REVERE, Mass – January 9 – Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), Good Measures LLC, Tufts Health Plan and the Institute for Community Health partnered and are the recipients of a $250,000 grant award from the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to distribute food to families in need. The award is part of a larger program through the Office of the Attorney General that will fund 13 community-based healthcare partnerships focused on addressing health equity.
The partners are focused on addressing the social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play and age that impact a wide range of health outcomes. Most of what keeps people healthy are circumstances outside of medical care – insufficient or poor quality food, housing, utilities, employment and education.
The partnership will operate a GBFB-sponsored free monthly Mobile Market in Revere at CHA and organize regular health fairs to provide health screenings, vaccinations, information on social services and assistance with enrollment in community programs, along with evaluating the impact of improving access to healthy produce on health and well-being.
According to GBFB, one in 10 people in Massachusetts struggles with food insecurity, meaning that they are without access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, healthy food. Children are hit especially hard from hunger. One in eight children is food insecure in Massachusetts while more than 16 million children across the country lack adequate access to food. According to a recent report, the health-related costs of hunger in Massachusetts amount to $2.4 billion annually.
Last March, the partnership launched a Mobile Market at the CHA Revere Care Center which distributes fresh fruit and vegetables monthly to families living in Revere and the surrounding areas. The market provides 25-30 pounds of produce per household. Between March and July 2018, more than 18,000 pounds of produce was distributed to 424 CHA patients and another 292 community members. The grant award will support the market for the next three years and incorporate a research component supported by the Institute for Community Health.
As part of the MassHealth Accountable Care Organization transformation, last summer CHA launched a program to screen for food insecurity and other needs in order to connect people to resources. CHA patient resource coordinators reach out to patients who seek help and connect them to additional food resources in the community. For additional information, contact CHA’s Community Health Improvement Department at 617-806-8775.
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is an academic community health system committed to providing high-quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.challiance.org.
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB provides the equivalent of more than 48 million healthy meals annually, distributed through its network of 530 member agencies across Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB serves more than 140,000 people every month in its goal to create a hunger-free Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617-427-5200.
An innovator in nutrition science, Good Measures provides breakthrough technology and clinical coaching to help people improve eating and exercise habits for better health. The company’s high-tech, high-touch approach yields industry-leading engagement rates that help individuals better manage their weight and medical conditions, slow disease progression, and feel good. Good Measures works with health plans, employers, and providers to deliver programs to prevent chronic illness. To learn more visit www.goodmeasures.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@goodmeasures), and LinkedIn.
Tufts Health Plan is nationally recognized for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health plans. Staying true to our mission of improving the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve, we touch the lives of more than 1.16 million members in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut through employer-sponsored plans; Medicare; Medicaid and Marketplace plans, offering health insurance coverage across the life span regardless of age or circumstance. We are continually among the top health plans in the country based on quality and member satisfaction. To learn more visit https://tuftshealthplan.com/whatwedo. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
The Institute for Community Health (ICH) is a nonprofit consulting organization that provides participatory evaluation, applied research, assessment, planning, and data services. ICH helps health departments, healthcare institutions, and community-based organizations improve their services and maximize program impact. Achieving health equity, improving community health, and transforming healthcare are complex challenges, requiring innovative approaches and multiple perspectives. As a dynamic consulting organization with deep expertise, ICH partners with organizations to tackle complex problems and achieve sustainable solutions.
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