Tufts Health Plan Foundation Awards Over $130,000 to CADER at Boston University

CADER initiative supports Age-Friendly New Bedford Coalition

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced a two-year grant of $138,889 to Trustees of Boston University to create community outreach and educational campaigns focused on reducing the stigma of mental illness and social isolation. The grant reflects the Foundation’s commitment to building healthier communities by promoting collaboration and improving systems and best practices.

“Our investments focus on improving community livability and addressing inequities to help older adults live healthier, fulfilling lives,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president, corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “Every community has different needs and opportunities. We want to honor communities where they are and catalyze health improvements for older adults and the entire community.”

The Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research (CADER) at Boston University will work with the Age-Friendly New Bedford Coalition and the New Bedford Council on Aging to build an outreach and educational campaign focused on reducing the stigma of mental illness and increasing awareness of the effects of social isolation in the community. The campaign will be developed in multiple languages reflecting the area’s diverse population. In the second year of the grant, training will be provided for key stakeholders, including aging service providers, clergy, first responders, and resident coordinators focusing on the need to effectively identify and respond to older adults with behavioral health concerns.

Principal Investigator and BU School of Social Work Research Assistant Professor, Bronwyn Keefe, states that, “In order for older adults to be fully engaged in community life, behavioral health concerns need to be addressed with a focus on social isolation, depression, and substance use. Tufts Health Plan Foundation funding for this program will serve as an important step towards addressing these concerns in the New Bedford community. Many Age Friendly efforts don’t address these issues even though significant numbers of older adults are impacted. This grant will focus on capacity building in behavioral health through the diverse partnerships that make up the Age-Friendly New Bedford coalition and bring behavioral health concerns to the forefront of age friendly initiatives.”

In all, Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced 21 new grants totaling more than $1.7 million and representing collaborations with more than 200 community organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

About the 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 nearly $26 million to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island nonprofits that promote healthy living with an emphasis on older adults. The Foundation began funding in New Hampshire in 2016. The Tufts Health Plan Foundation funds programs that move communities toward achieving age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on older adults, and include them in community solutions.

About the Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research at Boston University

The Center for Aging & Disability Education & Research (CADER) is dedicated to strengthening the workforce that provides health and long-term supports and services to older adults and people with disabilities. The rapid aging of the population and a changing health and long-term services and support landscape demand that organizations in the aging and disability field provide integrated, interdisciplinary, and person-centered care. CADER is a national leader in helping organizations and workers meet this challenge. Located at Boston University School of Social Work, CADER builds upon the School’s historical commitment to the aging and disability fields and current strength in teaching, research, and training. Additional information about CADER program benefits, CEUs, courses, and pricing can be found on the CADER website.

To learn more about CADER training programs, please contact CADER at cader@bu.edu.


Bronwyn Keefe