Western Massachusetts Health Equity Summit

The SPHHS organized and co-sponsored the second Western Mass Health Equity Summit on November 18, 2016, in the UMass Amherst Campus Center. The event brought practitioners and community leaders together to take steps to advance health equity in the region by working, learning, and taking action together. The summit was geared toward a wide range of practitioners, professionals, young adults, and community leaders. Summit organizers were inspired by a vision of health equity in which all residents of the four western Massachusetts counties are able to achieve well-being because unjust and avoidable obstacles are replaced with equitable policies and practices. The summit encouraged attendees to take information back to work in their own communities, as well as join a network to address regional issues to make positive and lasting change.

This year's summit included a discussion by the 10-member Coalition of Western Mass Hospitals/Insurers regarding their 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and the Berkshire County Health Initiative. Organizers also showcased best practices from all four western counties including data and stories on equity and our aging communities, youth mental health, transportation access, food access, and more. Afternoon workshops included a look at policy, power analysis, intro to health equity, health literacy, community-based participatory research, and other relevant topics.

State Representative Aaron Vega of Holyoke delivered the keynote address. (Watch the video here.)

Below are links to the presentations made at the 2016 Summit:

Health Equity Reflections

Community Health Needs Assessments

Best Practices

To learn more, visit the Summit website.