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The Healthy Aging Collaborative previously shared an opportunity from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to provide technical assistance that enables and assists municipalities in implementing projects that are beneficial to the community.

MAPC  will issue a new Call for Project Concepts in the next two weeks. Keep an eye on this webpage and MAPC’s social media accounts to learn more. Municipalities may submit concepts for individual community-specific projects and for multi-community projects.

Projects that serve multiple communities always receive preference; projects that advance the MetroFuture priorities of smart growth, regional collaboration, and/or advancing equity in the region, always receive preference.

Eligible projects cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to: housing and economic development; regionalization and shared services; public safety; public health; climate change (mitigation or adaptation); clean energy; fair housing; equitable transit-oriented development (E-TOD); bicycle/pedestrian mobility; environmental and resource protection; creative community placemaking; and arts and culture planning.

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A controversial proposed rule submitted on October 10 by the Trump administration – via draft regulation changes under the Department of Homeland Security –  sought to amend “public charge” policies that determine how the use of public benefits impact a person’s ability to obtain legal permanent resident status in the US.

The local impact of this proposed change was summarized in a policy brief from Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Across the country, organizations and public officials criticized the rule for its damaging impact on immigrants, children, older adults, caregivers and direct care workers.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said in her agency’s comments that the rule would result in fewer people receiving health care coverage, long-term harm to public health of all residents as a result of declines in preventive care like vaccines, increased reliance on hospital emergency rooms, greater uncompensated care costs for hospitals, increased food insecurity, homelessness and family separation among immigrant families, higher health insurance premiums for all Massachusetts residents, and “a real risk that our immigrant population may begin to view all of government with distrust as a consequence of what will inevitably be received as punitive and highly discretionary eligibility determinations made under the new rule.”

Comments on the rule were due on December 10th and below is a sample of comments submitted by Massachusetts’ public officials and national elder advocacy organizations.

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The 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report has been released!

The comprehensive examination of the health of older people in the Commonwealth offers detailed profiles of every city and town, maps and other tools to understand healthy aging trends and disparities throughout the state. Prepared by a research team at the Gerontology Institute at the John W. McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the report was funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation. Highlights were shared at a meeting of the Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts is one of only three states to have access to such comprehensive data on healthy aging,” said Thomas Croswell, president and chief executive officer of Tufts Health Plan. “We hope this new edition will spur more cities and towns to consider how they can become better places to grow up and grow old.”

The 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report includes Community Profiles for all 351 cities and towns, 16 Boston neighborhoods, 6 Worcester neighborhoods, and 6 Springfield neighborhoods. The website includes more than 179 statewide health indicator maps. The data report shows the distribution of disease, health behaviors and the extent to which health varies by zip code across the state.

“The Healthy Aging Data report is an invaluable resource for cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner. “Developing data-driven priorities and approaches is a cornerstone of creating more livable and welcoming communities for older adults. We are grateful for the Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s contribution and leadership in this area.”

It’s estimated that by 2030, 1 of every 5 people in the United States will be over 65. Massachusetts already has a million residents over 65, about 15% of the state’s population.

“Since our last report (2015) Massachusetts gained approximately 125,000 more people age 65 and older. The aging population in Massachusetts is growing, and is growing more racially and ethnically diverse, too,” said principal investigator Elizabeth Dugan, PhD, who is an associate professor at the Gerontology Institute at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “The research team aims to equip policymakers and service providers with the information needed to make policies and practices that give everyone a fair chance to experience healthy aging.”

State leaders, including Governor Charlie Baker and the members of the Council to Address Aging, along with the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative, AARP-MA and communities throughout the Commonwealth, have shown commitment to making Massachusetts an age-friendly state. The report provides tools that can make that possible.

Visit HealthyAgingDataReports.org to learn more.

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Periodically, the Healthy Aging Collaborative will share news articles that mention state and local efforts to make cities, towns and regions in Massachusetts Age- and Dementia Friendly.

Check out the following articles from November and early December on the momentum of this movement building across the state.

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As previously shared, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will issue a new Call for Project Concepts in the next two weeks. Keep an eye on this webpage and MAPC’s social media accounts to learn more. Municipalities may submit concepts for individual community-specific projects and for multi-community projects.

Projects that serve multiple communities always receive preference; projects that advance the MetroFuture priorities of smart growth, regional collaboration, and/or advancing equity in the region, always receive preference.

Eligible projects cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to: housing and economic development; regionalization and shared services; public safety; public health; climate change (mitigation or adaptation); clean energy; fair housing; equitable transit-oriented development (E-TOD); bicycle/pedestrian mobility; environmental and resource protection; creative community placemaking; and arts and culture planning.

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Each year, the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award elevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems.

Cities of Service knows that many cities are involving citizens in creative and effective ways, including civic tech, data analysis, impact volunteering, and more. These cities are combining the reach of City Hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to solve public problems.

The Engaged Cities Award is open to cities with populations of 30,000+ in the Americas and Europe. Cities of Service, along with an esteemed group of experts, will choose three winning cities. Each winner will receive a minimum of $50,000 and be announced as part of the Engaged Cities Award Summit in fall 2019.

Last year, Cities of Service selected winners of the inaugural Engaged Cities Award and officially announced them at a dinner hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg. Cities of Service celebrated the work of the finalists at the first ever Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award Summit.

To stay informed about the Engaged Cities Award, including finalists, winners, and future opportunities to apply, please sign up for their mailing list. You can also register now for an informational webinar by clicking the button below.

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