Tufts Health Plan Foundation
Systems and Best Practices Grant
The Greater Lowell Health Alliance is working with several community partners that received this Tufts Health Plan Foundation Systems and Best Practices Grant, funding a project to build capacity to develop and implement an action and evaluation plan to promote health, independence, and quality of life among older Lowell residents.
Partners: UMass Lowell (grant awardees), Greater Lowell Health Alliance, City of Lowell, Lowell Housing Authority, Elder Services of Merrimack Valley and North Shore, D’Youville Life and Wellness
About the Project
This project aims to build capacity to develop and implement an action and evaluation plan to promote health, independence, and quality of life among older Lowell residents by mobilizing resources at multiple levels to effect systems change. The proposed project will engage older adults, drawing on their expertise to inform the assessment of existing resources; the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies; and the realization of a built environment and cultural climate that supports healthy living and improved quality of life.
This initiative will improve health and wellness of older adults in the city of Lowell by: 1) utilizing existing data to develop a priority report to guide a needs assessment; 2) conducting a city-wide assessment based on 9 livability domains adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO), to focus outreach on previously underrepresented groups; and 3) analyzing data in consultation with community stakeholders to address priority areas at multiple ecological levels. An Age-Friendly Lowell Leadership Committee consisting of stakeholders from public, private, and non-profit sectors will coordinate objectives, guided by an Older Adults Action Group (OAAG). The OAAG will be involved at all stages of the project and provide unique support and insight to sustain future community improvement projects.
The overall goal of the Age-Friendly Lowell initiative is as follows:
- Objective 1: To build on existing data within the city to guide data collection of a city-wide comprehensive assessment of 9 domains from July 2020 to May 2022.
- Objective 2: To develop and disseminate an action and evaluation plan to address and build on Age-Friendly resources/programs, policies, and the built environment from June 2022 to January 2023.
- Objective 3: To implement and evaluate high-priority short-term outcomes from our action plan, which will be determined in collaboration with the community, and to identify additional funding sources for future implementation and evaluation from January 2023 to June 2023.
Data collected will be analyzed and used to identify emerging themes and priority areas within the city, which will inform and shape action steps that will be disseminated to community members and stakeholders through community forums so that action steps can be further refined as needed. After this process, the Leadership Committee, OAAG, and city officials will work collectively to develop an official report of Action Steps to be distributed widely.