Determination of Need Community Health Initiative Funding

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 four years (2021-2025) 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.

The Health Tree is adapted by Health Resources in Action from the Human Impact Partners' Health Equity Guide.

Access to Services Request for Proposals

Dana-Farber released the funding in October 2021 for its 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 four years (2021-2025) to support community initiatives that address root causes of health inequities.

The grant funding was awarded to the following organizations:

System-Level Grants

  • Alternatives for Community and Environment and Massachusetts Public Health Association
  • FamilyAid Boston
  • GreenRoots
  • Project Bread

Community-Clinical Linkages Grants

  • Allston Brighton Health Collaborative
  • Brookview House
  • Team Maureen
  • Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción
  • Charles River Community Health Center
  • Enhance Asian Community on Health
  • Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center
  • Sociedad Latina

For more information, please see the press release.

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.

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.

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

Investments in Housing, BIPOC-led Businesses, and Healthy Retail and Commerce

Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund II (HNEF II)

To have a greater collective impact in addressing health and housing, Dana-Farber invested $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.

Healthy Retail and Commerce Fund

Dana-Farber invested $500,000 through Conservation Law Foundation's (CLF) Healthy Retail and Commerce Fund to help accelerate a Kresge Foundation high-impact fund for About Fresh, an organization based in Roxbury with a mission to deliver fresh food to Boston communities in need. The grant funds are being used to launch an innovative platform and technology-enabled food prescription program using the evidence-based model of the Food Is Medicine strategy, which allows health care providers to prescribe food as medicine.

BIPOC Micro Equity Fund

Dana-Farber invested $250,000 to Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Boston to help launch the BIPOC Micro Equity Fund. This fund helps increase access to capital for small BIPOC-owned businesses to maximize their job creation potential for low-income residents in Greater Boston and Massachusetts gateway cities. This fund and program is a $1M pilot that is part of LISC's comprehensive strategy for Massachusetts and is also a pilot for LISC nationally.

Contact Us

If you have questions, please email

Funding Announcement Webinar

This webinar describes in detail our 2021 Determination of Need Access to Services Grant Opportunity.