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2022/23 Community Health Needs Assessment Identifies Public Health Priorities in Region

December 16, 2022

The most pressing health issues across Greater Lowell include mental health, chronic health and wellness and substance use, according to the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

The CHNA report was introduced at the Greater Lowell Health Alliance (GLHA) at its annual meeting on Friday, November 4 at Greater Lowell Technical High School, where 2022/23 grant recipients were also announced.

The CHNA is produced by the GLHA every three years and identifies the top health priorities in the Greater Lowell region, as well as each individual community (Billerica, Chelmsford, Dunstable, Lowell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough and Westford). The report will serve as a roadmap for the next Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which guides public health funding from the GLHA and Lowell General Hospital.

This year’s 130-page report is the product of 2,055 survey responses, 26 focus groups and 30 key informant interviews, as well as data collection and analysis. It identified the top 10 health priorities as, in order:

  1. Mental health
  2. Chronic health and wellness, including heart health and nutrition
  3. Substance and alcohol use
  4. COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
  5. Reproductive, sexual and pregnancy health
  6. Lung and breathing health
  7. Cancer
  8. Infant and child health
  9. Environmental health
  10. Violence

The report was authored by Hannah Tello, PhD, as well as Kerrie D’Entremont, Devon Goldberg, MPH, and Amanda Clermont, all of the GLHA. The GLHA is primarily funded by Lowell General Hospital.

In addition, the GLHA awarded a total of $355,000 in grants at its annual meeting to 13 separate organizations, the largest grant funding in its history. The grants will support efforts to address public health priorities like behavioral health, maternal child health, wellness and chronic disease, housing and built environments, safety and violence and infectious disease.

This year’s grant recipients are: Casa Esperanza (Conexiones Transportation Project), Chelmsford Senior Center (Stay at Home program), Community Teamwork Inc. (Youth Services Family Foundations Program), Eliot Church (Day Center), Ellie Fund (Equitable Pathways to Breast Cancer Care), International Institute of NE (Greater Lowell Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Initiative), Ironstone Farm (Home Base -Two Day Overnight Retreats), Lowell Community Health Center (Let’s Talk about Healthy Relationships Project), MAPS (Greater Lowell PortugueseLanguage Short Term Mental Health Counseling), Merrimack Valley Food Bank (Gryphon Market After-School Culinary Program at GLTHS), Mill City Grows (Food Policy Council: Community Led Improvements to Nutritious Food Access), THRIVE (Reentry Housing Services) and YWCA (Spanish Speaking Women’s Health Connections).

You can view the 2022 Greater Lowell Community Health Needs Assessment. If you would like a printed copy, contact Will Courtney, Media and Public Relations Manager.

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