Winter 2018             
Dear Friends,

As the new year begins, I realize what a privilege it is to work on such a wide range of vital issues at MGH CCHI. While we do have strategic priorities (more in a later edition), we engage on issues throughout the hospital and community. I took a quick look at my calendar over a few weeks and want to share three quick examples:
  • In the Hospital: Homeless Patients - We convened a group to tackle the challenge of appropriate discharge from acute hospitalizations for homeless persons. Where do you send someone who needs to recuperate but doesn't have a home? While MGH has a "bed reservation" agreement with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program's McInnis House, there are simply not enough beds to meet the need. The group, catalyzed by Matt Basilico, an energetic medical student, is charged with developing innovative solutions to this age-old problem.  
  • In the Partners System: Anchor Institution - It is my privilege to serve on a steering committee with my community health colleagues across the system, Matt Fishman and Kristen Barnicle at Partners Community Health and Wanda McClain at Brigham and Women's, to develop the anchor strategy for the Partners system in Boston. The anchor strategy is about harnessing the economic power of the system in low income local communities to impact social determinants of health. Over the past month, leads for each of the four "pillars" - hiring, purchasing, investing and building - have held their first meetings.  
  • In the Community: Developing a Plan for Boston - The Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH), the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Alliance for Community Health, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Boston Conference of Community Health Centers and others, are close to an agreement on conducting the first ever collaborative community health needs assessment and implementation plan for Boston. Working together, we can have a much more powerful impact on our public health challenges.

And, that's just a sampling. Addressing substance use disorders, launching the Kraft Center CareZONE mobile health van, participating in the ACO (Accountable Care Organization) start-up and more make every day here interesting and meaningful. 


Joan Quinlan
Vice President, Community Health
CCHI Director Co-Leading Partners Community
Health Worker Collaborative 

Sarah Abernethy Oo
Sarah Abernethy Oo has been the Director for Community Health Improvement at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center since 1997. She leads a team of 45 community health workers who help underserved patients access the health care system and address their social determinants of health. Programs CHWs work with include immigrant and refugee health and social services, family and community violence, early childhood home visiting, disease management and cancer prevention.
This past October, Sarah was asked to co-lead the Community Health Worker Collaborative for the Partners HealthCare system. We asked Sarah Five Questions about the ACO, the CHW model, and to share her thoughts and experience with the Collaborative.

Kraft Center for Community Health
Launches CareZONE Mobile Health Van

Robert Kraft cuts the ribbon as Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey,

and others look on.

This past July, the Kraft Center for Community Health transitioned from Partners HealthCare to Mass General Hospital. Along with the move to MGH came a shift in approach to deliver more direct services to address some of our most pressing community health challenges, chief among them the opioid epidemic.
On January 9th, MGH leadership came together with the Kraft family, Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, Attorney General Healey, project collaborators from the GE Foundation, Boston Health Care for the Homeless, the Boston Public Health Commission's AHOPE Program and others, to launch CareZONE, a new mobile health van.

ECOCH Announces Community Health Grant Awards

From left: Derri Shtasel, MD, Chair, ECOCH Clinical Committee; Whooten; Rushfirth; Joan Quinlan; and, Katrina Armstrong, MD, ECOCH Chair
The Executive Committee on Community Health (ECOCH) is charged with promoting community health improvement and ensuring health equity, leveraging all four components of the MGH mission: patient care, teaching, research, and community health.

ECOCH made grant awards in 2017 to three departments that proposed creative, innovative ways of incorporating community health and health equity into their work. They are: Implementation & Evaluation of the "Build Our Kids Success" Physical Activity Program in Revere and Effects on Child Health and Wellness by Rachel Whooten, MD, Divis ion of General Academic Pediatrics; Peaceful Pregnancy Program by Katherine Rushfirth, CNM, MSN, OB/GYN and Chelsea Health Center; and Development of a novel teledermatology service to increase access to dermatologic care in the homeless population in Boston: A feasibility study by Jennifer Tan, MD, MGH Dermatology and Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.  
Revere CARES Turns 20!

Speaker DeLeo with RevereCARES Director, Sylvia Chiang
Revere CARES, the oldest of our four multi-sector community coalitions, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.  Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, many community partners, as well as MGH Revere HealthCenter and CCHI leadership were on hand to congratulate Director Sylvia Chiang and her team on their longstanding commitment to the community. 
After talking about key successes over the years, Sylvia outlined the coalition's vision for the future. Stay tuned!
Presentations and Publications


Charlestown Coalition Director, Sarah Coughlin, was part of an expert panel, Building Community Capacity to Address Emerging Substance Use Challenges: Lessons from Drug-Free Community Coalitions, at the CADCA Annual Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, on Feb. 6th. 


Madelyn Herzog, School Programs Coordinator for Healthy Chelsea, presented on a national webinar, Connecting Public Health and Food Sector Collaborators: Healthy Menu Innovations in Schools, on January 11th. Listen and watch here.  


Christyanna Egun, Director of Boston Partnerships, along with Elliott Woodward, MD, Yvonne Lai, MD, and Michael G. Fitzsimons, MD, co-authored an article in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, How Cardiac Anesthesiology Can Help "STEM" the Tide of Under-representation of Minorities in Science and Medicine. 

Sarah Coughlin, Director of the Charlestown Coalition authored You Don't Need a Public Health Degree to "Do" Public Health for Social Work Voice.