Rarely does an academic medical center like MGH receive this award. It acknowledges the long-term commitment of MGH and its Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI). The center connects with communities to change policies and systems so that decisions about healthy behaviors are easier to make.
In an article published by the Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, John O’Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee, lauded MGH, saying the hospital has “spent the past 20 years building highly engaged partnerships with communities. They are dedicated to addressing social and economic determinants of health, reducing barriers to care for vulnerable populations and promoting health equity.”
See CCHI in action with this selection of powerful stories told by local residents whose lives have been changed by the work this program conducts every day
Even as MGH accepts this award, there is more to be done within our local communities, especially as it concerns the complex opioid addiction epidemic. MGH’s comprehensive clinical initiative designed to transform care for patients with substance use disorders further reflects this commitment to the communities we serve.
Here are two other highlights from MGH’s award-winning year of community involvement:
- Healthy Chelsea and Revere on the Move (ROTM) – ROTM worked with the City of Revere to create a bicycle network, partnered with WalkBoston to build a 1.8-mile walking trail, and provided mini-grants for the development of a community-wide garden, while Healthy Chelsea and Chelsea’s Board of Health led the successful passage in 2013 of a ban on artificial trans fats in food service establishments.
- Improving Access for Vulnerable Populations – For 15 years, an initiative at MGH Chelsea has aided refugees from countries such as Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq and Bhutan, many of whom have experienced trauma, violence and war. Last year, staff completed 107 Refugee Health Assessments, and 95 percent of all new refugees were connected to primary care within 30 days. The program also supports the urgent needs of newly-arrived immigrants and refugees, serving nearly 1,000 individuals in 2014.
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