At our December meeting, we welcomed Soloe Dennis, Regional Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). He spoke about the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Summit held on October 2, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. One segment of this summit was devoted to understanding and utilizing local data to address health disparities. MDPH collects data and will share it with interested organizations.
According to the website, MDPH holds data relating to births and fetal deaths that occur in Massachusetts. MDPH tracks newly diagnosed cases of malignant disease and benign brain-related tumors that occur to Massachusetts residents. The Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) manages admission, discharge and invoice information for over 150 publicly funded treatment agencies.
MDPH provides grants for community partners working to address health disparities. Matthew Sadof, MD, mentioned that the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition (PVAC) received seed money to start a home visit program in Springfield, MA. MDPH is especially interested in working with collaborative partnerships such as PVAC. Any partnership that is looking for assistance with preparing a grant proposal is encouraged to reach out to Margot Malachowski, Community Outreach Librarian at Baystate Health, for help with doing the preliminary research that is often necessary for a successful grant proposal. This link offers many ways to contact Margot.
This video explains the PVAC:
At our meeting, Dr. Sadof announced that Jane O’Brien is the new Care Coordinator at Baystate Children’s Specialty Center. Congratulations, Jane! Dr. Sadof reminded us that his new “4C” grant-funded project will be enrolling families starting in January 2015. 4C = Collaborative Consultive Coordinated Care for families coping with medical complexities. The focus of the grant is to create a cloud-based care plan that the families control.
Finally, from the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality:
- A new resource, the Family Engagement Guide, provides step-by-step guidance, checklists and tips for medical practices on how to engage families in the medical home transformation and ongoing quality improvement process. The guide helps practices determine if they are ready to work with families as improvement partners, and then how to recruit and work with Family Health Partners and how to evaluate, sustain and improve the Family Health Partners role and relationship. Visit http://medicalhome.nichq.org/ to learn more.