are there to meet patients where they are, whether that’s in the emergency department, a primary care clinic, or one of our community care vans. However, the needs of newly arrived immigrants are far reaching and complex, and we’re grateful to our community partners who collaborate with us doing essential work to support these new arrivals to the Commonwealth.”
The grantees include: International Institute of New England (IINE), FamilyAid, Immigrant Family Services Institute, Centerboard, Health Law Advocates, and Waltham Partnership for Youth (Wraparound Waltham program). Additional funding was committed for supplies such as clothes, car seats, and gift cards for supermarkets to support migrants, as well as other local food and service partners.
Funding will support services such as housing assistance, assistance with health care needs, access to medical appointments, connecting refugee families with advocates and social supports at shelter sites, legal services, English as a Second Language classes, programming for youth, school enrollment aid, assistance with filing for asylum or other immigration support, and providing essential needs like food, diapers, clothing, and hygiene items.
“We’re privileged to be able to support local community partners who can offer expanded support to members of our community experiencing difficulties. Fundamental services like access to food, diapers, clothing, or a ride to a medical appointment, are essential to the health and wellbeing of anyone, but especially those who have risked their lives to seek safety in a place that is completely new to them. Through this funding, we’re supporting organizations who are playing a crucial role by providing services that make a difference. We are so grateful to the work they are doing every day,” said Dr. Claire-Cecile Pierre, Vice President of Community Health Programs at Mass General Brigham.
These new grants and ongoing annual support for our community partners are part of a robust Community Health strategy at Mass General Brigham. The new funding is in addition to Mass General Brigham’s $50 million investment to improve the health of the communities it serves — an initiative which focuses on increasing access for patients and builds on existing $168M annual community health investments.
Mass General Brigham is committed to improving health outcomes and achieving health equity by partnering with diverse local communities to deliver high-quality care and address social determinants of health, such as housing and food insecurity, education and employment, as well as systemic and institutional racism. Much of this work falls under the system’s far-reaching, multi-pronged initiative, United Against Racism.
Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic health care system, uniting great minds to solve the hardest problems in medicine for our communities and the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a nonprofit organization committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations with several Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. For more information, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org.