Malden Community Health Improvement is an innovative partnership between Cambridge Health Alliance, Malden Health Department, and the Malden community that works collaboratively to improve the health of Malden residents. This initiative is guided by the principles of Healthy Communities:
- A broad definition of health that goes beyond the absence of disease to address root cause issues in communities;
- A collaborative, consensus-based approach to problem-solving that involves a diverse group of people from the community;
- An assets approach that defines people and relationships based on their skills and abilities rather than their needs and deficits;
- Addressing our challenging at a broad systems level rather than doing another short-term, low impact project;
- Benchmarking and measuring progress and outcomes;
- Realizing shared community values and projecting those values into a compelling vision of the future;
Malden Community Health Improvement recognizes that health is greatly influenced by many things around us, including social, economic, political, and environmental factors as well as our own behaviors.
We are collecting, assessing, and disseminating community health data; community visioning, coordinating systems change efforts, and facilitating coalition development. The Malden Health Improvement Manager also serves as Co-Director of the Community Medicine Curriculum with the Tufts University Family Medicine Residency.
We support community coalitions that work on issues which affect health and quality of life such as substance abuse prevention, youth development, youth health and wellbeing, HIV/AIDS Prevention, nutrition and physical activity promotion, and environmental change and improvement.
Since its inception in late 2007, Malden Community Health Improvement has been collaborated with coalitions and task forces, the Malden Public Schools, as well as with local government agencies. Malden Community Health improvement has collaborated in grant preparations to increase the capacity of local agencies to meet identified needs. Major efforts have included leading a joint effort to better understand and address acculturation-related stress among the Chinese American population, coordination of both the Malden-Everett HIV/AIDS Taskforce and the Wellbeing of Malden Youth Roundtable.
Malden Community Health Improvement produced the Well-Being of Malden Youth report in January 2010 and is currently in the process of developing a Guide to Malden Community Groups and Coalitions.