As public officials and health care stakeholders across the United States worry about the health care system and its escalating costs, Massachusetts is working to find ways to prevent those costs from occurring in the first place.
With the establishment of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund in July 2012, the Massachusetts Legislature set forth a challenge to communities across the Commonwealth: reduce health care costs by preventing chronic conditions. The Trust will fund community-based partnerships including municipalities, healthcare systems, businesses, regional planning organizations, and schools. The goal is for these groups to 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.
Often, we think of prevention as a long-term process, but the strategies proposed by the partnerships must be evidence-based and they must show measurable results in a short timeframe.
DPH is responsible for administering the Trust under the guidance of an advisory board. The advisory board held its first meeting at the end of June and is eager to get to work on producing a Request for Response (RFR) that will allow partnerships to apply.
Four listening sessions have been scheduled for next week that will allow municipalities, healthcare systems, businesses, regional planning organizations, and schools to provide input before the RFR is drafted. If you are interested in shaping the Trust and ensuring its success, we encourage you to attend one of these sessions.
7/17/2013 10 am—12 pm
Fairfield Inn & Suites
185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford
7/17/2013 3 pm—5 pm
Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon
McKim Building, 700 Boylston Street, Boston
(enter on Dartmouth St.)
7/18/2013 10 am—12 pm
Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center Chevron Room, 303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke
7/18/2013 3 pm—5 pm
College of the Holy Cross, Hogan Conference Center
One College Street, Room 410, Worcester
If you are unable to attend one of these sessions but wish to contribute your thoughts, please send your comments to Ben Kingston at Benjamin.Kingston@state.ma.us.