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Health Policy Development

Partners for a Healthier Community (PHC) incorporates health policy in each of our intervention strategies and coalition work plans to ensure sustainability and “buy in” of the effort and outcome. 

January 2017 Advocacy Actions: Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund, Children's Vision, Closing the SNAP Gap and Immigrant Health

Our overarching advocacy goals are to:

  1. Increase community awareness of “social determinants of health”;
  2. Build a broad based coalition to work towards eliminating or reducing barriers to social determinants of health; and
  3. Provide a voice and a vehicle for participation by the people most impacted by polices that either provide opportunity or barriers.

In collaboration with local and state health departments, PHC:

  • Educates policymakers about critical local public health issues.
  • Provides members with the latest updates on key public health issues and opportunities to take action.
  • Helps local health departments communicate the value of local public health with their own policymakers.

PHC is currently engaged in policy advocacy at the state and local level in oral health, food systems, and the built environment.

Examples:

  • Creation of the Better Oral Health for Massachusetts Coalition 
  • PHC trained neighborhood residents in its North End neighborhood to become community health advocates (CHA) and address neighborhood-level healthcare issues.  This CHA program has spun off and now delivers neighborhood-level outreach services under the auspices of a local Latino serving agency;
  • Covering Kids & Families, a coalition-based initiative that successfully connected children and families to publicly-funded health insurance;
  • Community Gardening Ordinance, PHC worked with the Springfield Food Policy Council to create and advocate for residents to have the opportunity to request usage of empty city owned lots for community gardens, the ordinance was passed by Springfield City Council in March 2012;
  • Bike lanes in Springfield - Live Well Springfield: Built Environment – Springfield's first ever bike lane was painted on Plum Tree Road;
  • Urban Agriculture and “Smart Design” are integrated into the new Zoning Ordinance passed this August by Springfield City Council.