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Determination of Need Community Health Initiative Funding

  • a patient with a clinician

  • In 2018, Dana-Farber received approval through the statewide Determination of Need (DoN) process for the construction of a new Chestnut Hill facility, which opened in early 2021. This new facility provides a comprehensive range of oncology services including exams, infusion, and imaging for diagnosis, care, and treatment of cancer.

    As part of this expansion and Dana-Farber's commitment to investing in local communities, it will provide approximately $5.4 million over the next four years to community organizations in Greater Boston to address two priorities: 1) access to services, with a focus on cancer control, and 2) social determinants of health, with a focus on housing.

    These priorities were identified through a collaborative, community-driven process guided by the recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan and with input from Dana-Farber's External Advisory Committee, Allocations Committee, and Trustees Community Programs Committee.

    Focus on Health Equity

    Dana-Farber applied a health equity framework to all aspects of this process. It includes the following questions as adapted from the MA Department of Public Health, which should be asked when considering approaches that address inequities: Who benefits? Who is harmed? Who influences? Who decides?

    Another critical aspect to addressing inequities is through community engagement and actively engaging members at all stages of the process, including the design, implementation, or evaluation of the approach, particularly those impacted by cancer and other chronic conditions.


  • diagram of root causes of inequities

  • Access to Services Request for Proposals

    Dana-Farber has launched a new Request for Proposals (RFP) funding opportunity aimed at ensuring all Greater Boston residents, particularly those impacted by cancer and other chronic conditions, have access to equitable health and support services. Through this Access to Services funding, up to $4 million will be awarded to community organizations in Greater Boston over the next four years to support community initiatives that address root causes of health inequities.

    Funding Tracks

    Community-Clinical Linkage Grants: Single-year funding of up to $50,000 to improve linkages to health and support services, including prevention and chronic care services.
    Full proposals due June 15, 2021.

    Systems-Level Grants: Multi-year funding (1-4 years) of up to $200,000 per year to create and sustain long-lasting community health improvement.
    Letters of Intent due June 8, 2021, and full proposals (by invitation only) due July 26, 2021.

    Preference for Access to Services grants will be given to organizations serving the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mission Hill, Mattapan, and Jamaica Plain. Applications will also be accepted from surrounding Greater Boston communities, including the city of Newton.

    How to Apply

    Investment in Housing

    To have a greater collective impact in addressing health and housing, Dana-Farber will invest $1 million in the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund II (HNEF II), a private equity fund jointly operated by the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). HNEF's goal is to increase housing stability and economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income people and communities of color and accelerate the development of walkable, low-carbon, and resilient neighborhoods. Any returns generated from this investment will be directed back to community health improvement, maximizing Dana-Farber's impact in the community. In addition, Dana-Farber will provide approximately $400,000 through a community grantmaking strategy over the next four years to support homelessness prevention and housing stabilization efforts.

    Contact Us

    If you have questions, please email dfci_communitybenefits@dfci.harvard.edu.