Lawrence General Hospital Awarded Cummings Foundation Grant

June 18, 2020

Lawrence General Hospital is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $100,000 grant over the next three years through the Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The grant will help the hospital fund its community efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death and one of the major underlying health conditions leading to higher risk of death from COVID-19. The incidence of cardiovascular disease is particularly high in the Merrimack Valley. In Lawrence alone, a city hit particularly hard by the pandemic, nearly a quarter of the population is living below the poverty line, a factor leading to statistically higher rates of chronic disease. 

"This generous Cummings Foundation Grant helps us focus on racial and socioeconomic health inequities and find innovative ways to provide free cardiovascular screenings for those who need them most," says Deb Wilson, president and CEO at Lawrence General Hospital. “The COVID-19 data show a major disproportionate impact on minority communities and a significantly higher mortality rate for those with chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity and cardiac disease. The higher prevalence of these chronic diseases in Lawrence, where health inequities are a harsh reality, is due in part to lower incomes, and restricted access to affordable healthy food."

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation. Lawrence General Hospital is one of 130 recipients of the Cumming Foundation Grant.

"We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19," said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation's executive director. "Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work."

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The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as non-profits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations. In the fall, when public health related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

This year's diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns, and most will receive their grants over two to five years.

The complete list of 130 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

PHOTO: Members of the Lawrence General Hospital team celebrating the Cummings Foundation Grant. From left: Deb Wilson, president and CEO, Robin Hynds, MSN, RN, CPHM, Senior Vice President, Network & Strategic Operations and Chief Clinical Integration Officer, Jessica O’Neil, M.S., Executive Director of Physician & Ambulatory Services , Kelly Clark, Chief Development Officer, and Sunit Mukherjee, MD, Chief of Cardiovascular and Ambulatory Medicine.