The field practicum is designed to enable two-year masters students to function in public sector and community health settings through a supervised field placement. Read on for a glimpse into one of our masters student’s projects.


Araceli Gutierrez, SM2

Bromley Heath Community Health Survey Initiative (BHCHSI), Jamaica Plain, MA

statehouseAs a 2013 Rappaport Public Policy Fellow, this summer I had the opportunity to work with Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. I based my SBS Practicum on this experience and sought to obtain a practical understanding of the social and political mechanisms involved in addressing the public health challenges in underserved and vulnerable communities. In addition, my goal was to explore potential upstream approaches that may be utilized in achieving equitable health outcomes and establishing effective cost-containment strategies and organizational roles in the public sector at all levels of the healthcare infrastructure within the context of Massachusetts Health Reform efforts and the Affordable Care Act. To this end, I conducted a coordinated and participatory mixed-method viability evaluation and assessment, in which I organized, developed, piloted and administered a bilingual comprehensive community health assessment survey among residents at the Boston Housing Authority’s (BHA) Bromley-Heath public housing development in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

surveyresidentThrough the Bromley Heath Community Health Survey Initiative (BHCHSI), we have collected over 227 surveys to date and counting, surpassing our original goal of 200. The objective is to utilize the findings from this preliminary assessment in concurrence with other available public agency information to establish a framework aimed at improving living and health conditions for Bromley Heath residents as well as broaden the investment of larger patient-centered community-based solutions.  Our work will also help inform policy makers as healthcare delivery models and payment systems are being designed. Our primary concern is to improve health outcomes for the most underserved and vulnerable communities in Massachusetts.