Q. What does the RFA mean by “environmental changes” in the Grant Priorities section?

In the RFA, “environmental factors” refer to the social and/or physical factors within an environment in which people live, work and play, that impact health and well-being.[1] More broadly referred to as the “social determinants of health”, these factors are often the root causes of a health condition. For more information on the social determinants of health, visit: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health.

Examples include: 

  • Social Factors: availability of resources (poverty, food insecurity), social norms, exposure to violence and crime, social support, education, discrimination, language and literacy
  • Physical/Environmental Factors: transportation, housing/neighborhoods, exposure to hazardous substances, physical barriers, safety

[1] https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health


Q. What does the RFA mean by “risk and protective factors” in the Grant Priorities section?

Risk factors are those that are associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcomes, while protective factors are associated with a lower likelihood of negative outcomes or mitigate/reduce a risk factor’s impact. Both risk and protective factors can be on multiple levels: individual, interpersonal, community, society.[1]

      For example, the following risk and protective factors could contribute to behavioral health issues[2]:

  • Risk factors: parents who use drugs and alcohol or suffer from a mental illness (interpersonal level), child abuse and maltreatment and/or inadequate supervision (interpersonal level), neighborhood poverty and violence (community level), norms and laws favorable to substance use (societal level)
  • Protective factors: parental involvement (interpersonal level), availability of faith-based resources and after-school activities (community level), policies limiting the availability of alcohol (societal level)

[1] https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/practicing-effective-prevention/prevention-behavioral-health/risk-protective-factors

[2] https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/practicing-effective-prevention/prevention-behavioral-health/risk-protective-factors


Q. What are “direct services”?

We define it as services that would typically be covered by another program. For example, physician or mental health visits that are covered by health insurance.


Q. What do you mean by “vulnerable populations”?

Some examples of vulnerable populations include disabled, socioeconomic, race, or ethnicity.


Q. How many collaborating partners do I need to have for my project?

Your proposal must be a collaborative with at least two different agencies. Your partnership includes planning and activities by both agencies.


Q. In the Goals & Objectives section, is there a required amount of goals applicants need to provide?

There needs to be at least one goal, but there is no requirement for number of goals identified. There can also be multiple objectives for one goal. Reviewers will be looking for applications that clearly outline S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) objectives that contribute to the larger goal, the activities that will take place to achieve the objectives, how activities will be measured, and the overall change/impact of those activities.


Q. Will priority be given to applications that engage already existing staff over those that hire new staff specifically for the proposed project?

No. However, applications need to clearly demonstrate a realistic and feasible timeline for the project plan. For example, if an organization plans to hire new staff for their proposed project, their project plan should take into consideration the amount of time it takes to hire new staff, rather than assuming that staff would immediately start on the project implementation date. 


Q. Do proposed projects need to focus on communities in both CHNA 7 and CHNA 20 catchment areas?

No. Proposed projects can be in CHNA 7 communities only, CHNA 20 communities only, or within multiple communities across both CHNAs. There will not be a priority given to those that cross CHNA lines.


Q. Will priority be given to particular communities within CHNA 7 and/or CHNA 20?

Funding is available to all communities in CHNA 7 South, which includes Sherborn, Medfield, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole, Wrentham, Foxborough, and Plainville. For CHNA 20, funding is available to all 13 communities, but there is slight priority for proposals from Canton, Norwood, and Sharon, as those are the CHNA 20 communities served by Norwood Hospital. With that said, all CHNA 20 communities are encouraged to apply.


Q. Where can I find a map noting the CHNA 7, CHNA 20 and Norwood Hospital catchment area?

You can find the CHNA 7 MetroWest and Norwood Hospital maps at the following link: http://www.chna7metrowest.org/funding/


Q. Will CHNA funding only support projects that can be totally covered by CHNA funds, or can it also apply to projects that need funding from additional sources (i.e. CHNA funds will only cover a portion of the total project cost)? 

CHNA funding can support projects that rely on funding sources outside of the CHNA. If there are other sources of funding for the project beyond CHNA funds, applicants are asked to report that in the “Other Funding Sources” column on the budget attachment. Applicants will need to specify where other funding has (or will) come from, and should further explain in the budget narrative.


Q. Can I apply for one-year funding?

Sorry, this application is for two years of funding. However, the 2nd year of funding is contingent upon successful completion of deliverables in Year 1.


Q. Are the funds guaranteed?

Yes, the $120,000 over a two-year period is guaranteed for communities in CHNA 7 South and CHNA 20. 


Q. How many collaborating partners do I need for my project?

Your proposal must be a collaborative with at least two different agencies. Your partnership includes planning and activities by both agencies.


Q. Can an organization apply if they have a representative on the Joint Advisory Committee?

Yes, the organization can apply as a principal or collaborating partner. However, the Joint Advisory Committee member will not review the proposal that includes their organization in any proposal due to conflict of interest.