ESAC Receives $240K Grant from AG Healey to Help Seniors

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Local JP organization ESAC recently received a large grant close to a quarter million dollars to further its mission of helping senior citizens.

Massachusetts' Attorney General Maura Healey announced nearly $3 million in funding through a new grant program to address issues that affect health, including nutrition, safe housing, violence prevention, substance abuse and more.

In total, the Ecumenical Social Action Committee (ESAC) will receive $240,000 during the next three years to partner with the Uphams Corner Health Center to help senior citizens who would otherwise by in a nursing home, said Emily Morris Litonjua, executive director of ESAC. Seniors will be provided falls prevention assessments and related modifications integrated with occupational therapy and nursing care.

"ESAC has identified falls prevention as crucial to enabling the seniors we serve to age safely in place, which is the most cost effective long term care strategy and what the vast majority of seniors prefer to do," said Emily Morris Litonjua, executive director of ESAC.  "This approach, piloted by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, has been shown to result in a 26 percent reduction in emergency department visits, a quarterly $2,765 per patient reduction in Medicare expenditures, and a 50 percent reduction in depression symptoms. In addition, there was a 75 percent improvement in daily activities needed to remain independent.”

“As a state and as a country, we continue to spend most of our health care dollars treating people who are already sick, rather than investing to keep people healthy,” said Healey via press release. “These grants will support new partnerships to improve nutrition, housing, and other social determinants to protect the health of every Massachusetts resident.”

Along with Uphams’ Corner Health Committee, ESAC will be partnering with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. This partnership will avail ESAC to work with the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a program administered by MassHealth and Medicare, according to a press release from the AG's office.

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