The work of each of the GLHA’s task forces, individually and collectively, is creating long-term improvements in specific health areas and the overall health of our community, with a focus on encouraging collaboration among member organizations. The Greater Lowell Health Alliance has formed six health-focused task forces —Substance Use and Prevention, Housing and the Built Environment, Behavioral Health, Maternal/Child Health, Wellness and Chronic Disease, and Health Equity – have adopted the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) as the driving force behind their efforts, creating working groups to set goals and develop action plans addressing specific areas of focus identified in the CHIP process.
These six task forces are made up entirely of community volunteers who take time from their full-time commitments to focus on the health of others. Even as the pandemic forced these groups to pivot to virtual or hybrid meetings, they did not ease up on their efforts.
Each task force has been developed to fulfill the following objectives:
- Establish criteria for identifying health issues that pose significant threat to the well-being of community residents.
- Adapt current available disease data to include specifics relevant to the community to assess needs and measure improvement.
- Identify/inventory individual health-related efforts of leading organizations.
- Identify/evaluate opportunities where healthcare services are not being provided, and develop strategies to address high-priority needs
- Research and adopt, when appropriate, best practice, evidence-based initiatives that have proven successful in altering behaviors of specific populations as related to documented incidence of specific diseases or other health-related issues in the community.
- Develop integrated, collaborative action plans to increase and enhance both qualitative and quantitative measures of success.
- Provide leadership in creating expanded partnerships within the community network of healthcare providers to achieve specific measures in meeting goals.
- Identify, explore and expand opportunities for funding targeted initiatives.