Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop Working on Regional Approaches to Health Priorities, including Youth Mental Health, Housing Stress and Economic Stability

Revere, MA (October 3, 2019) – Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop have come together in an unprecedented collaboration to identify and address their most urgent health concerns. What they’ve come up with relates to social, economic, and environmental factors that are known to have significant impacts on a person’s health status. Housing affordability and availability, economic stability and mobility, and behavioral health, including youth mental health, have been prioritized through the first-ever integrated Community Health Needs Assessment (iCHNA), a year-long process bringing together hospitals and social service agencies serving the region, municipal departments, and, most importantly, residents and community groups. More than 2,000 people in the three communities were involved in the just-released iCHNA report.

 

Along with community members, participants in the project included Massachusetts General Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, MelroseWakefield Healthcare, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Community Action Programs Inter-City, North Suffolk Mental Health Association and The Neighborhood Developers. Mass General’s Center for Community Health Improvement provided coordination and data analysis for the effort.

 

The multi-provider, multi-community assessment was undertaken at the request of Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino, and Winthrop Town Manager Austin Faison to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the region’s health needs and identify opportunities to work together to address them. “We appreciated the willingness of all the service providers to work in tandem with our three municipalities so we could all be on the same page as far as understanding how best to respond to current needs,” said City Manager Ambrosino.

 

Assessment leaders focused on the impacts of what are now called “social determinants of health,” factors such as housing affordability and safety, economic stability, social inclusion, air and water quality, food security and access to transportation, recognizing that where one lives, works, learns and plays are key influencers of wellbeing. They also took steps to ensure that the voices of population segments that are sometimes hidden or stigmatized were captured. “We realize that social determinants involve big, complex issues,” said Mayor Arrigo, “but in working together, we can have positive impacts by building on good work already being done locally or developing new initiatives to meet the challenges.”

 

Collecting data and identifying priority health needs of the three communities is just the first step. Working groups will be creating a community health improvement plan, or CHIP, to help guide health care providers and municipal officials in program planning and action over the next three years and beyond. “Our communities each have different populations and challenges,” said Town Manager Faison, “but there are shared issues like adolescent mental health and air quality that may lend themselves to regional approaches and we look forward to collaborations with our neighbors in Revere and Chelsea.” The working groups expect to have the CHIP plan, including short-term and longer-term initiatives, completed by the end of the year.

 

The North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative was established in 2016 by three adjacent communities - the City of Revere, the City of Chelsea, and the Town of Winthrop - to identify priority public health challenges and opportunities to work together in addressing them. Follow us on Twitter at @NorthSuffolkPHC.

 

The Mass General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement partners to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of the diverse communities we serve. Strategic priorities include building a culture of health in our local communities by supporting coalitions, improving access to access to care for vulnerable populations, and engaging and empowering youth. Visit us at http://www.massgeneral.org/cchi/, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mghcchi, Twitter: @mghcchi1, and YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y6g3uk9h.