Springfield Holyoke Health Alliance for Research and Engagement (SHHARE)

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences and its community partners launched the Springfield/Holyoke Health Alliance for Research and Engagement (SHHARE) to foster collaboration between the School and the Holyoke and Springfield communities in addressing health issues. Community partners who joined the SPHHS initiative included:

  • Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
  • Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council
  • Western Mass Center for Healthy Communities
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • UMass-Springfield Partnership
  • Live Well Springfield
  • Holyoke Community College

The SPHHS and SHHARE are focused on building relationships with Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) as a foundation ensuring mutual respect and goals, and are committed to involving community members at the earliest stages possible in planning events, writing grants, etc.

Since its initial meeting in Spring 2010, the SPHHS and SHHARE have:

  • Held forums in Holyoke and Springfield with SHHARE members and community representatives in order to raise awareness of existing community efforts. These forums have highlighted the work of the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, Gardening the Community and Men of Color Health Awareness, both in Springfield.
  • Created a Who’s Who in Public Health in Western MA database.
  • Funded 11 internships placed in community health organizations, through a unique “Request for Intern”(RFI).
  • Established a webpage dedicated to serving the area campuses and the community for publicizing the many community health activities and for creating a database of internships in the region and state.

These partnerships are providing us all—campus and community—new ways to address health issues through research, grant opportunities, education and dissemination.

For more information contact Elaine Puleo at epuleo@schoolph.umass.edu or Risa Silverman at risa@schoolph.umass.edu.