Coalition Building
At the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, we support community, governmental and private sector collaborations to address health inequities and incubate innovations in programming, environment and systems change. Below are some updates on collaborative work in our region.
Bridging Healthcare and Social Services
The BeHealthy Partnership ACO (BHP), made up of Health New England, Baystate Health Centers and Caring Health Center, has been doing innovative work to understand patients’ social and medical needs and bridge to social service agencies in the community to address those needs. Revitalize CDC has made hundreds of deliveries to BHP members with food boxes, asthma and COVID-19 prevention supplies, including materials acquired through a grant from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. This is a terrific partnership and one that exemplifies innovation in primary care!
Building a Mentoring Movement
The first Hampden County Mentoring Summit was held on November 13, 2020. The goals of the Summit were (1) Networking for organizations and individuals that do mentoring; (2) Skill building (e.g. Recruiting Mentors and Virtual Mentoring); and (3) To build a mentoring movement in Hampden County.

The Summit included speakers from Mass Mentoring Partnerships, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County, the Rennie Center, and an amazing presentation by Genesis Perez, who grew up in Springfield, has had mentors, and is now a mentor herself.
The Summit was sponsored and organized by 12 organizations, all of whom participate in the Hampden County Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) or the Young Adult Empowerment Collaborative. For these groups, mentoring is a strategy to reduce violence and substance use disorder among young people. The Hampden CHIP is co-convened by the Public Health Institute of Western MA and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. As of this writing, the CHIP has identified about 85 individuals in Hampden County who provide mentoring, either formally or informally. We are well on our way to building a mentoring movement!
Climate Justice
Live Well Springfield's Climate Justice initiative is asking Springfield Residents:
What do you think would have the biggest impact on climate change, racism, air quality and health for your family?

Help decide on the best policy ideas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, improve health, and address racism for Springfield.

Take this 10-15 minute survey on climate change, health, and equity. From the survey, you will learn more about the four policies listed below. You will watch policy pitch videos from resident advocates passionate about climate change.

Please share this survey with your networks!
12/17 Training- Serving the Community with 413Cares
Join Human Service Forum and 413Cares for a training and information session for program managers and direct care supervisors and staff!

Presenters from 413Cares will be sharing tools and resources that direct care providers and program managers can use to connect their clients to additional services. Presenters will demonstrate how to add your program's services to the community portal and provide support to those seeking services. Partner organizations will then join us to share their experiences using the portal and the benefits it has brought to their clients and organization!

Thursday December 17, 2020, 10:00-11:30 am
Program Fee: $25 for HSF Member; $35 for non-member

1/19 Webinar- Understanding Hoarding Disorder & Resources Available
Join the Springfield Healthy Homes Collaborative Tuesday January 19, 2021 from 2:00-3:00 pm for a discussion about hoarding disorder and resources available. Presenters include: Colleen Loveless, Revitalize CDC; Alane Burgess, Mental Health Association; and Rebecca Belofsky Shuer, Mutual Support Consulting, LLC.

Please email Shirley Rodriguez to RSVP!
COVID-19
12/18 Webinar- COVID-19 Data & Communications: Conversations with the MDPH State Epidemiologist and a UMass Health Communications Expert
Join us Friday December 18, 2020 from 11:00-12:00 pm for a discussion with experts from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on COVID-19 data and effective health communication for prevention. Dr. Catherine Brown, State Epidemiologist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), will discuss the COVID-19 data being collected by MDPH and what has been learned. This will be followed by a discussion with Dr. Devon Greyson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, about what we know about effective health communication for COVID-19 and some local efforts she is involved in.

COVID-19 & Holiday Celebrations
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise across the state and nation, we all have a role to play to slow the spread of COVID-19. The holidays are a time when people gather with friends and family, but this year, the safest way to celebrate is to keep things small and celebrate with your own household. We are all suffering from "COVID fatigue" and want things to return to normal, but we must remain vigilant and continue to take steps to slow the spread.

Hear the latest on COVID-19 and how you can keep yourself and your family safe: 
New Capacity Limits & Other Restrictions to Curb Rising COVID Cases
On Tuesday the Baker-Polito Administration announced new statewide restrictions to respond to the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. These restrictions, effective December 13, reduce indoor capacity among other changes. Learn more. 
Western MA COVID-19 Data
Visit our Western MA COVID-19 Data Dashboard for the latest regional COVID-19 data. Our dashboard is updated every Friday.
Thank You to Board Members!
Thank you to our 6 Board Members who have finished their terms. Your contributions have been invaluable to the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.
Research & Evaluation
At the Public Health Institute, we implement community-based research and assessments to understand gaps, needs and best practices. We apply best practices for program evaluation to enhance the impact of and to understand efficacy of programs and community-based initiatives. Check out some of our recent research and evaluation work.

Recent Webinars

New Reports & Data
News, Events & More from our Partners
  • Digital Divide Survey- Open through December 31: In order to better understand the subtle issues of the Digital Divide affecting people throughout the three counties of the region and to inventory community-based solutions already being implemented, the Digital Equity Alliance has partnered with the United Way of Franklin County, United Way of Hampshire County, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley (Hampden) to develop and distribute an online survey. The survey can be completed by any organization, municipality, school districts, or key stakeholder who is willing and able to contribute to a shared knowledge base on the issue of the Digital Divide. The survey takes approximately 8 minutes to complete and will be open through December 31, 2020. Take the survey!
Don't forget to check us out on social media!