Posted by John Jacob, a health communications writer and editor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
This month, the Public Health Council took up two pending Determination of Need (DON) issues, and got a sneak preview of an innovative social marketing campaign which will soon be underway from the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.
First, the Council voted to approve a Determination of Need request involving expansion and renovation plans at St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River. The approved request calls for the construction of a new 3-story wing at the hospital's main campus, the replacement of 40 existing medical/surgical beds, and the connection of the new wing to the existing building.
The Council then voted to approve proposed amendments to DoN regulations for physician-owned Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC), which were implemented to codify existing DPH guidance on DoN requirements for the ASC provider community.
Last, the Council heard an informational presentation from Michael Botticelli, Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, on a new social marketing campaign focused on reducing rates of alcohol and substance abuse among African-American and Hispanic teens. Entitled "Be the Future U", the campaign seeks to empower these young people to resist peer pressure to use alcohol and drugs, and to stay strong in the pursuit of their dreams. The campaign uses new media channels such as Facebook and Youtube to reach this audience where they are, and features other components to engage parents in the effort.