COMMUNITY HEALTH: Spina with a member of the Boys & Girls Club
Two years ago, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston identified a gap in their services. The clubs were providing 14,000 kids and teens each year with skill-building initiatives in topics from arts to academics to technology, but they lacked a program focused on health and wellness. Fortunately, they knew where to turn to fill that gap: the MGH.
Soon, MGH nurse Jennifer Spina, RN, began to work exclusively out of the clubs. “Mass General’s health centers share communities like Chelsea and Charlestown with the Boys & Girls Clubs, so it was a natural fit,” says Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse who is serving as a co-chair of My Giving Helps: The MGH Fund + United Way Employee Campaign. “Donations to the MGH Fund and United Way provided the funding necessary for a program like this to take place.”
In addition to educating kids, teens and their families about the importance of healthy eating and exercise, “Nurse Jen” enlists hospital resources to help members at the clubs, such as nursing students from the MGH Institute of Health Professions who perform health screenings. “What she brings is something we could not do internally; it was out of our realm,” says Jean Pagliuca, director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs. “Jen helps us with everything from internal health policies and procedures to educating members about washing their hands or brushing their teeth.”
To learn more about programs the employee giving campaign helps, visit www.mygivinghelps.org. Donations are accepted through Sept. 28.
Read more articles from the 09/21/12 Hotline issue.