Dear Friends,

On September 16th, the Mass General Trustee Committee on Community Health voted to approve the 2019 MGH Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Hospitals are required to conduct these assessments every three years, and while this may sound routine, this year’s process was anything but.

Our 2019 CHNA is the product of two major collaboratives. In Boston, the teaching hospitals joined with the Boston Public Health Commission and others to conduct the first-ever collaborative assessment. In North Suffolk Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop—city and town leaders, health care providers and community-based organizations did the same. The goal is greater impact. 

Communities told us loud and clear what is important to them, and this is the first time that the CHNA has prioritized social determinants as leading health concerns. The top three priorities shared between Boston and North Suffolk are:

  • Safe, affordable and stable housing.
  • Economic and financial stability and mobility.
  • Behavioral health, including substance use disorders (SUDs).
Boston added Access to health, social, and child care services to the list. And, our board approved the addition of four ongoing Mass General priorities —c ommunity/intimate partner violence and safety; obesity and food insecurity; elder/aging health issues ; and , chronic disease with cancer and diabetes focus .
The board committee agreed that housing and economic mobility are important issues but wondered about the role of a health care institution. Ultimately, they recognized that health is directly linked to social determinants like housing and economic stability. And, they concluded that while health care cannot “own” these issues, we need to be a key player as a provider, employer and anchor institution.

The next step, where we are now deeply engaged, is to develop Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) with strategies, objectives and measurable goals, and the board must approve the MGH plan before February 15, 2020. 

Stay tuned—there is lots of work ahead!

Joan Quinlan, MPA
Vice President for Community Health
Leslie Aldrich, MPH
Executive Director, CCHI
PS: A big shout out to our own Danelle Marable who co-led the North Suffolk assessment (learn more in this new video ).
Community Health Needs Assessments
Download the full Mass General , Boston and North Suffolk Community Health Needs Assessment Reports by clicking on the photos below.
Access to Care
Standing Up for Immigrants: An Interview with
Fiona Danaher, MD
Dr. Fiona Danaher is an MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center pediatrician and a staunch advocate for the safety and wellbeing of children.

Dr. Danaher has been particularly outspoken about the plight of immigrant children and their families who have suffered under the current administration’s policies—from family separations at the border to the sudden decision to end medical deferred action.

Learn more about community health at Mass General by visiting our newly redesigned website here .
CCHI Out and About
Congratulations to our coalition staff members and youth groups who are working hard to build a culture of health every day in their communities!
RevereCARES Coalition Director, Sylvia Chiang , was honored by the City of Revere and Mayor Brian Arrigo at an event celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month .

Sylvia was recognized, along with other Latinx luminaries, for her leadership and significant contributions to the community around healthy eating and active living, and promoting economic mobility for Revere residents.
The Healthy Chelsea Youth Food Movement ( YFM ) youth group received the 2019 Farm to School Kale Blazer award. This award recognizes individuals, organizations, or schools at the forefront of the farm to school movement in Massachusetts. Thanks to the YFM, students are choosing healthier food options at the high school.

YFM members will be honored at a ceremony at the Mass State House at the end of the month.
Sarah Coughlin , Director of the Charlestown Coalition , was honored by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park as part of September's National Recovery Month . She was recognized for "working in the trenches of the opioid epidemic for the last twelve years."

Recovery Month is celebrated by all four of our community coalitions, and community events included barbecues, educational programs, and candlelight vigils.
Executive Committee on Community Health
Incorporating Community Health into Clinical Care in Creative & Innovative Ways
L-R: Derri Shtasel, Alice Lorch, Shreedhar Paudel, Katrina Armstrong, Gino Chisari*, Joan Quinlan
The  Executive Committee on Community Health  ( ECOCH ) is pleased to announce 2019 grant awards to five clinical departments that proposed creative, innovative ways of incorporating community health and health equity into their work. The awardees are:

  • Gaurdia Banister, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN – Patient Care Services, to support career advancement of MGH service employees into skilled clinical roles at MGH. (*Gino Chisari, RN-BC, DNP, Project Leader)

  • Alice Lorch, MD, MPH – Department of Ophthalmology, to provide diabetic retinopathy screening at MGH Chelsea.

  • Sidney Jimenez, MD – Department of Medicine, to pilot a care management program for chronic pain patients at MGH Revere.

  • Shreedhar Paudel, MD, MPH - Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, to enhance community access to psychiatric care in Charlestown.

  • James Morrill, MD, PhD and Anne Murray-Chiriboga, MD – Department of Medicine, MGH Charlestown and NEW Health Charlestown will establish Charlestown Crossroads Resource Center, a centralized community drop-in resource center. 

To learn more about ECOCH and view past grant recipients, visit our new website here .
To improve the health and well-being of the diverse communities we serve.

Healthy, safe and thriving communities where all people have equitable access to employment, food, education, housing and a high-quality health care system that addresses these and other social determinants of health.  

Mass General Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI)
101 Merrimac Street
Suite 620
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-8197

Header Photo : Members of the Charlestown Coalition participate in the MOAR (Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery) Annual Walk for Recovery Month.