Ramping up communications and policy advocacy
In the spring, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts created a new four year strategic plan. Thanks to many of you who provided thoughtful feedback and helped carve a deeper commitment to addressing health equity and the many systemic -isms that are the root causes for too much poor health. 

To reflect both the last and the next four years of being a public health institute, our updated mission is: The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts builds measurably healthier and more equitable communities through community engagement, collaborative partnerships, research and evaluation, and policy advocacy.​

As you can see, we will continue the focus of coalition building for health inequities and building capacity in our region with regard to data. We are excited that we will be ramping up capacity to provide public health communications and to better support our region through a health equity policy/advocacy focus.  

I want to thank our Board of Directors for continuing to inspire, initiate, guide and support our comprehensive work that is only successful if we are doing it in partnership with others.
 
Now, more than ever, it feels like there is so much to be done to protect and preserve the health of our region, both population and environmental. We must keep learning and taking action!
 
Thank you for your collaboration,
Jessica and Team
Welcome to our new Teammate Alisa!
Welcome to our new teammate Alisa Ainbinder, PhD, MSW, MA. Alisa recently joined the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts as a Senior Program Associate. She has over 15 years of professional experience as an evaluator and researcher of health and social service programs, policies, and interventions. Prior to joining us, she worked at Mathematica and then VentureWell, mainly focused on contributing to large-scale federal or foundation data collection projects. See her full bio.
Data
Check out the latest updates to the Western MA COVID-19 County Data Dashboard.
Save the Date! Upcoming Webinars
Join us for these upcoming webinars as we release two new reports this fall.
Friday October 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm, Springfield Teen Health Data
This webinar will explore findings from the youth health surveys conducted in Springfield Public Schools. Gándara Center will join us in presenting the data.

Friday November 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm, Sexual Violence Towards Girls and Young Women: A Call To Action
This webinar will explore findings from Hampden County and include a panel discussion of experts. 

Stay tuned for more details.
Using the Western MA COVID-19 Data Dashboard
Missed the webinar? No worries!  Access the recording here.
Events
Check out these virtual events:
  • COVID-19 Community Grants Funding Announcement Webinar, Sept 30 at 1:00pm: On behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Health Resources in Action has released the Massachusetts  COVID-19 Community Grants request for proposals and applications are due October 14, 2020. Register to attend the Funding Announcement Webinar.
  • 14th Annual Northeast Region Fair Housing & Civil Rights Conference, Oct 1-2 at 9:30am: The Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference continues to bring together people who share a commitment to protecting and furthering the rights of all Americans, both regionally and nationwide. The conference provides an opportunity to hear speakers from a wide range of disciplines discuss the state or fair housing and civil rights in America today and share their ideas on how to effectuate change on both a local and national level. Register
  • Baystate Health Better Together RFP Info Session, Oct 7 at 2:30pm: Baystate Health is excited to announce that the latest grant round for Better Together Grants is now open! View the final set of guidelines. If your own organization is interested in applying, register for the information session.
  • Springfield Climate Justice Initiative Virtual Community Conversation, Oct 7 at 6:00pm: Springfield residents will learn about and discuss climate change, health and equity. Residents will help us identify the key policy ideas that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, improve health, and address racism. Register
  • Hampden County Mentoring Summit 2020, Nov 13 at 9:30am: Mentoring Summit is an opportunity for organizations that have mentoring components to establish a space for networking and skill-building. For more information contact, Kim Gilhuly or Melany Mendoza.
COVID-19 Community Impact Survey
Your Feedback is Needed
The MA Department of Public Health is conducting a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 and to help identify where support and resources are needed most. The survey is intended for anyone over the age of 14 living in Massachusetts with emphasis on reaching those populations who may be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, such as people of color and other marginalized populations, such as older adults. Learn more.  
Resources
  • Free Legal Services: Community Legal Aid provides free civil (non-criminal) legal services to low-income and elderly residents of Central and Western MA. CLA can help with issues related to unemployment, housing emergencies like eviction, and more. Learn more
  • Pandemic EBT Cards: These temporary food benefits are for households with children who would have received free school lunches under the National School Lunch Act, if not for a school closure. More P-EBT benefits will be issued by September 30, 2020 at a rate of $5.86 per day. Learn more
  • COVID-19 Informational Videos: Caring Health Center has created informational videos about COVID-19 in 7 languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Arabic, Nepali, and Swahili