Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Metrowest is one of the local nonprofits sharing in Cummings Foundation’s $25 million grant program in 2019 and has been awarded a Sustaining Grant to be distributed over 10 years. Lino Covarrubias, chief operations officer, and Josef Volman, board vice president, represented the nonprofit at a May 2 awards night at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn.

JFS Patient Navigator is a nationally recognized program that uses trained and supervised volunteers to improve health care access and equity for low-income, frail and isolated older adults. JFS Patient Navigators help local older adults get to and manage their medical appointments, reduce social isolation and assist with prescriptions. Additionally, the program provides assessment, referral and ongoing case management when necessary and appropriate. No other program in Metrowest provides this combination of services.

The Cummings Foundation Sustaining Grant provides long-term stabilization to the JFS Patient Navigator program. The program also plans to expand its reach to the area’s older adult LGBTQ community. The program will partner with Fenway Health to design and provide culture-competence training to Navigators and local medical providers to combat the health disparities that affect LGBTQ older adults and break down the barriers these individuals face in health care settings so that LGBTQ older adults, as all Metrowest older adults, can age in good health and with pride.

“Since the program launched in 2012, JFS Patient Navigator has provided assistance with over 2,600 appointments and is a well-established resource for Metrowest area low-income, frail older adults; however, the LGBTQ community remains an under-served segment of this population,” said Covarrubias. “JFS believes the Metrowest provider community can and should develop the competence to serve LGBTQ older adults with respect and compassion, and with the addition of the generous support from the Cummings Foundation, JFS will broaden efforts to address social and health inequities in this area.”

Patient Nav 2
Josef Volman and Lino Covarrubias with Joyce and Bill Cummings (Courtesy photo)

The Sustaining Grants initiative builds on Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program. First offered in 2012, $100K for 100 annually awards $10 million through multi-year grants of $100,000 each to 100 nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties. Grant recipients that received their final grant disbursements in 2018 were automatically considered for $15 million in Sustaining Grants.

“We introduced Sustaining Grants to help alleviate the constant burden of fundraising so nonprofit professionals can spend more of their limited time and resources on actually providing services,” said Christina Berthelsen, grants manager at Cummings Foundation.

Cummings Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million to date in Greater Boston alone. Funds are generated through commercial properties that are owned by and operated for the sole benefit of Cummings Foundation. All of its buildings are managed pro bono by Woburn commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties.

Sustaining Grants winners were selected primarily by a 33-member volunteer committee, which included former state legislators, CEOs of local companies and a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, among many others. Committee members met with each nonprofit twice to learn how the $100K for 100 funds helped to advance its mission, and how it might put a 10-year grant to use.

View the complete list of the 50 Sustaining Grants winners at CummingsFoundation.org. An additional 100 winners will be announced in June through the $100K for 100 program.

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