WORCESTER DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH / CENTRAL MASS REGIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH ALLIANCE

The Central Mass Regional Public Health Alliance is a coalition of seven municipalities (towns of Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, and the City of Worcester) working cooperatively to create a sustain a viable, cost-effective and labor-efficient regional public health district. The regional health district provides a comprehensive array of services to partner municipalities through a single organization managed by Worcester’s Division of Public Health. The inspiration to develop a regional alliance arose from the considerable disparity in size, available resources, and kinds and types of resources offered by each municipally. 

The Alliance is governed by a regional council comprised of Board of Health members from each municipality, town administrators, and members of the public health staff. 

 

 

COMMUNITY HEALTH

WDPH/Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance works to improve the health of the community by addressing the policies, systems, and environments that inform health. By addressing policies, systems, and environments, CMRPHA staff works to prevent injury, illness, and preventable health conditions.

WDPH/CMRPHA seeks to become the healthiest region by 2020. Public health plays a critical role in creating a solid infrastructure for our community’s healthcare system. A healthy community is more than merely an absence of disease; a healthy community includes those elements that enable people to maintain a high quality of life and productivity. A healthy community has adequate services to meet the needs of people and provides a safe, healthy environment for children to grow up and thrive. Public health’s role and responsibility is to preserve the safety and promote prevention of disease in our community. Current programs include: 

  • Community Health Improvement Plan                  
  • Community Health Assessment                                                                      
  • Mass in Motion Worcester 
  • Mental Health
  • Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Worcester Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (W.A.A.S.E.)
  • Youth Health Action Committee

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

The Environmental Health program of the Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance provides housing and sanitary inspections to protect the public’s safety by ensuring sanitary conditions are upheld. Program officers are tasked with enforcing all federal, state and local environmental health regulations.

The Environmental Health program conducts routine food inspections of restaurants, grocery stores, schools, nursing homes etc. In addition, inspectors are responsible for inspecting swimming pools, beaches, tattoo, piercing and tanning facilities, and responding to complaints regarding air, noise, and odor pollution.

 

HEALTH & MEDICAL PREPAREDNESS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Worcester Division of Public Health has been actively involved in public health emergency preparedness planning since 2002 and in 2008, the City’s Division of Public Health established the Office of Health & Medical Preparedness. The office is responsible for educating the community on how to prepare for an emergency. 

In addition to providing education, the Office of Health and Medical Preparedness oversees many preparedness projects for both the City of Worcester and the 74 towns of the central Massachusetts region.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH NURSING

 

The control of infectious diseases in the region is the responsibility of the Office of Epidemiology and Health Protection. Epidemiology is the scientific analysis of staff are responsible for tracking and investigating health problems and hazards in the region. They gather and analyze data on the community’s health to determine risks and problems. Epidemics, food borne illnesses and hazardous conditions are identified and contained. This also includes the implementation of preventive measures to make the community safer.

Infectious diseases constitute a continuing threat to the public’s health. They cause illness, suffering and death, and place an enormous financial burden on society. Although some infectious diseases have been controlled by modern technological advances, new diseases are still emerging. Under M.G.L. Chapter 111, suspected and/or confirmed cases of diseases dangerous to the public’s health must be reported to the local Board of Health and/or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). Reporting disease occurrences enables the Public Health staff to monitor trends, detect and control outbreaks and evaluate prevention activities. Our Public Health nurses regularly collect important information on all reported diseases as part of routine disease investigations. Investigation may involve a visit to the patient’s home, a telephone call and/or a follow-up letter. The nurses also provide case management services to clients with tuberculosis disease and direct observed therapy (DOT) to clients on tuberculosis medications.