The Community Research Program at MGH Chelsea Healthcare Center supports research across the lifespan. We emphasize interdisciplinary collaborations that target health disparities, advance clinical practice, and improve the well-being of the Chelsea community.

Background

The Community Research Program at MGH Chelsea began in May 2013 with the first meeting of the MGH Chelsea Interdisciplinary Research Roundtable.

The Research Roundtable was initially supported by the Speech, Language & Swallowing Disorders and Reading Disabilities Department, and then by MGH Chelsea Administration. It is now supported by the Mass General Division of Clinical Research and the Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM).

The Program is led by Amy Izen, M.S., CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist; Rohit Chandra, MD, a psychiatrist; and Julie Levison, MD, MPhil, MPH; an infectious disease specialist. Josh Metlay, MD, PhD, chief of the DGIM, provides feedback to the Program.

Participants

The Community Research Program at MGH Chelsea communicates with more than 200 individuals who work in Chelsea, Revere, Boston and Charlestown, either at or outside of Mass General.

These individuals want to connect with the research that is being done in their community either through conducting studies or quality improvement initiatives, learning how to contribute to studies or furthering their interest in initiating research studies.

Studies are being conducted across all departments at MGH Chelsea, including:

Since its beginning in 2013, the MGH Chelsea Research Roundtable has been open to anyone interested in community-based participatory research (CBPR). Monthly Roundtable meetings serve as a venue for feedback on research in progress, a space to foster collaboration and share resources such as courses and complementary consults available through the Division of Clinical Research, and a way to promote improved clinical practices and clinical research in the healthcare setting. Please contact MGH Community Research if you are interested in being added to the email list.

The Research Roundtable meets on the fourth Thursday of every month in the Eleanor Clark Conference Room from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. Phone participation is available.

MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center Research Day

This annual event began in 2016 and features a poster session, responses from community members, and a keynote address. The event is supported by MGH Chelsea Administration, The Mongan Institute Health Policy Center and Department of General Internal Medicine Community Council.

Benefits of Community-based Research

  • Inclusive and collaborative research results from grassroots partnerships with stakeholders. Since the research occurs in partnership with communities of interest, study results are more likely to be relevant to the community and promote development of solutions that address community-identified problems.
  • Community-based research allows community members to receive training and opportunities to collaborate with interdisciplinary research teams in order to study topics of importance to the community. The results of these studies directly affect the lives of the participants, and can potentially improve the lives of other community members as well.

If you are interested in developing a research project in Chelsea, please contact MGH Community Research and give us some background information on your project by filling out this information form. We welcome anyone interested in developing a research project to contact us and attend a Roundtable meeting.

Example Research Projects at MGH Chelsea

Hong Chen Cheung, MD encourages community members to post healthy versions of traditional recipes on Facebook to receive financial rewards and positively influence the diets of their friends and community.

Julie Levison, MD, MPhil, MPH, works with HIV-infected Latino/Hispanic immigrants and their health care providers in Chelsea and the greater Boston area to develop community-based interventions to overcome non-adherence to longitudinal HIV care.

Anne Thorndike, MD, has been working with the Center for Community Health Improvement at MGH Chelsea, as well as with Chelsea corner store owners, to improve the purchasing and eating habits of Chelsea residents by both adapting the stoplight menu to product labeling and moving nutritious items to more prominent and appealing positions in the store.