Grant to Support Healthy Aging

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Awards $100,240 to Healthy Waltham for Waltham Connections for Healthy Aging

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced a two-year grant of $100,240 to Healthy Waltham to support Waltham Connections for Healthy Aging, a city-wide initiative focused on connecting older people to one another and creating a more age-friendly city. The grant reflects the Foundation’s commitment to advancing inclusive policies that create thriving and vital communities that work for people of all ages.

“Communities have greater interest in age-friendly initiatives. There’s a growing understanding of the critical role older people play. They are an asset to community, and their voices and insights are invaluable to the public discourse on what communities need,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, vice president, corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan and president of its Foundation.

Waltham Connections, a collaboration of 12 agency partners led by Healthy Waltham, including the Waltham Council on Aging, Neighbors Who Care, Brandeis University’s Heller School, Brandeis-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI), Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Springwell, Waltham Family YMCA and others, focuses on community and civic engagement to plan and advocate for changes to programs, services and policies so Waltham is more age-friendly for all residents. A key component of the work supported by the grant is Waltham Connection’s outreach to diverse populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, low-income, immigrants and isolated older adults. The initiative has had strong support from local leaders, including Mayor Jeannette McCarthy.

“We are grateful to Tufts Health Plan Foundation for their generous continuing support,” said Stacey Gallagher Tully, Executive Director of Healthy Waltham. “Waltham Connections for Healthy Aging is about taking the long view, and building on the work of our outstanding team of partners and senior volunteers to move our healthy aging work forward. We are excited to continue to build on our work from last year to make Waltham even more age-friendly.”

Project Director Maria DiMaggio from Healthy Waltham said, “Based on the Brandeis study that led to the project, we focused on seniors’ calls for more social connections. We’ve held adult learning brunches and weekend afternoon teas that have attracted seniors who are looking for more opportunities to connect with others. We’ve also started a walking group that meets three times per week in response to what we heard in focus groups.”

In all, Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced eight new grants totaling more than $1.1 million and representing collaborations with nearly 80 community organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

About our grant program

Twice a year, Tufts Health Plan Foundation awards grants supporting healthy living with an emphasis on older people. Interested organizations should submit a letter of intent (LOI) through the online system accessible via Letters of intent for the Systems and Best Practices or Collaboration and Community Engagement focus areas are due on January 22, 2018.

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 more than $27 million to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island nonprofits that promote healthy living with an emphasis on older adults. Tufts Health Plan Foundation funds programs that move communities toward achieving age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on seniors, and include them in community solutions. Visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


Give to Healthy Waltham

As 2017 draws to a close, we have much to be thankful for. We are especially thankful for our community, and the wonderful people and organizations we get to work with daily. As you make your year-end giving plans, we hope you will consider a gift to Healthy Waltham to support health and wellness of local residents. Your donation goes back to initiatives that help put healthy food on the table and help motivate people of all ages to be more physically active, such as the Watch City Market pantry program and Waltham Walks.

Keep community health a priority for Waltham in 2018 and beyond with a gift to Healthy Waltham. A small gift goes a long way. To donate online, please click on the green “donate now” button at the top of the page to donate securely through PayPal. If you prefer, checks can be sent to Healthy Waltham at 510 Moody St., Waltham, MA, 02453. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all donations are tax-deductible. Thank you!

Green Pizza with Lettuce

We are pleased to finish out this school year with a special collaboration between Waltham Fields Community Farm and Healthy Waltham. Waltham elementary students are enjoying samples of a new green pizza featuring pesto with lettuce grown in Waltham! Waltham Fields education manager Alex Lennon-Simon is teaming up with Chef Reva to highlight locally grown produce in a fun way in school cafeterias across Waltham.Alex&Reva2

You can make the pizza at home. Pizza dough is actually fun and easy to make, but store bought dough works too. You’ll want to try this one!

Green Pizza with Lettuce Pesto Recipe

In the Spotlight

By Meagan Smith, Heller MPP Candidate, class of 2017

This week’s interview was with Amanda Cleary, Health and Wellness Director of the Waltham YMCA. The Waltham YMCA serves many communities including Waltham, Lexington, Watertown, Belmont and Arlington. The YMCA promotes youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. This branch features an outdoor pool that can be used during the summer months. We hope you enjoy reading more about the YMCA below!

Why did the YMCA want to join in this initiative with Healthy Waltham to promote an age-friendly community? Why is healthy aging important to your organization? How do you see Waltham continuing to grow as an age-friendly city in the years to come?

We wanted to get more involved with the Waltham community so that we could better identify needs and both specialize and supplement services. We hope to show people that we are a resource. Healthy aging is at the heart of the YMCA. We encourage physical activity, tight social networks, and emotional satisfaction. When people have strong physical, social, and emotional lives, they have better health outcomes. To grow as an age-friendly city, Waltham needs to continue to provide opportunities and outlets for seniors to get involved. These opportunities should be accessible and affordable to all seniors.

What are the YMCA’s current goals, projects, and events, particularly in regards to healthy aging efforts in Waltham?

We offer a variety of classes targeted for the senior population; some of these classes include: aqua, aerobic, and yoga. We have developed a diabetes prevention program in which we see individuals over the age of 65 have great success. We are also working to implement an enhanced fitness program which is already available at our Chinatown and Huntingon Ave. locations. This program is offered three times per week and focuses on arthritis, strength training, and cardio.

What healthy aging successes has your agency achieved thus far?

We see steady participation within both the group exercise classes and personal training.

What is the most unique project or event the YMCA is taking on in the Waltham Connections program?

We have had the diabetes prevention program for a year and a half for all ages and are looking forward to implement the enhanced fitness program. Both programs can be offered off-site if people are unable to make it to the YMCA.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your organization?

The YMCA offers financial assistance for membership. We do not want cost to be a barrier for someone to get involved with us. We strive to take away the intimidation factor that can often come with working out. The Waltham YMCA is located at 725 Lexington Street Waltham, MA 02452 and can be reached at 781-894-5295. Check out our website here!

Fresh, Frozen and Beyond!

Healthy Waltham was delighted to be back at the Waltham Family School for another morning of nutrition education and cooking demonstrations!

While we all know to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, shopping for produce can be difficult. Balancing taste, nutrition, cost, and convenience, among other things, can be quite a task. With that in mind, our latest workshop focused on the pros and cons of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables. Participants had the opportunity to taste test vegetables in three forms (fresh, frozen, and canned) and compare. Afterwards, Chef Reva offered up a roasted vegetable salad using frozen carrots and green beans, and fruit salad using fresh, frozen, canned and dried varieties – plus a hint of lemon and ginger!

So what are our best tips for navigating supermarket produce? Check out our handy info sheet here. 

All forms of fruit and veggies are healthy, so next time you’re in the kitchen, mix it up a bit– add canned beans and vegetables to a soup, blend frozen fruit into smoothies, and throw some craisins into your morning cereal. And remember to try out our workshop recipe with fresh, frozen or canned vegetables (para la receta en español, clic aquí).