The vision and mission of the MDPH is to support health equity for all people in the Commonwealth.
According to the 2017 Massachusetts State Health Assessment, "the good news is that because most health inequities result from socially-determined structural inequities, change is possible. We can begin to improve health for a whole community when systems and structures, such as structural racism or gender bias, are acknowledged and explicitly addressed. By transforming inequitable policies, cultural norms, and structural barriers, we can move towards a Commonwealth where all people have the same opportunities to be healthy, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age."
The Communities That Care Coalition (CTC) was formed in 2002 in Franklin County, MA, when a group of community members came together to address alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among local youth.
The vision of the CTC is that Franklin County and the North Quabbin region be a place where young people are able to reach their full potential and thrive with ongoing and coordinated support from schools, parents, and the community.
The CTC uses data about the status of local young people to identify needs and measure the success of their programs.
With a robust set of diverse community partners, the CTC has:
- Helped to implement a life skills curriculum in area middle schools to prevent substance abuse and violence
- Used a mini-grant to support the parent education workgroup, which provides evidence-based education to parents and caregivers of children aged 9-18 and strengthens family connections (as a youth protective measure)
- Released a report entitled What Schools Can Do: Creative Ways Franklin County and North Quabbin Schools are Implementing DESE Guidelines on Substance Use Prevention
After the public release of data from the 2016 Teen Health Survey, the CTC adopted a new goal to "increase health equity in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region, specifically in our coalition's priority areas."
Since the report was released, the CTC has been exploring ways to incorporate racial justice into its coalition culture, goals, and plans. To support this, the CTC decided to add a racial justice workgroup to its current organizational structure. The scope for this new workgroup is currently being developed.