The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has awarded the Burlington, Lexington, and Wilmington Boards of Health, together known as the Tri-Town Collaborative, a Public Health Excellence (PHE) grant in the amount of $300,000 per year for three years.
In August, 2016, the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health was created by a legislative resolve signed by Governor Charles Baker. The Commission was a 25-member body charged to “assess the effectiveness and efficiency of municipal and regional public health systems and to make recommendations regarding how to strengthen the delivery of public health services and preventive measures.” The Commission completed the Blueprint for Public Health Excellence report and one of the recommendations in this report was to increase cross-jurisdictional sharing of public health services to strengthen capacity. In April, 2020, the State Action for Public Health Excellence (SAPHE) Act was passed creating the Public Health Excellence Grant Program.
The grant will allow coalition municipalities to share resources and staff, such as a Health Inspector, Community Service Worker, Public Health Nurse, and Epidemiologist. Work conducted under the grant will augment the work currently being done by the three communities. Burlington will serve as the lead agency for the grant which includes responsibility for overall budget and program management and supervision of grant staff.
The Directors of Public Health and their respective Boards of Health will work together to carry out the recommendations outlined in the Blueprint report.
“I look forward to working with Lexington and Wilmington on pooling resources, functions, and expertise to further expand public health protections provided to our residents,” said Susan Lumenello, Burlington’s Director of Public Health. “This grant program will provide the resources needed for an additional workforce, stronger collaboration, and access to improved technology.”
The “Blueprint for Public Health Excellence: Recommendations for Improved Effectiveness and Efficiency of Local Public Health Protections” can be found here to download.