WATERBURY — Connecticut Community Foundation’s Trustee Fund recently announced its annual Trustee Fund Awards, recognizing two recipients that exemplify excellence in collaboration innovation in Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills.
The awards were presented during the foundation’s 98th Annual Meeting at the Mattatuck Museum on August 12. Each winner received $5,000 to support continued work in the community. The Greater Waterbury Health Partnership, Bridge to Success Community Partnership, Women’s Choice Charitable Association, and StayWell Health Center were recognized collectively for their collaboration in the Infant and Maternal Health Workgroup.
Recognizing that Waterbury’s health system has no standardized approach to how it cares for pregnant women, new mothers, and infants, the Workgroup is launching a Baby Bundle program to improve birth outcomes and maternal healthcare, and to decrease infant mortality.
Work is particularly focused on Black and Hispanic mothers, who are disproportionately affected by the shortcomings in existing systems.
Waterbury has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the state.
In making the award, the Trustee Fund noted the Workgroup’s collaborative efforts to use the tools of education, outreach, systems coordination, and advocacy to address infant and maternal health care.
The Trustee Fund also recognized the Naugatuck Valley Project for its innovative Environmental Justice Initiative, which facilitates the recruitment and engagement of residents directly affected by brownfield contamination in efforts to clean up and restore toxic properties in Waterbury and Naugatuck.
This work addresses the often-disproportionate effects of environmental degradation on low-income communities and people of color. NVP has conducted in-depth outreach, expanded an Environmental Justice committee, worked to translate meetings into English and Spanish, and pressed for increased signage, fencing and locks at toxic sites to protect community members.
New and experienced leaders are poised to continue building relationships to execute a campaign for rapid clean-up and develop a vision for future use of the properties.