Building healthy communities is a shared responsibility. Partners for a
Healthier Community has mounted a combined effort involving all sectors of
our communities - - community residents, health professionals, government,
business leaders, clergy, and schools - - to improve the health and quality
of life for all residents of Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, and Westport.
Our effort mirrors similar projects in communities across the nation and
around the world - people coming together to work cooperatively to solve
problems and improve the health and quality of life for the entire
community. A healthy community is one that is continually creating and
improving itself to ensure a healthy environment for all residents.
Partners has adopted the World Health
Organization's description of a healthy community:
of community participation in all aspects of community life;
services which focus on prevention and staying healthy;
non-violent and safe community environment;
and educational opportunities for all;
for a Healthier Community is Number 25 of the 27 CHNAs organized by the Department
of Public Health (DPH) across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The
goal of Partners is to establish a working partnership between DPH and area
residents to improve health status in the four communities of Fall River,
Somerset, Swansea and Westport.
Since its inception, Partners has been a catalyst in bringing new healthcare
and related resources to the Greater Fall River area. The Well Women Project
and the Medi-Call Programs were awarded to Fall River with the support of
Partners. In 1998, Partners was awarded a grant from the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts to establish a "Master Community Action Plan" (MCAP)
for the community. Through the MCAP process, Partners has engaged the
community in a strategic planning process to improve coordination of health
Partners for a Healthier Community has repeatedly and successfully mobilized
community resources to address identified community health needs. It is our
vision to expand resources and services to better meet the needs of all
residents in the Greater Fall River area and ultimately build a healthier
community. The most recent example of that effort is embodied in the Healthy
City Fall River initiative, a nationally-recognized model of community
Partners is a not-for-profit
corporation in Massachusetts (Partnership for a Healthier Community,
Inc.*) governed by a 15-25 member Steering Committee elected bienally by
the general membership at its annual meeting held in the Fall of each year (see By-Laws).
Officers of the Steering Committee are elected bi-annually by members of the
Steering Committee. Standing committees of Partners include Nominating, Membership,
By-Laws, Inter-CHNA and Finance committees. Ad hoc committees are
appointed as needed.
The work of
Partners is performed in task forces or Task
Forces designated by the Steering Committee to focus on one area of
concern identified through a periodic needs assessment process. Membership
on the Task Forces is open to any person who has an interest in working on
the designated issues.
Partners was funded by the Harvard-Pilgrim
Healthcare Foundation for the first year of operations for the Healthy
City Fall River initiative. This project is a collaborative effort with
the Mayor's Office of the City of Fall
River to improve the overall health and quality of life of those who
live and work in the City using the Healthy Cities model adopted by the
World Health Organization.
Since that time,
Partners for a
Healthier Community, Inc. has received funds for Innovative Community Activities
from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Determination of Need
(DON) linkage funds from
Magnetic Resonance Imaging agencies: Shields Healthcare, Southeastern
Massachusetts MRI, Saint Anne's Hospital, and Southcoast Hospitals Group.
works collaboratively with its members to develop grants that will bring in
funds to support prevention and health initiatives in the Greater Fall River
Area. The Children
In Balance Project, the Healthy
Lives Program, and the Mass
In Motion Project are three examples of our achievements in bringing in
more than $750,000 to the community since 2007.