Home to a large population of immigrants and refugees, Chelsea seeks to improve access to and reduce disparities in health care.
Chelsea Programs Avon Breast Care Program
Cervical Health Program
Chelsea Communithy Health Assessment Final Report
Chelsea Diabetes Management Program
Colorectal Cancer Screening Program
Food for Families
Immigrant and Refugee Health Programs (IRHP)
Legal Initiative for Children (LINC)
Medical Interpreters and Community Health Workers
MGH Roca Youth Health Center
Pediatric Asthma Program
Police Action Counseling Team (PACT)
Prenatal Outreach Program
Chelsea is a wonderfully diverse community with a longstanding Latino population and a constantly growing immigrant and refugee population from all over the world. The diverse population lends itself to many ethnic restaurants, grocery stores, and bodegas. Chelsea is home to a number of different industries, and the small, walkable community ensures access to health and social services, as well as pleasant views of the Chelsea Creek and Boston.
Avon Breast Care Program
The diversity in culture and language also require community resources to be responsive, culturally and linguistically competent, and highly accessible. Over 48% of the population in Chelsea is Latino and more than 58% speak a language other than English. Poverty levels in Chelsea are more than twice the statewide average. Mortality rates for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are significantly higher than Massachusetts, and violent injury rates were more than triple the state rate.
In order to assess previous effectiveness and to identify emerging challenges, the Center for Community Health Improvement conducted a community health assessment in Chelsea during 2008 to 2009. Data was collected from MassCHIP, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s online data source, and from meetings with MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center leaders, Board of Health members, and key community stakeholders. An eleven-item survey was sent to all health center staff to further determine priority health needs.
Based on the assessment, the following community health improvement goals were identified:
• To improve access to health care and health status, including that of newly arrived immigrants and refugees who may face language and cultural barriers to seeking care
• To reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care among those receiving care at MGH Chelsea
• To promote healthy living in the Chelsea community by targeting the social and environmental causes of food insecurity, physical inactivity, and obesity and overweight
• To prevent and reduce family, intimate partner, and community violence
To improve access to care and reduce racial and ethnic disparities, multiple programs offer “wrap-around” services that help patients navigate the complex health care system and address barriers to care ranging from linguistic differences to transportation and child care needs. The MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center also serves as a Refugee Health Assessment site, providing a variety of services to help refugees access health care and successfully resettle.
The Healthy Chelsea Coalition, with wide representation from across the city, was awarded an ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health Innovation and Environmental Change) grant from the CDC to provide technical assistance to engage in a comprehensive needs assessment and develop an action plan to improve access to healthy and affordable food and physical activity. Programs addressing issues of violence aim to nurture healthy family relationships, respond immediately to family violence in order to minimize the psychological impact on children, and provide direct services to women experiencing violence.
In addition to addressing Chelsea’s priority health needs, MGH also works to meet the basic health care needs of the Chelsea community. The MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center provided comprehensive primary and specialty health services to nearly 28,000 patients over the course of 150,000 visits. The Community Health Improvement office at MGH Chelsea is often the first stop for patients arriving for appointments who also seek medical interpretation services, assistance with navigating health care, and the general support and comfort they may need in caring for their own health. CHI staff is welcoming and representative of the patient population of MGH Chelsea, including staff members from countries such as Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia, several other African countries, several Arabic speaking countries, Nepal, Brazil, and multiple Latin American nations.