BPHC logoIn partnership with the South End Healthy Boston Coalition, the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH), and the Blackstone Community Center, we will be hosting a special community health meeting in the South End to discuss the health of residents in the neighborhood and to facilitate a strategic planning process to create a healthier community. The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, at the Blackstone Community Center, located at 50 W. Brookline St. in the South End.

The South End meeting is the first in a series of citywide health forums this year. It is an opportunity for people living and working in the community to discuss ways they can contribute to building a healthier South End and to determine the factors that help promote safety and reduce crime and substance abuse. In particular, attendees will participate in an assessment of the external trends impacting community health as part of a citywide and neighborhood-level planning process led by BACH and BPHC.

“We are excited about the opportunity to come together with the community to think about many of the factors that impact health in the neighborhood,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of BPHC. “We know that understanding and addressing root causes is a must when it comes to making our neighborhoods healthier.”

Mayor Menino recently released Health of Boston: A Neighborhood Focus, the latest in a series of annual reports profiling trends in the health of Boston residents using approximately thirty indicators for the city as a whole and for individual neighborhoods. This year’s report represents the most comprehensive presentation of neighborhood-level health data to date. The full report, complete with interactive maps and a companion publication on health equity, is available at www.bphc.org.

On average, the South End is a young, well-educated neighborhood. Over half its residents are between the ages of 18 to 44, and 53 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Adults in the neighborhood are slightly less likely to smoke cigarettes or to have asthma and slightly more likely to exercise regularly compared to Boston overall. However, substance abuse deaths and rates of emergency department visits for nonfatal violence remain challenges for the community.

BPHC, the South End Healthy Boston Coalition, and BACH look forward to engaging residents of the neighborhood in the assessment and to sharing data about the health of the community and factors contributing to it in order to collaborate on building a healthier South End.

“The coalition looks forward to this opportunity to share the results of our assessment and continue learning from residents from throughout the community about what impacts their health,” said Caitlin Johnson, coordinator of the South End Healthy Boston Coalition.

The event is free and open to the public. Residents of all ages, providers, organizations, youth groups, parents, seniors, and concerned local leaders are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Pam Jones at 617-534-7195 or pjones at bphc dot org or Caitlin Johnson at Caitlin.v.johnson at gmail dot com.