CHA Grant Supports Movement, Meditation, and Nutrition

A new program that promotes Movement, Meditation and Nutrition (MMN) to improve quality of life for older adults is expanding in Somerville, thanks in part to a grant from the Somerville Health Foundation (SHF). Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) was recently awarded a $2,940 SHF grant to expand the program into five senior buildings operated by the Somerville Housing Authority.

Speaking at the grant award ceremony, SCES Director of Outreach and Community Relations Nathan Lamb thanked the foundation for supporting MMN’s proactive approach to wellness. “By providing expert instruction on exercise, meditation and nutrition information, we’re helping to prevent problems like chronic diseases, while also improving mental wellness and reducing stress,” said Lamb. “We’re thrilled that the Somerville Health Foundation is partnering with us to help bring this program to more people, and we can’t thank them enough.”

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) Outreach Director Nathan Lamb meets with Lisa Brukilacchio of the Somerville Health Foundation (SHF), during a recent grant awards ceremony. SFH recently provided a grant to support the new Movement, Meditation and Nutrition program at SCES.

The SHF was founded in 1996 as part of the merger between Somerville and Cambridge hospitals that created Cambridge Health Alliance. As part of that agreement, Somerville resident Margaret Hutchinson left an endowment to SHF for grants of up to $5,000 that support primary care and preventative health services. The SHF provided eight grants this year. Speaking afterward, SHF Trustee president Gerry McCue said the applicants represented a nice cross section of organizations looking to address needs within the community.

“We try to be strategic and look for ways that we can make a difference for local organizations that are trying to get a program off the ground” said McCue. “Somerville has a lot of interesting groups that come together to support the community—and that’s really evident in these gatherings.”

Movement, Meditation, and Nutrition incorporates instruction from SCES Wellness Coordinator Eliza Weisner, SCES Dietitian Andrea Svartstrom, and Meditation Instructor John Mercuri-Dooley. Provided at each location twice per week, MMN sessions feature a half hour of Ageless Grace exercise, which focuses on fluid movements that can be done by almost anyone. Some dates include an additional half hour of nutrition and meditation instruction, which covers everything from healthy eating to stress reduction.

For more information about the Somerville Health Foundation, contact Lisa Brukilacchio at 617-591-4433 or email

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 for free advice and guidance.