BWH Doles Out Grants to Lessen Health Inequality in Boston

It's funding community centers serving Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Mission Hill.


Photo by Dana Guth

Boston is home to some of the finest hospitals and healthcare providers in the world—but many of them are clustered in one small chunk of the city. One of those leading institutions, however, is trying to spread solid care far beyond the Longwood area.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) announced Thursday that its Center for Community Health and Health Equity will give a total of $640,000 per year for the next three years to 14 local community centers, in an effort to lessen Boston’s health disparities. The grants will go to organizations serving Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and Roxbury, and are intended for use in three key areas: psychological health; professional development; and lessening health inequality, particularly as it relates to race.

“These 14 organizations are working closely with their communities to address the social factors that contribute to poor health outcomes,” Wanda McClain, BWH’s vice president of community health and health equity, said in a statement. “We see these funds as an opportunity to expand what is often thought as the traditional scope of health care to promote prevention and wellness at the community level.”

The grants are part of BWH’s planned seven-year, $4.45-million investment in community health. It began asking community members to identify healthcare issues of importance back in 2014, and has collaborated with state and city health departments throughout the planning process.

The 14 organizations receiving funding in this round, chosen out of 86 applicants, are: