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Hallmark Health System Community Benefits Programs
Hallmark Health System is committed to improving the quality of healthcare we provide to residents, in our hospitals, medical centers, and in community settings. We also welcome the opportunity to promote the health and well-being of our communities and to identify and assist those residents that are most in need; especially vulnerable residents with complex health needs and social, economic, and environmental disadvantages. From the front door of our hospitals and health centers to the frontline in the community, we remain confident and steadfast in our commitment to changing the face of healthcare to best serve the residents of our service area.
Hallmark Health System is in the process of collecting primary and secondary data to identify the health care needs of the communities we serve and to help people gain the tools and knowledge they need to make healthy choices and lead healthy lives. In addition to a wide variety of programs focusing on basic health concerns, we also offer creative approaches targeting the specific health concerns of some of our most vulnerable populations.
Mobile Food Market
Please complete our Community Health Survey. Any personal information you share will be kept confidential. Your feedback is very important in helping us to plan future programs that best meet the needs of the community.
Please answer the questions as best as you can. Your answers are anonymous. If there are any questions you don’t want to answer, you can leave them blank.
You can complete the survey online, download a paper copy of the survey or have a survey sent to you by contacting Nancy Ward in Community Services at (781) 338-7556 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also mail the survey to: Hallmark Health System, Community Services, 239 Commercial St., Suite 141, Malden, MA 02148.
Translated Community Health Surveys
Hallmark Health System Community Benefits Mission Statement
Hallmark Health System, Inc. is committed to building and sustaining a strong, vibrant and healthy community. Hallmark Health dedicates appropriate resources to collaborations with community partners and the utilization of community member’s input toward improving health services. Hallmark Health pledges to act as a resource and to work with the community during emergencies; improve access to care; identify, monitor, and address the unique health care needs within its core communities; and promote healthier lifestyles for residents through health education and prevention activities“Connecting and Caring for New Mothers”. This MiniGrant project is funded through the Northwest Suburban Health Alliance/ CHNA 15 DoN funds from Lahey Clinic.
The primary areas of focus and the target populations for the Community Benefits Plan are detailed below:
Community Benefits Priorities, the Target Populations
After careful review of data and community input, the following target populations were prioritized to receive services in 2013:
• The community at-large to be prepared for disasters and emergencies, both natural and man-made, such as seasonal and pandemic flu or accidents involving large numbers of victims.
• Local community groups and health care systems, collaborating to avoid duplication of efforts and provide services to those most in need.
• Residents needing access to health care especially focused on uninsured or underserved residents of our core communities. This includes the recruitment, education, and training of nurses, physicians, other practitioners, and community members needed to care for these populations. It also includes research, as appropriate to enhance access to health care and improve health services.
• Low to moderate income, underserved elderly in our communities, especially those living in the communities of Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Saugus, Stoneham, and Wakefield.
• Families with children/adolescents at risk due to poverty, isolation, language or cultural barriers, domestic violence, access to care issues, or lack of skills to navigate the health care system, lack of early prenatal care or those in need of developing parenting skills. These efforts will focus especially on families in Malden, Medford, Melrose, Saugus, Everett, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester, Burlington, and Woburn.
• Residents of all ages and their families coping with a variety of behavioral health issues.
• Residents at risk for developing cardiovascular disease or those experiencing health issues due to undiagnosed or poorly understood cardiovascular risks, including those at risk for developing Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and for suffering a stroke. *
• Community members at risk for developing diabetes or with diabetes management issues. This includes identification and treatment of gestational diabetes.*
• Community members at risk for developing cancer or being treated for cancer, with a focus on lung cancer, colorectal cancer, oral, head and neck cancer, breast cancer, and skin cancer.
• Men and women at risk for developing bone and joint injuries or disease with a focus on injury prevention for all ages, specifically falls prevention, arthritis and osteoporosis prevention and detection, and prevention of sports injuries- including head injury in youth*.
• Men, women, and children with weight management issues, with a specific focus on obesity prevention for adults and children.
• Haitian and Haitian/American families; based on public health data these efforts will focus especially on families living in Everett, Malden, and Medford and relief efforts for residents of the country of Haiti
• Residents impacted by Tuberculosis, especially those residing in Everett, Malden, and Medford.
*Due to the pervasive scope of these target populations, the focus area is primarily on the eight CHNA 16 communities including Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Saugus, Stoneham and Wakefield. For many of the programs, emphasis will be placed on serving those residents that are underserved due to socio-economic factors, age (elderly and children) or other health disparities such as cultural or language barriers.
Supporting Health Care Reform:
Despite the success of health reform in Massachusetts, there are still residents that do not have health insurance for a variety of reasons. Virtually all elders are covered by the Medicare Program, but there are still adults and children that are uninsured, and many residents forego health care services due to high co-payments and deductibles. Based on a March 2013 study published by the Urban Institute and The Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, many of the uninsured are living in families with income below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Most will be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized coverage under changes associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. These uninsured individuals are younger adults, males, Hispanics, and those with language and perhaps literacy issues. Another important group is low-income uninsured workers that are not currently eligible for Commonwealth Care because of the offer of coverage through their employer; but also not able to realistically afford the coverage offered through their workplace. In our service area it is estimated that there over 12,000 adults and 900 children without coverage.
In 2012, Hallmark Health Financial Counselors completed 2,251 applications for individuals in the state health programs; such as Mass Health programs, Commonwealth Care, Children’s Medical Security Plan, Healthy Start and the Health Safety Net. This does not include interactions that did not result in an application. Hallmark Health System Financial Navigators also helped patients to enroll in SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and other social service programs. In addition, these Navigators attended more than twenty (20) community outreach events to assist participants and provide enrollment information. Other services provided to residents include advocating for residents, making appointments, and procuring other services such as providing information about the Mobile Food Market. Billing and collections practices are also posted on the system web site.
Another important component of supporting health reform was the need to educate and train high quality professionals to deliver health care. In 2012, Hallmark Health System continued to operate the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College School of Nursing and Radiography Programs. Continuing medical education was offered to physicians, nurses and other health professions, and community members; many of these sessions focused on topics related to the target populations.
Mentoring opportunities were made available for high school students, nursing students and other health professionals from a variety of colleges and high schools, offering the chance for young adults to explore health care as a career option, or to train as nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, physical therapists and in other health professions.
Reducing Health Disparities:
Massachusetts residents of color face disproportionately higher rates of morbidity and mortality than residents of the state as a whole. Health disparities exist in racial and ethnic groups, in the gay, lesbian and transgender populations, for the chronically mentally ill, for the developmentally and physically handicapped, and through the impact of poverty; especially for children and the elderly.
Over that past few years, Hallmark Health System has made a concerted effort to reach out to organizations that have had success in reaching residents impacted by health disparities. Hallmark Health System has strengthened its role at the Community Health Network Areas (CHNA 15 and 16), acting both in leader and member roles. In CHNA 16, the North Suburban Health Alliance, serving most of the region surrounding our hospitals, Hallmark Health System continues to share the lead role with Cambridge Health Alliance. HHS is also represented at the regional CHNA meetings which also include CHNA 13 and 14.
Hallmark Health System has increased its connections to agencies that work with underserved populations such as the Chinese Culture Connection, the YWCA of Malden, and the Tri-city Community Action Program (Tri-Cap). Hallmark Health System is also fully committed to expanding the cultural congruency of our health system. Since our initial work with the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Culture InSight Team, through a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation grant in 2007, HHS has instituted a Diversity Committee which continues to meet quarterly and is led by the System Vice President of Human Resources. New hire orientation continues to include an introduction to the HHS Diversity Program and the Interpreter Services Program. Annual competency is maintained through a mandatory online training session.
Hallmark Health programs that support the needs of the diverse communities in our service area include programs such as “Meet.Mingle.Mammogram”, a multi-part educational, support, and screening program designed to serve diverse women in Burlington, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn. This program, formerly funded by the Massachusetts affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, allows the staff of Hallmark Health to educate young women, aged 20 to 39 years about the importance of breast health and breast cancer prevention strategies, offers navigation services to any woman in the community needing support in scheduling her annual mammogram, and provides special screening events for diverse women. The program is offered in partnership with other local agencies such as the Malden YWCA Encore Plus program.
In Malden, HHS received funding from the Marshall Foundation for The Malden Elder Asian Diabetes Health Project. For the Hallmark Health System catchment area, not including childbirth, the top three causes of hospitalization are related to diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and circulatory system disorders. The data also shows that Asian-Americans have a higher risk of having diabetes when compared to Asians who remained in their country of origin.
To build community awareness about the impact of diabetes, our Program Coordinator wrote diabetes articles for a multi-part series “Managing Your Diabetes” which the Sampan newspaper published. The paper also advertised our events to an even wider audience. The Chinese Culture Connection helped with the translation of a phone message in Chinese, and provided information about the programs during community outreach activities. Screening and education was also offered through the multi-session programs.
Improving Chronic Disease Management:
Many factors contribute to the rapidly rising rates of chronic disease, both locally and across the country. These include such diverse factors as poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, inherited conditions, and exposure to tobacco. In addition, the nationwide obesity epidemic has also led to a marked increase in many chronic diseases. The impact of these illnesses is on the individual, their family and friends, and on the community. As well as affecting an individual’s quality of life, these diseases also have a long term financial impact on the community.
In the Hallmark Health service area cardiovascular disease, diabetes, long-term cancers, bone and joint diseases, such as osteoporosis and arthritis, and substance abuse and mental illnesses, such as depression bring health challenges for area residents to cope with every day. To assist residents in identifying and coping with these diseases, Hallmark Health offers a variety of services and programs such as support groups for elder caregivers, residents with diabetes and those faced with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. In addition the hospital provides education and screening, including self-management programs for diabetics through the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other self-management programs for chronic diseases through the evidenced-based “My Life, My Health” program, developed by Stanford University. In the Hallmark Health service area, Cambridge Health Alliance, Mystic Valley Elder Services, and Hallmark Health have collaborated to offer the My Life, My Health programs in a strategic way to residents.
One of Hallmark Health System’s signature programs, the Senior Citizen’s Outreach Program offers nursing services such as nursing assessments and referrals, blood pressure screenings, individual health conferences, and multi-session classes to area residents. Education programs are provided on topics ranging from healthy aging, blood pressure and diabetes management to coping with stress. The program is staffed by a registered nurse specializing in the chronic diseases facing older adults.
Promoting Wellness in Vulnerable Populations:
For Hallmark Health, three (3) populations have been identified as especially vulnerable. These include low to moderate income elders; families with children/adolescents at risk due to poverty, isolation, language or cultural barriers, domestic violence, lack of knowledge or skills to navigate the health care system, or those in need of developing parenting skills; and the un-served and underserved community members suffering from behavior health issues. These populations are at risk for abuse and neglect, lack of preventative care leading to poor health outcomes, and are often the segment of society living at or below the poverty level.
For the past fifteen years, Hallmark Health System has provided the Healthy Families home-visiting program for first-time parents age 20 and under living in Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield. Funded by the Children’s Trust Fund and supported by Hallmark Health, Healthy Families offers free services for participants and their families during pregnancy and until the child turns three. Services include home visiting, mentoring, role modeling, prenatal and parenting education, parenting activities and groups for young parents, and connecting families with community services and resources. In addition, educational classes such as prenatal classes, infant care, CPR, and First Aid are also provided.
In 2012, Hallmark Health System received additional funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to expand these important services in Everett, considered one of the seventeen most high risk cities in Massachusetts. In Everett, the model serves first time young parents age 22 and under. In the first five months of operations, the program has hired four new staff members, fully served 10 families, and had 12 referrals.
Another successful Hallmark Health long-term prevention program is the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network (NSCFRN), a community-based parenting education and support program that serves families living or working in Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield as well as other local communities. In 2012, the Network, funded by a grant through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, offered parent/child play and learn groups focused on improving literacy, parenting education programs, support groups, family fun activities, as well as information on resources and referrals. Specific programs were also offered for grandparents and fathers. The Network is administered through a partnership between Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield Public Schools and Hallmark Health. The program also provides support for childcare providers. Parents and community representatives assist with fundraising, community outreach, and program development. In 2012, the program served over 750 unduplicated families.
In 2012, Hallmark Health System was chosen by the Everett Public Schools to mentor them in their Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Hallmark Health System donates space for programs, has a lead role on the Everett Early Child Committee, and provides “play and learn” groups and support programs for families with young children.
Community Benefits Program Stories or linkages:
Healthy Families and MA
Hallmark Health System Regional Substance Use Coalition
Community Benefits Programs and Activities
In 2013, the Hallmark Health Community Benefits programs and activities cover a wide range of services designed to meet the health needs of local residents. In most instances, the Hallmark Health Community Benefits programs align closely with the core service lines of Hallmark Health System, while addressing the statewide priorities of supporting health care reform, reducing health disparities, improving chronic disease management, and promoting wellness in vulnerable populations.
Clinical staff and administrators participate in local, regional, and state activities, including drills aimed at preparing for a range of natural and other disasters such as pandemic flu and other health emergencies. Hallmark Health System (HHS) also serves as a receiving facility for victims of emergencies and natural disasters as needed. This includes the following activities:
• HHS partners with the American Red Cross to host blood drives annually.
• HHS collaborates with our communities to provide education and support for seasonal Flu Clinics in the core Hallmark Health communities. (This also includes the work of the Hallmark Health Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice.) Other immunizations and Tuberculosis testing are provided in a limited way, as requested to meet unmet needs.
• Hallmark Health System also participates in community-oriented CPR training programs in collaboration with local agencies.
• American Heart Association “Family and Friends CPR Anytime” is offered at local high schools in collaboration with community partners. Students are encouraged to train additional family and friends using the kits provided.
• An annual dinner and training is offered to the local first responder groups in the area.
• HHS continues to support the City of Melrose’s Ambulance Program, providing local ambulance service in collaboration with Cataldo Ambulance. Medical oversight for this program is provided by Hallmark Health System. In 2012, an Advanced Life Support Program was also added. One of HHS Emergency Department physicians acts as the Medical Director for the program.
• The Emergency Department continues to provide “just-in-time” education sessions for ambulance company providers. These programs focus on helping Emergency Medical Providers to be better prepared in emergencies by using strategies such as hypothetical case discussions.
• File of Life activities are supported as requested in local communities; such as providing support to the File of Life Committee in Medford, especially with reaching out to Haitian Creole speaking residents.
• The Emergency Planning Team also works to identify the specific needs of underserved populations and to develop policies and strategies to address these needs as appropriate.
Collaboration in the community is an integral component of Hallmark Health’s Community Benefits mission. These efforts assist the agency in identifying community needs, allow for sharing of resources and innovations, and better serve community residents by preventing duplication of services. These include the following:
• Support membership and leadership activities on boards of local coalitions supporting the Community Benefits Plan of Hallmark Health, such as board level membership on the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV), the Medford Council on Aging, the Reading Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, and others as appropriate.
• Provide meeting space for community groups with interests aligned with our mission and Community Benefits Plan, for example, the Portal to Hope Domestic Violence Prevention program is afforded space in one of the hospital’s offsite locations. Portal to Hope is a non-profit agency dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence and advocating for legislative changes to support these victims.
• Sponsor community programs that are aligned with the Community Benefits Plan. In August of 2012 for example, Hallmark Health System partnered with the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and one of the largest food banks in the country, on a monthly mobile food market to address the lack of access to healthy food for low-income families in several area communities.
• Continue ongoing outreach activities to identify new or unknown community agencies that support Community Benefits target populations, especially those focused on grass roots and faith-based organizations.
• Provide limited ongoing support for the Haitian-American population in this service area and to the country of Haiti, based on assessed need and available resources.
• Reach out to other local health care systems, such as Cambridge Health Alliance, Winchester Hospital, and others, to explore ways to work collaboratively, avoiding unnecessary duplication of services.
• Regularly attend Community Health Network Area (CHNA) meetings.
• Identify and secure resources as appropriate to fund community benefits programs; this includes grant writing, securing restricted donations, and fundraising.
• Devote resources to completing a Community Health Needs Assessment and utilize the information gained toward developing programs and activities to address the identified needs, especially focused on underserved and vulnerable populations.
Access to Care and Health Professionals Education
Hallmark Health ensures area residents have access to health services as appropriate. This includes the recruitment, education, and training of nurses, physicians, other practitioners, and community workers needed to care for these populations.
• Hallmark Health Financial Counselors support individuals to enroll and re-enroll in the distinctive state health programs; such as Mass Health, Commonwealth Care, Children’s Medical Security Plan, Healthy Start and the Health Safety Net; information regarding enrollment in other ancillary support services such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is also offered. Outreach and education to uninsured residents is provided, as resources allow.
• Interpreter service availability, in accordance with Hallmark Health System policy, is advertised publicly in conjunction with financial counseling services. Services provided over and above those required are tracked.
• As an organization, Hallmark Health System recruits and strives to retain diverse staff. Hallmark Health also recruits diverse medical staff to meet community needs.
• Training for nursing and radiology students from the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College School of Nursing/ Medical Radiology is provided; including students who represent diverse communities. Both faculty and students in the nursing and radiology programs are offered opportunities to engage in community activities. Both schools provide scholarship opportunities for community residents to be trained in the health professions, as eligible.
• Mentoring opportunities are made available for nursing and radiology students from Salem State, Lawrence Memorial/Regis College, and others; for nutrition students from Tufts University, Framingham State, and other colleges at the North Suburban WIC Program and at Hallmark Health Nutrition Services; and in other health disciplines such as pharmacy, where students from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences receive mentoring and a pharmacy residency program is also made available. Students in other disciplines are also mentored as resources allow.
• High School (HS) students from Medford HS, Melrose HS, Wakefield HS and other schools are offered a job shadow day. The goal of the program is to give high school students exposure to nursing and allied health careers.
• Limited transportation services are available to residents with no other means of accessing care. Information is also provided to residents about local transportation resources such as the RIDE, MassTran, the Mystic Valley TRIP program and others.
• Continuing Medical Education is offered regularly at both hospital campuses. These programs are open to all medical staff and the community. Community educational opportunities offered to the community through the School of Nursing and Radiology are also tracked.
Advancing Medical Knowledge
• HHS Melrose-Wakefield Hospital was selected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to participate in a study of elective (non-emergent) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The hospital is one of only ten throughout the Commonwealth to participate in this MASS COMM Study.
• Hallmark Health System is also involved in a study of the impact of soy on the development of gestational diabetes in pregnant women and participated in a research study on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in 2012. Results of the NAS study were published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association (JAMA) in May of 2013.
• Other studies are planned for 2013, such as one to measure the impact of home visiting on breastfeeding duration rates post discharge.
• Hallmark Health System is working with partners in the community to support workforce development activities, such as donating used beds and medical training equipment to a nursing assistance program for immigrants.
• Hallmark Health System also participates in Global Green and equipment donations. In 2012, the Global Green agency was able to send 96 shipments to 41 developing countries, the best year over the last two decades.
• Community drives to support families in financial need are held throughout the year and include holiday food drives, toy drives, and a school supply drive for low-income children in Medford.
• The health system also supports “Malden’s Promise” a community wide effort to reduce the high school drop-out rate in the city.
Programs for Elders
In all of the Hallmark Health communities, except North Reading the percent of residents, age 65 and older is greater than the state average. In these communities elders over 75 years are more likely to live at or below the poverty level. Hallmark Health programs for elders are designed to address some of the needs of this aging population.
• The VNA Community Outreach Program provides community health screening and educational sessions through the utilization of a registered nurse at several housing sites, senior centers, and assisted living facilities. Community Teams also support these efforts.
• The LMH Senior Outreach Program offers nursing services such as nursing assessments and referrals, blood pressure screenings, and individual health conferences. Education programs are provided on topics ranging from healthy aging to diabetes management.
• Chronic disease self-management programs are also offered. The My Life, My Health evidenced-based model from Stanford University is the curriculum provided.
• The Dutton Center Adult Day Health and Supportive Day Program continues to offer Supportive Day Care for all seniors and Adult Day Healthcare for those with special physical, cognitive or emotional needs, including those with mental health and developmental challenges. A monthly Caregiver Support group is also offered through the Dutton Center.
• A bi-monthly program “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Harmony” is offered through the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network.
• Senior Suppers are hosted regularly, each supper includes health education lectures and at some programs screening services are also available.
• Hallmark Health System continues to support Mystic Valley Elder Services Senior Citizen lunches at the West Medford Community Center. This is a racially diverse area of the community where many seniors are living at or below the poverty level.
• Lifeline Services, including medication support, are widely available for community residents.
• In 2012, Hallmark Health System and the Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice began a Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP). Awarded through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Program, HHS will work in partnership with Mystic Valley Elder Services, Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services and Cambridge Health Alliance on the program. The care transitions team has been created to provide a broad spectrum of interventions and services to patients at high risk of readmission. The program seeks to expand and enhance existing discharge practices and patient care with the goal of decreasing readmissions by improving; how information is shared, care coordination and patient’s transition to the outpatient setting. The program provides for transition facilitators at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital who will work closely with case managers and staff to implement additional interventions for patients identified to be medically complex at discharge. Additionally, nurse practitioners will monitor medically-complex patients in the community and in skilled nursing facilities. Primary care physicians will be closely involved with their patients and will see patients shortly after they are discharged from the hospital.
Programs for Families with Young Children
Hallmark Health System Community Benefits programs address a wide variety of preventative health issues in this population, such as the following:
• Healthy Families a home-visiting program for first-time parents age 20 and under, living in Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield. Funded by the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) and supported by Hallmark Health, Healthy Families offers free services for participants and their families during pregnancy and until the child turns three. Healthy Families provides home visits, prenatal and parenting education, mentoring, family-focused groups and activities, and connects families to community resources. In Everett, first-time parents 22 and under may also be served by the MA Home Visiting Program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in collaboration with CTF.
• The North Suburban Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, provides food and nutrition services to prenatal and postpartum women and infants and children under the age of five at four local sites. Also funded by WIC is the “Feeling Fit and Fabulous” Prenatal Exercise and Nutrition program for prenatal women from 16 weeks to term with their health care providers’ approval, a parenting education and support program “Mornings with Mom”, and a Farmer’s Market voucher program that allows participants to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits grown at approved Farmer’s Markets. In addition, the “Mothers Helping Mothers” Program, a community resource closet providing free gently used maternity clothes, children’s clothing, and infant care products and a Family Support program helps families with overall support service needs such as referrals to ESL classes, housing assistance, SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), and others. At the end of 2012, WIC partnered with the Greater Boston Food Bank to offer a monthly Mobile Food Market. Healthy foods are distributed in a farmer’s market model with assistance from many community volunteers.
• The North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network (NSCFRN) is a community based parenting education and support program that serves families living or working in Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield as well as other local communities. The Network, funded by a grant through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care through a partnership with the Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield Public Schools, offers parent/child play and learn groups, parenting education programs, support groups, family fun activities, as well as information on community resources. Programs are also available for grandparents, single parents, and fathers. As a “Help Me Grow” site, the NSCFRN assists parents and caregivers to learn and use appropriate developmental assessment tools to enhance child growth and development. In 2012, HHS became a sub-contracting agency of the Everett Public Schools to offer family support and educational programs through the Everett CFCE.
• “Creative Coping for New Moms”, a parenting education and support group model, provides group support and parent education for first-time families with children under the age of one.
• Integrated breastfeeding support and education is provided through Maternity Services, Community Health Education, the Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Healthy Families, the North Suburban WIC program, and the NSCFRN. The Melrose-Wakefield Hospital’s Baby Café and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital’s Baby Café Malden, in affiliation with the UK-based Baby Café Charitable Trust provide pregnant and breastfeeding mothers a friendly and comfortable environment to learn more about breastfeeding. A third Café will be added in 2013 in Everett; the Malden and Everett Cafés are funded by the MA State WIC Program.
• Shaken Baby prevention and education services are offered for staff and families in the community through Maternity Services, in Prenatal and Community Health Education programs, and through the Hallmark Health WIC, Healthy Families and North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network programs. One of the WIC staff is a certified “Happiest Baby on the Block” trainer.
• Staff members have been trained and “Safe Sleep” education is promoted in programs such as the North Suburban WIC Program, the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network, Healthy Families/MA Home Visiting and both clinical and outpatient departments serving this population.
• The Supported Pregnancy Program provides twice-monthly support and education sessions for pregnant women in treatment for addictions. Family members are invited to attend as appropriate.
• Education offerings such as “Shop with Your Tots” are provided by the Nutrition Service Department. The program is designed to promote healthy eating and to help parents and caregivers to utilize experiential learning, such as their grocery shopping trips as ways to provide developmentally appropriate learning for their child.
• Prenatal Class Scholarships are provided for those individuals meeting the guidelines for free care.
• With the ongoing financial instability in this geographic area, families continue to be sheltered in the motels along Route 99 in Malden and Saugus. These families are being sheltered for a variety of reasons and for varying lengths of time. Hallmark Health System and other local partners continue to monitor and address the need for family support by these residents and work together to address the needs as possible.
• In Stoneham, Community Team volunteers provide monthly support for family supper programs hosted by the town. These programs provide a hot meal, health education, and health screenings for families in financial need.
Behavioral Health Programs
Behavioral health needs in the Emergency Departments and community issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, child sexual abuse, and elder abuse incidents are also prevalent in Hallmark Health communities. Behavioral health programs at Hallmark Health address a variety of these community needs. Programs include the following:
• Outpatient psychiatric care for vulnerable populations is provided through a sliding scale fee adjustment for elders or adult psychiatric clients identified in financial need. This program complies with the Hallmark Health debt collection policies and practices.
• Behavioral health visits in the Emergency Departments include SBIRT Screening (screening, brief-intervention, resource, and treatment) where appropriate. The Emergency Department at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital was recently redesigned to better serve this vulnerable population.
• Hallmark Health System VNA and Hospice continue to offer a series of ongoing support groups to help those who have experienced loss, including support groups such as Surviving Grief and Change and Surviving Loss Over Sixty.
• In addition, a program for children who have experienced loss “Kids in Grief”; which utilizes expressional therapy is offered in multiple sessions over the year.
• In Wakefield and in Stoneham, the Community Teams continue to support annual drives for local troops stationed overseas in service of our country. The goal of this program is to ease the isolation of local service men and women during their assignment and to provide a community bridge for them as they return home. These families are also included in the outreach for the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network.
• Annually, the Behavioral Health Department provides community depression screening and educational sessions regarding behavioral health issues.
• Hallmark Health System also continues to support the “Shine the Light” Program to address a community education need for child sexual abuse prevention strategies.
• The Behavioral Health Department also continues to provide a single-number resource line to allow the community to easily access behavioral health services. Staff and the community may use this resource.
• A “Wise Woman” dinner program was offered in the spring and fall to allow local women the opportunity to explore alternative therapies such as Reiki to assist them in developing new strategies to improve their health and cope with daily stressors.
• In 2013, a new self-management program is being developed to provide life skill education and support to women experiencing life altering transitions, such as divorce, job loss, and caretaking for children, elders, and disabled relatives.
Programs for Other Special Populations
Based on public health data there are many Haitian and Haitian/American families living in Everett, Malden, and Medford; many of these residents have families living in the country of Haiti.
• Outreach activities, educational programs, and screenings are offered through the local Haitian parishes and community organizations in our area.
• Support is provided overseas through the LMH/Regis College School of Nursing.
The Massachusetts Division of Tuberculosis Prevention and Control seeks to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) through surveillance, education and clinical services delivered within a collaborative multiagency system. A wide spectrum of educational services coupled with a network of contracted tuberculosis clinics and multidisciplinary projects creates a comprehensive prevention and treatment strategy. Provision of these services involves a cooperative working relationship with local boards of health and other community agencies, to ensure that needs are met and to build community capacity to respond to TB-related health issues.
• Hallmark Health provides space and staffing for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tuberculosis Clinic. This program provides screening, education, and treatment for residents of all ages in Everett, Malden, and Medford. It is operated in collaboration with the city Boards of Health in these communities.
• In response to a request from the Malden Board of Health, a more advanced screening method has been made available for children at a reduced cost.
Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevention/Wellness Programs
Cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes are three of the most common health issues in our service area. In 2007, cardiovascular disease caused one of every three deaths in Massachusetts. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of long-term disability. Although in the past decade the death rate from heart disease and stroke in MA has declined, risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, tobacco use and high cholesterol are on the rise especially in minority populations. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that more than 300,000 residents have diagnosed diabetes. Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control, an additional 100,000 residents may be undiagnosed. Programs offered to address these issues include:
• “HeartSense for Women”, offering health education and screening is offered in the community at least twice annually, including as a component of the annual Women and Heart Disease (“Red Dress Day”) Event held in February. The programs offer participants’ heart healthy information, health screenings, and the opportunity to speak with a financial counselor, a pharmacist, and/or a dietician. In 2012, a limited number of CPR Anytime Kits were distributed to local women to assist them in learning CPR and allowing them to share those skills with their families.
• A Healthy Heart educational series, through the Cardiac & Endovascular Center at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital is offered annually.
• The “FAST” message cards for stroke are disseminated widely at health events.
• Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Screening or vein screenings are offered annually. Participants found to have abnormal screening values are referred for treatment and provided follow-up care.
• Blood Pressure (BP) clinics are offered through the VNA and at community events throughout the year. Screening/education tools are used consistently across program departments to measure the number of residents screened, the health information provided, and any follow-up and referral done with patients. In 2013, a new BP management program, “Knowledge Up- Pressure Down” was developed and implemented to address BP management.
• In 2013, the North Suburban WIC program continued to focus on improving the identification and management of enrolled participants at risk for developing gestational diabetes and those requiring support to manage their disease.
• Hallmark Health sponsors diabetes education and screening programs at multiple locations across our service area to support patients in getting their blood sugar under control through diet and exercise and making healthy lifestyle choices.
• The Diabetes Self-Management Program continues to offer group or 1:1 classes. Scholarships are provided for patients without insurance coverage or with limited financial resources. Family members and friends are also invited to attend without cost to allow them to be able to support the patient with diabetes.
• Screening to identify community members at risk for developing diabetes is offered during the year at community events and programs. These screenings are focused on communities having many underserved residents. Patients identified as at risk are offered referrals and follow-up care.
• The Malden Elder Asian Diabetes Project, funded by the Marshall Foundation, offered education and screening for elder Asian residents in collaboration with the Chinese Culture Connection of Malden.
• Diabetes Support Groups meet monthly. This program receives clinical support from the hospital’s Diabetes Self-Management Team.
Cancer Prevention/Wellness Programs
In the core communities of Hallmark Health, many residents are burdened with a diagnosis of cancer for themselves or a family member. Most cancers occur in adults middle-aged or older. In the United States, men have slightly less than a one in two lifetime risk of developing cancer, and for women, the risk is one in three. Persons with lower socioeconomic status have disproportionately higher cancer death rates, reflecting obstacles to receiving cancer prevention, early detection, and high quality treatment. Programs to address these issues include the following:
• Opportunities for free skin cancer screening are available for community members annually.
• A Breast Health Awareness program is held in the community annually. The hospital opened a comprehensive Breast Health Center in 2012.
• Through a relationship with the Malden YWCA, underserved women are provided screening and care to promote breast health. Hallmark Health participates in the annual YWCA “Tina’s Heart” cancer survivor program hosted by the YWCA. Hallmark Health also supports the YWCA’s efforts to screen women for breast cancer through their Avon grant.
• Through the resources provided by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Massachusetts Affiliate, low- income, diverse young women are educated in prevention strategies for breast cancer. Diverse older women are offered health services navigation support. The “For Best Health Remember Breast Health” program serves women in the North Suburban WIC communities. In addition, three mammography screening events were offered to low-income diverse residents in the services area in 2013. Although funding from the Komen MA Affiliate was not available for the entire year, HHS has continued to fund this inititative.
• Funding was secured to support specialty services for low-income residents with lymph edema.
• An eight-week group support and cessation education is made available to patient and employee smokers. The free program is available throughout the year and follows the successful American Lung Association program guidelines.
• An oral, head and neck cancer screening is offered annually.
• The Hallmark Health Cancer Center in Stoneham offers a variety of cancer support groups to aid families in coping with the physical, social, and emotional aspects of cancer. Facilitated by nurses, social workers, and other clinical members, the groups are held at the Cancer Center.
• Community Education programs focused on cancer prevention are planned and implemented throughout the year, especially focused on geographic areas with a higher than average incidence of certain cancers.
• Chronic Disease Self-Management programs are offered to long-term cancer patients and recovering smokers.
• Better Breathers is a monthly support group offered for people with chronic breathing difficulties. It is a caring and supportive session facilitated by a certified Pulmonary Rehabilitation RN. Participants learn how to manage their chronic breathing difficulties and learn the whys and wherefores of their condition.
Injury Prevention Programs
To address the needs of the aging population in the service areas of Hallmark Health, a variety of programs addressing arthritis, osteoporosis, joint replacement, and falls prevention have been developed. For younger residents, issues of preventing sports injuries are also of significant importance. Organized sports are a vital part of the lives of school-age children and teens. The number of different sports supported by cities and towns, junior high and senior high schools has increased. Sports are the most frequent cause of injuries for both male and female adolescents. Although the vast majority of these injuries will be minor, some will be quite severe or cause chronic health conditions.
Programs offered to address these conditions include:
• Bone and Joint Camp- a pre-surgical education program continues to be offered to community residents to assist them in planning for post-surgical recovery, thus reducing hospital stays. All area residents are welcome.
• “Back School” lectures were offered to educate community members about injury prevention, exercises to reduce injuries, and postural control.
• The Osteoporosis Prevention Program continues to offer education and screening programs throughout the Hallmark Health service area. Patients identified through the screening process are referred to treatment or receive follow-up support through the program.
• The Hallmark Health Rehabilitation Department offers a variety of sports medicine education programs focused on the prevention of injuries, including head and spine injuries. The education programs is offered to parents, caregivers, and coaches of student athletes to assist them in preparing children/adolescents for an active lifestyle, while focused on preventing risk of injury.
• School athletic programs are also offered at some of the local high schools. The costs of these services are not fully reimbursed.
• Look AHead is an educational and screening program offered for youth athletes around concussive head injury. The program is offered through local high schools.
• The outpatient Rehabilitation Department designed a summer program to improve the overall athletic conditioning for athletes in the communities that Hallmark Health serves especially Malden and Medford. The program allows athletes to build a relationship with the Hallmark Health Rehab staff, while improving their overall performance both physically and mentally. Scholarships were provided to students based on need.
Obesity Prevention and Management Programs
Every resident could live a healthier life and protect themselves from heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes by eating less and moving more. Overweight and obesity are issues in all of the Hallmark Health communities. As a key component of the Hallmark Health programs, identification, prevention, and intervention are key strategies. Programs include:
• “Healthy Kids in Motion”, a five-part nutrition education and exercise program offered to elementary age students both in schools and through after school programs. The program was provided to sixth grade Medford Public School students in 2012 and 2013.
• The “Healthy Toddlers in Motion” program was developed and implemented for preschool children at the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network.
• A six-week Adult Weight Management program is offered annually. This program is available to underserved residents. Follow-up activities and referrals are made as appropriate.
• A four to six week Advanced Bariatric Support Group is offered twice annually for patients more than two years post-operative to bariatric surgery.
• Health awareness education programs focused on healthy eating are provided throughout the year. These programs are offered for diverse age groups.
• Body Mass Index (BMI) screening and education is offered annually at local community events.
• Support was provided to the Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, and Wakefield Community Transformation (Mass in Motion) grants. This included such areas as restaurant menu review and support to Farmer’s Markets and walking programs.
Community Benefits Advisory Council
- Dee George, RN, Ph.D., Trustee, Hallmark Health System.
- Loretta Kemp, Community Representative, Deputy Director of Tri-CAP, area resident.
- Joanne Lambert, Member of the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Patient Advisory Council, retired Vice-Principal Malden Public Schools, active in many community groups, area resident.
- Diane Farraher-Smith MSN, MBA, RN, President, Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Inc. and System Vice President, Home Care and Community Programs, Hallmark Health System, area resident.
- Alan Macdonald, Executive Vice President, Strategy and External Affairs, area resident
- Lori Stevens, Associate Chief Nursing Officer
- Charles Whipple, Esq. Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
- Richard Pozniak, System Director of Public Affairs and Marketing
- Marcella Rivard, Controller
- Eileen Dern, RN, CES, Director of Community Services
A Better Tomorrow Services, Inc.
American Cancer Association
Asian American Civic Association
Asian Breast Cancer (ABC) Project
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Red Cross
Baby Friendly America
Bread of Life
Cambridge Health Alliance
Community Family Human Services, Inc.
Cross Cultural Communications, Inc.
Early Intervention Program- there are multiple agencies serving this area.
EMARC (Eastern Middlesex Association of Retarded Citizens)
Everett Family and Community Engagement Grant
Everyone Eats Healthy in Everett Coalition
Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation
Friends of Oak Grove
Greater Lynn Senior Services
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Culture InSight
Housing Families, Inc.
Jewish Child and Family Services
Joint Committee for Children’s Health Care in Everett
Joslin Diabetes Center
La Comunidad, Inc.
Life Care Center of Stoneham
Local Arts Councils
Local Boards of Health
Local Chambers of Commerce
Local Civic Groups (such as Rotary and Kiwanis)
Local Councils on Aging Evangelical Church of Holiness
Local faith-based organizations such as the North Shore Rescue Mission and the
Local Public Schools
Malden Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Grant
Malden Homelessness Task Force
Malden Junior Aid Association
Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
Massachusetts Department of Elder Service
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance
Mass in Motion Coalitions for Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, and Wakefield
Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts Hospital Association
MASS Parks and Recreation
Mayo Clinic for Laboratory Services
Medford Family Network
Medford Health Matters
Melrose Alliance Against Violence
Melrose Human Rights Commission
Merrimack Valley Elder Services
Middlesex County District Attorney's Office
Mt. Auburn Hospital
Mystic Valley Elder Services
North Suburban Health Alliance
Oak Grove Improvement Organization
Portal to Hope
Regional EMS Providers
Somerville Cambridge Elder Services
Stoneham Alliance Against Violence
Susan G. Komen MA Affiliate
The Adelaide Breed-Bayrd Marshall Foundation
The Chinese Culture Connection
The Institute for Community Health Improvement (ICH)
The Malden YWCA
The Malden YMCA
The Melrose Family YMCA
The Stoneham Boys and Girls Club
The Crudem Foundation
The Medford Substance Abuse Task Force
The Reading Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
The Melrose Community Coalition
The Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
The Stoneham Theater
The Wakefield Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
Tri-CAP Hunger Network
The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Salvation Army
Tri-City Community Action Program
UMASS Memorial Health System
Wakefield Alliance Against Violence
West Medford Chamber of Commerce
West Medford Community Center
Zonta Clubs of Medford and Malden
Regis College and many other colleges and universities
Collaborations are developed with other groups as needed to implement Community Benefits programming.
Hallmark Health System community outreach teams work to boost institutional involvement, identify community needs and otherwise reach out to local organizations in their respective towns. Their efforts have won Hallmark Health System three major awards from local chambers of commerce and ensured that Hallmark Health is the organization that local communities look to when they face a health-related challenge or need. Many Hallmark Health staff members live in our primary or secondary service area and participate on a team or a team-sponsored event each year. Teams solicit input from key community leaders including; superintendents of schools, state representatives and local health departments. The community teams log hundreds of hours annually as active members in civic groups and service organizations throughout the North Suburban Region.
"Professional Voices for Health" - Hallmark Health System’s Community Benefits mission is to help build a strong, vibrant and healthy community. Our engaging speakers assist local organizations in providing presentations that focus on improving the health of residents in the workplace and in the community.
Presentation topics can be tailored to an organization’s particular interests, or we will be happy to consult with you to suggest topics for your group that focus on the health needs most common in our communities. Topics such as understanding your risks for heart disease and stroke, managing stress, osteoporosis prevention and managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes are commonly requested topics. Child safety and growth and development are also popular.
For additional information or to schedule a presentation for your organization, please contact Jennifer Martin at email@example.com, call Jennifer at (781) 338-7506 or fill out the request form below.
Please allow a minimum of four weeks for scheduling your program. There is no cost for scheduling a speaker.
Request a speaker online
View the speaker's bureau flyer here.