Social determinants of health – factors such as access to healthy food, the availability of safe affordable housing, and public transportation for accessing education, jobs and medical care – contribute enormously to the health outcomes of individuals and communities. Variability in access to these key factors in Massachusetts has resulted in deep inequities in health outcomes across race and income. In an effort to reduce inequity and deliver better health outcomes, MPHA is partnering with healthcare providers, insurers, the state and other organizations to address these “upstream” health drivers. Our goal is to ensure that health care is delivered in a more efficient, cost-effective manner and with a greater focus on wellness, equity and prevention.
Convening the Alliance for Community Health Integration
The Alliance for Community Health Integration (ACHI) works to harness the Massachusetts health care system to promote health equity and address the social needs of patients. As a coalition of public health, consumer advocacy, social service, and community organizations, ACHI is uniquely positioned to strengthen connections between health care providers and social service organizations, advocate for more impactful hospital investments in local communities, and partner with healthcare leaders to promote affordable housing options for all Massachusetts residents.
Restoring the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund
Established in 2012, the Massachusetts Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) is the first program in the country to invest on a large scale in evidence-based community strategies to prevent illness, improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities across race, ethnicity, and income. Between 2014-2018, PWTF funded successful clinical-community partnerships focused on childhood asthma, falls among older adults, hypertension, and tobacco use.
Despite being recognized as a national model by other states, national health care and public health organizations, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Fund was not reauthorized in 2018. Now, MPHA is leading the charge to restore funding to this important program.