Last week, the Department of Public Health (DPH) hosted four listening sessions on the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund to gather input to guide the development of the funding application, which is scheduled to be released in late August. Over two days on July 17th and 18th, four sessions were held in New Bedford, Boston, Holyoke, and Worcester, drawing more than 300 people.
Lea Susan Ojamaa and Tom Land from DPH’s Bureau of Community Health and Prevention presented an overview and timeline of the Trust (click here for materials about the Trust) , and posed questions to participants to help understand how DPH can be most effective at addressing the goals of the Trust as written into the law.
While the discussion in each region reflected the specific conditions and needs in that region, there were many common themes, including recommendations on:
- evaluating effective and innovative partnerships
- effectively addressing health disparities
- building off of existing partnerships and funding such as Mass in Motion and the CHNAs
- the role of municipalities, community organizations, and clinical providers
- collecting meaningful data
- targeting cost effective interventions
- targeting sub-populations
- addressing rural challenges
- defining community-clinical linkages
- the role of community health workers
We’re grateful that so many people came out to give input and advice to DPH as they tackle the challenging task of implementing the extremely ambitious goals of the Prevention Trust. And we appreciate the time and thoughtfulness of DPH to gather input from so many stakeholders and community members as they begin putting a funding application together.
The next meeting of the Prevention and Wellness Advisory Board is Monday, July 29th from 1-4pm at the Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St., 2nd Floor. You can view materials from 27th Advisory Board meeting here.