Online Program

An innovative approach to integrate primary prevention programs into affordable housing and community development

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Elizabeth Gonzalez Suarez, MA, Community Benefits, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Anita Morson-Matra, BS, Community Action, Madison Park Development Corporation, Roxbury, MA
Angela Kelly, MS, Community Action, Madison Park Development Corporation, Roxbury, MA
Jeanne Pinado, MBA, Madison Park Development Corporation, Roxbury, MA
Anne Levine, MEd, MBA, External Affairs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Affordable-Housing and Community Development Organizations are in a unique position to address social determinants of health. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), a NCI-designated cancer center, partnered with Madison Parked Development Corporation (MPDC), a community development organization investing in affordable housing and the economic revitalization of Lower Roxbury, Boston, to eliminate built environment barriers to healthy affordable foods and physical activity. This partnership demonstrates how public health, health care and community development organizations can partner to impact the local environment and promote healthy living.  

In this partnership, MPDC, an anchor organization with nearly 50 years of experience working in the community, has prioritized efforts to implement an innovative approach to integrate primary prevention programs.  DFCI provides expertise in behavioral and social evidence-based approaches and resources to increase physical activity and healthy eating among residents of low-income housing developments. Specifically, the partnership supports Open Doors to Health, an initiative that includes incentives to increase utilization of community gardens, farm stands, cooking demonstrations, a CSA (Community Supportive Agriculture) program, and an array of physical activity opportunities. In addition, drawing from MPDC’s strengths, the program empowers community residents by providing training, stipends, and opportunities for resident engagement, advocacy and leadership. 

The goal of this presentation is to describe the evolution of a partnership to successfully implement an evidence-based primary prevention program to fully integrate health and wellness programs into community development.  Program evaluation, lessons learned, and best practices will be shared.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the process by which a comprehensive cancer center has partnered with a community development organization to develop and implement a program to address built environment barriers to healthy living. Describe how a community development organization invests in community-wide health equity and community wellness efforts through partnerships with health care institutions, the city health department, resident leaders and other partners. Identify replicable strategies that can be developed in other communities.

Keyword(s): Built Environment, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since 2007, I have been working closely with my community development partners to implement this program to eliminate built environment barriers to support healthful behaviors in 6 low-income housing sites in Roxbury, MA. My commitment has been to develop programs to address upstream factors to create communities committed to health and wellness for all residents.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.