Evaluation of substance use disorder (SUD) equity programs at Boston community health centers

Client: Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (MassLeague)
Topic Areas: Behavioral health and substance use; Healthcare delivery systems
Service: Participatory Evaluation

ICH is evaluating a substance use disorder (SUD) equity multi-year (2023 – 2027) grant program, funded by Mass General Brigham (MGB) and run by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (MassLeague). The goal of the program is to increase access to and retention in effective, culturally responsive substance use treatment and recovery services among Black, Latine, Native and tribal-identifying people in Boston. MassLeague is partnering with ICH to evaluate the process and outcomes of the grant activities among six selected community health centers in the Greater Boston area. The equity grant focuses on three key areas: (1) engaging communities and developing community partnerships; (2) developing and expanding substance use services; and (3) developing welcoming workspaces that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).  

ICH will conduct a longitudinal mixed-method evaluation, combining quantitative and qualitative data to expand the scope of inquiry and tell a deeper story of the program and its impacts. Quantitative data collection activities include initial and end-of-project capacity assessments, quarterly progress reports, staff surveys, new patient surveys, and tracking of community engagement efforts. Qualitative data collection activities include individual interviews and focus groups with a variety of stakeholders. The results from the evaluation will be shared with participating community health centers to inform their work towards grant-funded goals, as well as with MassLeague and MGB to inform their understanding of outcomes and impacts resulting from the grant program.