WCVB Channel 5 aired a story on Tuesday night about the American Heart Association Social Impact Fund’s investments in Boston.
In Boston, vulnerable communities like Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester, are at greater risk for financial hardship, hunger and poor health. In areas of Roxbury, residents live to just 59, on average. Just a few miles away, in parts of Back Bay, residents live past 90. This is simply unacceptable.
The American Heart Association started the Social Impact Fund in to help close gaps like this.
Launched in 2019 with a $5 million donation from long-term American Heart Association supporters Stevie and David Spina of Wayland, Mass., the Social Impact Fund seeks to address social determinants of health, such as employment, education, recidivism, housing and food access. It does this by awarding grants or loans to local entrepreneurs and organizations that are breaking down the social and economic barriers to health equity.
The fund is currently at work in three cities: Boston, Chicago, and Flint, Michigan. It has invested more than $12.8 million in 19 organizations.
The Channel 5 story featured an interview with the fund’s managing director, Raymond Guthrie, and focused on fund-recipient Smart from the Smart, an organization that is trying to shrink the academic achievement gap for children in low-income, underserved communities in Boston.