Search Our Site
The Institute for Community Health (ICH) also supports a variety of initiatives in the community, a selection of which are profiled below.
Healthy Children Task Force
A COALITION DEVOTED TO PROMOTING CHILDREN’S HEALTH IN CAMBRIDGE
Co-Chairs: Dr. David Link, Chief of Pediatrics, Cambridge Health Alliance and Mayor Henrietta Davis
The Healthy Children Task Force (HCTF) is a Cambridge based community coalition organized in 1990 to promote children’s health in Cambridge. Participants include the school department, human service agencies, parents, Cambridge community members, graduate students, medical and public health professions, and local government. The task force seeks to build community capacity to address health issues affecting Cambridge children and families, through resource, program and policy development, and education, evaluation and research. Taskforce participants work individually within their organizations and collaboratively with other HCTF members to implement the “work” identified by the group. The priorities for the past several years have focused on promoting mental health, healthy eating, and active living – with a particular emphasis on the intersection of these issues with school achievement.
Over the course of the last two decades, HCTF has celebrated numerous successes:
- nutrition (food service, gardening, local foods)
- physical activity (PE enhancement, parks and playgrounds, walk to school, handbook of physical activities in Cambridge)
- physical inactivity (Turn off TV campaign)
- obesity prevention: (5-2-1 promotion, screening, programming, policy, handbook of clinical obesity services)
- dental screening and clinical program development
- mental health visioning and programming (after school programs, wellness campaigns, centralized lists of services, grant development).
Real World Public Health
Real World Public Health is an annual half-day interactive seminar co-sponsored by the Cambridge Public Health Department and the Institute for Community Health and geared toward Boston-area students interested in public health careers. Led by local public health experts, the event gives students the opportunity to discuss current scenarios with local leaders and learn more about the “real life” challenges and opportunities involved in local public health, beyond their classroom training. Events have included career panels of local public health leaders and practitioners, interactive workshops on issues such as cultural competency, health disparities, or youth health, and networking breakfast and lunch sessions.
Pictured: ICH Research Associate Jessica Waggett, MPH sharing her experiences as a public health professional with students at Real World Public Health Day 2012.