Formed in 1998, the Joint Coalition on Health of North Central Massachusetts (JCOH) is a group of committed individuals and organizations working collaboratively as catalysts for change and advocates for the underserved to improve the health and well-being of everyone in North Central Massachusetts.
The North Central region of Massachusetts is home to approximately 248,015 children and adults and is comprised of the urban cities of Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster, and the smaller surrounding towns of Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Barre, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shirley, Sterling, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster, and Winchendon. In 2006 it was estimated that 14,881 area residents are uninsured and in need of consistent and comprehensive health services.
The JCOH has participated in conducting several important area health assessments designed to provide information and analyses relative to the health status, issues, concerns, and assets of the North Central Region of Massachusetts. The member organizations of the Joint Coalition have a long-standing commitment to, and history of, working collaboratively to meet the health care needs of the area. Together these organizations have participated in and developed multiple large scale and long term initiatives and programs aimed at increasing access to care including the federal Health Care Access Program (HCAP), the Oral Health Initiative of North Central Massachusetts, and the Gateway Health Access Program (GHAP), and have also worked to develop and expand the area’s safety-net by developing two community health centers (in Fitchburg and Gardner) and a school-based health center (in Winchendon).
In 2009, the JCOH collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Community Health Network Area of North Central Massachusetts (CHNA 9) to conduct a health assessment of the North Central Massachusetts region. The Community Health Assessment of North Central Massachusetts, which was released in January 2011, provides a comprehensive picture of the health status, issues, concerns, and assets of North Central Massachusetts. The JCOH is currently working to identify strategies for addressing the key themes of the report including Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Health; The Economy; Depression and Suicide; and Barriers to Optimal Health Status.
Since its formation, the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc. (MOC) has served as the Joint Coalition’s fiduciary agent and coordinating organization.
For questions or information, please contact Susan Buchholz, Coordinator for the Joint Coalition on Health firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-345-7040, Ext. 36
133 Prichard Street, Fitchburg, MA 01430