Mission and Vision Statement:
The Allston Brighton Health Collaborative (ABHC) is a collaboration of organizations devoted to working together to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of the Boston neighborhoods of Allston and Brighton. We maintain broad goals and an inclusive strategy in order to:
– Understand neighborhood social determinants of health and their impacts
– Through ABHC members, engage with residents in dialogue and strategic planning around the assessment and response to unmet community needs
– Support the assessment of and response to unmet community health and wellness needs
– Support and promote the work of individual ABHC members and their constituents to reduce health disparities and increase healthy living.
In June 2011, the Allston Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force applied for and received funding to conduct a community assessment process through the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH). The Task Force sought to explore the impact of a number of community health issues in Allston Brighton, (including but not limited to substance abuse prevention), and actively recruited new representatives from various sectors of the community. This wider group came to be known as the Allston Brighton Health Collaborative.
Data collected through the community assessment process found a lack of community cohesion with limited interaction between organizations and a lack of shared community pride and/or knowledge of local resources. Additionally, community members discussed the impact of the built environment on physical activity. Residents described a lack of access to adequate green space as well as difficulty for pedestrians and cyclists in accessing the Charles River and downtown Boston. Participants also talked about their lack of access to healthy and convenient foods.
In 2013, Determination of Need funds from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center were earmarked to build infrastructure to support the newly-formed Allston Brighton Health Collaborative. The first Coordinator was hired in 2014.