Addressing the opioid crisis, expanding mental health services for children and youth, and battling childhood obesity are focus of 2017 grants

Worcester, MA, December 4, 2017 – Reliant Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Worcester-based Reliant Medical Group, today announced its most recent round of grants totaling $176,750. Charitable organizations throughout Central and MetroWest regions of Massachusetts will receive assistance through the Foundation’s fall grants program.

In parallel with the robust fundraising year the Foundation has experienced, this round of community grants is the largest in its history.

“We are extremely grateful for the support the Foundation receives from our generous donors and volunteers that makes this possible,” said Kelsa Zereski, Director of Philanthropy for Reliant Medical Group. “It is a great feeling to be able to pass that generosity along, knowing that we are making a positive impact on significant health issues that are affecting our community.”

For many years, the Reliant Foundation’s community grants focus has centered on battling childhood obesity. In 2017, Foundation leadership made the decision to align funding with the MetroWest and Worcester area C.H.I.P.s (Community Health Improvement Plans) and to prioritize support around the growing opioid crisis, expansion of children’s mental health services, while continuing the Foundation’s focus on childhood obesity.

In the last decade, Reliant Foundation has funded programs at 67 local charities, impacting more than 100,000 lives annually.

The following 35 organizations received funding through the latest round of grants:

  • Advocates – to assist with renovations of a substance use treatment facility that houses a program for men recovering from opioid abuse
  • American Red Cross of Central MA – in combination with gifts from Reliant Medical Group employees to fund hurricane relief efforts
  • Anna Maria College – to support a regional Schwartz Conference addressing the opioid crisis
  • Bancroft School – helping underserved children gain access to healthy living, fitness and nutrition summer program, using the “Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0” curriculum
  • Boston Cancer Support – providing free rides for cancer patients needing transportation to area hospitals and medical centers in the Central and MetroWest regions
  • Boys & Girls Club of Worcester – Healthy Habits and Family Support: focusing on substance use, mental health and obesity for children and youth
  • The Bridge – Safe Homes program providing mental health services and other supports to LGBTQ/at-risk youth
  • CASA Project, Inc. – connecting DCF-involved children to mental health services, building on a current pilot program
  • Catholic Charities Worcester County – technical upgrades for Crozier House residential substance abuse treatment program
  • Children’s Friend – funding for an E-prescribing software system for the Ellsworth Child and Family Counseling Center
  • Children’s Haven – Healthy Habits after-school program and summer camp focused on battling childhood obesity
  • Community Harvest Project – Sprouting Minds and Adopt-a-School nutrition education program
  • Doc Wayne – Chalk Talk innovative mental health group therapy program in Framingham
  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center – equipment and materials to evaluate pediatric behavioral challenges, with a specific focus on ADHD integrated care for a low-income, diverse patient population
  • Family Health Center – SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) tools for illicit drug use and behavior changes in middle/high school youth leading to intervention and treatment if needed
  • Genesis Club, Inc. – transition program for high school students with mental illness
  • Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA – Unmask Your SuperHERo program promoting wellness for girls in a low-income housing complex in Webster
  • Girls Inc. of Worcester – substance abuse prevention and increased mental health programming for girls K-10 through the Promoting Healthy Lifestyles initiative
  • Growing Places – Gardening for Health program targeting 500 low income adults/children in Leominster/Fitchburg area and increasing access to healthy food
  • Jeremiah’s Inn – sober housing for men, offering a substance abuse recovery program
  • LUK Crisis Center – Recovery Coach training to support individuals through the addiction recovery process and to prevent relapse
  • Nativity School of Worcester – comprehensive health program for low income middle school boys aimed at promoting healthy choices, healthy relationships, nutrition and physical activity
  • Our Father’s House – funding for a part-time crisis intervention case manager for opioid-addicted males in remission and recovery
  • Pernet Family Health Service – programming focused on reducing obesity and enhancing the health and well-being of at-risk, inner-city youth
  • Regional Environmental Council – teaching life skills, social justice and improving access to affordable, healthy foods through a year-round after school program engaging at-risk teens through two inner-city organic farms
  • Reliant Medical Group Oncology – comfort items for patients battling cancer
  • Reliant Medical Group Pulmonary – pulse oximeters and other items not covered by insurance for COPD patients
  • Rise Above – enrichment activities for youth in foster care, including pro-social opportunities to improve mental and physical health
  • Seven Hills Foundation – support group for grandparents who have had to step in as guardians to care for children with parents fighting addiction
  • South Middlesex Opportunity Council – food security and nutrition education programming for homeless families and individuals residing in emergency shelters in the MetroWest region
  • Southboro Medical Group/Framingham Pediatrics – Pediatric Home Health Project providing embedded mental health counselors at SMG/Framingham Pediatrics
  • Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA – programming to eliminate healthcare disparity with a focus on at-risk youth with mental health needs from low-income, immigrant and refugee communities, including healthy living, opioid and suicide prevention training
  • Worcester Youth Center – Addition of Opioid/Narcan training to existing health and wellness programming for at-risk youth with a primary goal to decrease fatal opioid overdoses in the region
  • YOU, Inc. – Substance use services for youth who have a substance use diagnosis or are in recovery from substance use
  • YouthConnect Worcester – summer programming for middle school aged, low income youth providing recreational, educational and cultural activities in a safe and supportive environment

Look for future deadlines and guidelines for 2018 at under the Grants section in the new year.