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City chosen as health care trust fund participant

The state recently chose the city of Lynn and a group of partner organizations as participants in a new Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund. Part of the state’s 2012 health care cost-containment law, the first-in-the-nation effort provides $40 million in grants to nine community-based partnerships over four years to help fight chronic illness and improve health while reducing health care costs. The partnerships will start local programs to address such issues as hypertension, smoking, falls prevention among older adults, and pediatric asthma. A key component is a program in which community organizations will be able to make and receive referrals from medical providers about patients. Each partnership will receive an initial $250,000 for up to 10 months to refine its proposals. When specific requirements are met, they will be provided with money to implement their programs. Lynn will partner with Greater Lynn Senior Services, the Lynn Community Health Center, the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development, the public schools, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.