MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership
The Prevention & Wellness Trust supports community-based partnerships including municipalities, healthcare systems, businesses, regional planning organizations, and schools. Partnerships created through this funding establish strong bi-directional linkage systems between the clinical healthcare sector through primary care physicians and community health sector. These partnerships work together to provide research-based interventions that will:
- reduce rates of the most prevalent and preventable health conditions;
- increase healthy behaviors;
- increase the adoption of workplace-based wellness or health management programs; and
- address health disparities.
In January 2014, nine communities were awarded grants through the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund. Hudson Health Department, serving as the lead agency, was one of the nine awardees. We partnered with the following local and regional organizations and formed the MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership:
- Hudson Health Department
- Framingham Health Department
- Marlborough Health Department
- Northborough Health Department
- Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Framingham Branch
- Charles River Medical Associates
- MetroWest Medical Center, Framingham Union Hospital
- MetroWest YMCA
- YMCA of Central Massachusetts, Boroughs Family Branch
- Latino Health Insurance Program
- Center for Health Impact
- Metropolitan Area Planning Council
The MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership focuses interventions on four chronic health conditions:
Fall Prevention Among Older Adults
- A Matter of Balance - an 8-week structured group intervention that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance. Older adult patients who are screened by our clinical partners to be positive an elevated risk for falling are referred to our community partners who are offering this program. Both of our YMCA partners are offering this program in English, while Latino Health Insurance Program is offer it in Spanish and Portuguese.
- Tai Chi (Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance) - a research based balance training regimen designed for older adults and people with balance disorders. Both of our YMCA partners are offering this program for patients of low and moderate risk for falling.
- Home Safety Assessment for Fall Prevention - a private home safety assessment by a trained community health worker to provide recommendations to patients that are screened to have a high risk for falling by our clinical partners. The assessment covers a broad range of environmental features, including accessibility, furniture, flooring, lighting, seating, storage, and indoor and outdoor stairways. Municipal health department partners are offering this program. This is a patient testimony on this program.
- Enhanced Fitness - is an evidence-based group physical activity program developed specifically for older adults with a low risk for falling. The exercises focus on four key areas important to the health and fitness of seniors: stretching and flexibility, low impact aerobics, strength training, and balance. MetroWest YMCA is offering this program in English.
- STEADI - is a clinical screening for fall risk among older adults. Developed by U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our clinical partners Charles River Medical Associates and Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center are using it to screen their older patients for fall risk.
- JNC Hypertension Guideline - is an evidence-based clinical standard on hypertension developed by the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Two of our clinical partners, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center and MetroWest Medical Center, are using this intervention to screen and treat hypertensive patients. Hypertensive patients are referred by these two clinical partners to our community partners.
- Chronic Disease Self Management Program - is a workshop that teaches the skills needed in the day-to-day management of treatment and to maintain and/or increase life's activities. Workshop classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants' confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Both YMCAs in our partnership offer this program in English, while Latino Health Insurance Program offers it in Spanish (Tomando Control de su Salud) and Portuguese.
Tobacco Use Reduction
- USPSTF Recommendation - is a clinical guideline developed by the U. S. Prevention Services Task Force on tobacco use in adults. It recommends that clinicians ask all adult patients about tobacco use and provide tobacco cessation interventions for those who use tobacco products. Two of our clinical partners, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center and MetroWest Medical Center are following this recommendation. Tobacco users from these two clinical partners are referred to our community partners - our local health departments.
- Tobacco Cessation Counseling - is offered by community partners to users of tobacco products referred by our clinical partners. Certified Tobacco Cessation Counsellors from our local health departments provide one-on-one tailored counselling or group sessions to patients.
- Smoke-free Housing Program - Our local health department partners are engaging owners of multi-unit housing complexes within our communities to implement a smoke-free policy on a voluntary basis. The smoke-free policy includes the interior of residential dwelling units. Our partners provide assistance and technical support to the property owners and management companies.
Pediatric Asthma (Framingham only)
- Use of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) - Our clinical partner, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center is implementing CQI to identify barriers to asthma management and subgroups of patients likely to benefit from interventions. High risk patients are referred to Framingham Health Department for community-based intervention.
- Home-Based Multi-Trigger, Multi-Component Environmental Intervention - is offered by Framingham Health Department for at risk children with asthma. The goals of this intervention are to reduce exposure to multiple indoor asthma triggers (allergens and irritants) and improve asthma self-management. It is conducted by trained community health workers.
All of these interventions are provided to patients and residents in our communities free of charge.