Tufts Health Plan Foundation Pledges $1 Million to Support Racial and Social Justice
Funds will go to efforts addressing inequities, especially in health
Watertown, MA – Tufts Health Plan Foundation today announced it has committed $1 million to support investments on issues facing diverse communities. The funds will go to the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, the Latino Legacy Fund and the Asian Community Fund.
“A history of systemic barriers and widespread inequities has left many behind,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. “Our Foundation will continue to prioritize equity in all its work; we are making a long-term commitment to issues important to the community and to organizations led by those who represent communities of color.”
The $1 million will be divided equally among the three funds over the next five years. Each fund supports priorities identified by communities of color. The Foundation funding will advance work on health disparities and flaws in the health care delivery systems stemming from racism. The Foundation has also pledged additional resources for racial justice initiatives in the other states where it conducts business (Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island). This new funding is in addition to the $5.5 million already allocated for community investments by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation in 2020.
“This moment requires unprecedented action and equitable funding of grass-roots leadership,” said Aixa Beauchamp, co-founder, Latino Legacy Fund at the Boston Foundation. “Thank you, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, for your support of minority-based funds who often have to work twice as hard to raise dollars to have significant impact in their communities.”
“It is important to recognize that systemic racism has impeded progress,” said George Russell, Jr., Foundation board member, retired executive and former president of State Street Foundation. “Meaningful change will come when we make loans to small businesses led by people of color, pay a livable wage, correct discriminatory hiring practices, and prohibit evictions and foreclosures during these difficult and challenging COVID-19 times. This also will help ensure a robust and equitable recovery.”
“The Asian Community Fund (ACF) is deeply grateful for Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s visionary $1 million gift for racial and social justice,” said Paul Lee, a member of the Boston Foundation board of directors. “The ACF, created at the Boston Foundation by Asian American community leaders, seeks to overcome systemic inequities that have denied diverse Asian American communities the opportunities available to all residents of Massachusetts. We will work synergistically with our Black and Latinx colleagues to address persistent issues such as leadership development, mentorship, public health, education, housing, economic opportunity, language and immigrant rights (including DACA) to unlock the full potential of the Asian American community.”
“The New Commonwealth Fund is thrilled to receive support from Tufts Health Plan,” said Myechia Minter-Jordan M.D., M.B.A., one of the fund's founding members. “We look forward to tackling together long-standing health inequities that impact communities of color.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have surfaced rooted systemic inequalities and health disparities that we can no longer ignore,” said Juan Lopera, Tufts Health Plan’s business diversity officer. “At Tufts Health Plan, we have a significant role to play in addressing health disparities, supplier diversity and inclusion, workplace equity and community engagement.”
Tufts Health Plan and its Foundation have committed more than $2 million to support nonprofit organizations responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The funds and in-kind donations support organizations working on food insecurity, inequities in housing and other services, helping women- and minority-owned small businesses reopen, and promoting racial justice. The Foundation continues a two-for-one match for donations by Tufts Health Plan employees and board members to nonprofits affected by COVID-19 and organizations advancing social justice. Since March, more than $280,000 has gone to community organizations through this program.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating, Tufts Health Plan continues to support its members, providers, customers, employees and others in the community through:
- Enhancing benefits for members
- Compensating providers at 100 percent of an in-office rate for telehealth
- Working with providers on a case-by-case basis to address their concerns regarding payment stability
- Extending premium payment periods for employers who need a bit more time to make payment on a case by case basis
- Establishing an Employee Relief Fund to support Tufts Health Plan employees who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and are experiencing financial hardship, such as the loss of a job by someone in their household