After more than five years as the inaugural chair of the Executive Committee on Community Health (ECOCH), Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE will be stepping down in January. 

While other Mass General executive committee chairs have three-year terms, Katrina has done double duty to be sure that ECOCH, as a new committee, was on solid ground.  She has done that and more, and we are incredibly grateful.

ECOCH was formed in 2014 to guide the community health work of the hospital and to put community health on a level playing field with the other components of the MGH mission.  The charge to ECOCH is “to promote community health improvement and ensure health equity, leveraging all four components of the MGH mission: patient care, teaching, research and community health.” 

Katrina has led this committee to meet that charge with wisdom, energy and strategic acumen, and she has set the bar high.  Key accomplishments during Katrina’s tenure have included:

  • Inspiring a citywide health care collaborative around social determinants of health.
  • Gaining Partners and Mass General leadership support for Anchor Institution strategies.
  • Leading ECOCH through a strategic planning process that created ambitious goals to improve access to care, address race equity, and promote social determinants of health.
  • Awarding more than a half million dollars in grant funding to 17 MGH grantees who proposed creative, innovative ways of incorporating community health and health equity into their clinical departments.
  • Advocating for an affordable insurance product for low-income and diverse patients at Partners and Mass General. 

We cannot thank Katrina enough for her visionary and effective leadership over the past five plus years.  We are grateful that she will stay on to chair a new Policy and Advocacy Subcommittee to develop guidelines, criteria and processes for the role that ECOCH can fill in supporting a range of community health issues.

The ECOCH meeting on November 20th was Katrina’s last as chair.  Dr. Peter Slavin has appointed Jeff Ecker, chief of OB-GYN as her successor, effective January 2020.