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The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) conducted its first community health needs assessments (CHNA) in 1995 in Revere, Chelsea and Charlestown. As a result of these assessments and together with our community partners, we have made substantial progress on preventing and reducing substance abuse, improving access to care for vulnerable populations, expanding opportunities for youth and more.
For its 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Report, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) focused on the factors contributing to adolescent substance use and mental health in the communities we serve: Chelsea, Revere, Charlestown, and East Boston. We engaged more than 200 youth, mental health professionals, those in recovery, and family members of those in recovery in focus groups and interviews to inform the CHNA.
By a significant margin, all three communities identified substance abuse, and the effects it has on quality of life including perceptions of violence and public safety, as their top two issues. Obesity/healthy living, cancer prevention/early detection, and access to care for vulnerable populations too were identified by all three communities. Finally, developing the assets of youth and encouraging educational attainment also were identified to protect against multiple high risk behaviors. These are CCHI’s six priority areas for at least the next three years.
By a significant margin, Charlestown identified substance abuse and the effects it has on quality of life including perceptions of violence and public safety, as the community's top issue. In addition the community identified cancer prevention/healthy living, access to care (with an emphasis on helping families with autistic youth) and promotion of educational attainment as additional priorities to be addressed.
By a significant margin, Chelsea identified substance abuse, and the effects it has on quality of life including perceptions of violence and public safety, as their top issue. Although many other health issues were identified by the community at large, the Chelsea assessment committee felt strongly about working collectively on one issue to make measurable change. There already are significant efforts targeting some of the other major areas of concern identified by the community, such as obesity, cancer prevention, education. Although much good work is already being done to prevent and treat substance use disorders, a more concerted and collective effort is needed.
By a significant margin, Revere, similar to other communities, identified substance abuse, and obesity/healthy living, as the community's top two issues. Revere also identified developing the assets of youth and encouraging healthy relationships and violence and public safety as priorities. To address the new priorities, Revere CARES will integrate gang violence into its substance abuse work and public safety into its obesity work. In addition, Revere CARES will establish the Healthy Relationship Initiative to address multiple high risk behaviors and health issues identified by the community at large, such as teen pregnancy, mental health and interpersonal violence.
CCHI launched the second phase of our assessment process in 2013 by reviewing national and local data and trends, and patient data when appropriate. CCHI also conducted focus groups and interviews with experts in the field who are familiar with our current programs. The report summarizes our findings and outlines our plans to improve upon our work in the coming years.