A 2002 study by the Boston Public Health Commission found that racial and ethnic minority residents of the city have significantly worse health and health care compared to white residents. Low socioeconomic status is associated with many of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and lack of physical activity.
To address these issues, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) created a Disparities Solutions Center (DSC), which aims to move beyond research on racial and ethnic disparities in health care to action, by developing and disseminating models for identifying and addressing disparities in health care nationally, regionally, and locally.
Responding to a disparity in diabetes control between Latinos and whites at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, the DSC, in collaboration with MGH Chelsea, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, and the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI), initiated a culturally competent and comprehensive diabetes management program. The program includes individual and group bilingual coaching sessions and support groups. Participants show a significant reduction in HbA1c levels – a key marker of how well diabetes is managed overtime – of 1.48 and higher rates of good control.
At Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE) is an important expression of Brigham and Women's Hospital's commitment to community service. Established in 1991 in response to poor birth outcomes in underserved sections of Boston, the CCHHE identifies approaches to health care for low income and other underserved women and their families.
The CCHHE develops, implements, manages, and evaluates initiatives, which address and minimize disparities in health status. The center works in partnership with other hospital departments and with community health centers, schools, and other community based organizations to identify barriers to health care and related services and to address the social factors contributing to health and well being.
The Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center’s Open Doors to Health (ODH) Cancer Screening Initiative is designed to bring together community based peer leaders/health educators and a patient navigator to:
- Increase awareness of the need for screening among patients who receive care at two community health centers.
- Increase physician recommendations for screening among patients aged 50 and older seeking care at BWH licensed and affiliated community health centers.
- Decrease no-show rates for screening colonoscopy.
- Increase adequate test preparation and address barriers to screening through patient navigators and peer leaders.
Results have shown that of the 442 patients referred to navigator by their primary care physician in FY2010, 76% have completed colonoscopies.
For more information please visit the following websites:
MGH Disparities Solutions Center
MGH Center for Community Health Improvement
BWH Center for Community Health and Health Equity
Community Health Centers
Partners has a deep commitment to community health centers. Since its founding in 1994, Partners and its hospitals have provided more than $83M to ensure that health centers have the space and technology they need to provide patients with excellent care.
Click below to find a list of all the community health centers operated by or affiliated with Partners.Learn more
Community Health Partnerships
Partners HealthCare and its hospitals work with many community organizations to make measurable and sustainable improvements in the health status of underserved populations.
Find out more about Partners' Community Partnerships by clicking the link below.
Community Health Reports
Our annual reports contain information about Partners Community Benefit programs and priorities, in addition to the substantial community work accomplished by our hospitals.