Pilot Public Health Projects with Community-Based Organizations

Photo of people waiting in line to meet with a health care worker

Project Brief

The Challenge

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health sought effective ways to expand public and environmental health capacity at the local level, particularly in communities with disproportionate disease burdens and exposure to environmental hazards. MDPH engaged ERG to help them explore how funding and supporting local organizations in implementing intervention programs in their communities could help detect, prevent, and control environmental health hazards at the local level.

ERG's Solution

ERG planned and executed a pilot program to engage four non-governmental community-based organizations in high-risk, underserved Massachusetts communities. We surveyed viable CBOs to gauge their interest and capacity to engage in small-scale interventions focusing on environmental exposures and health outcomes of greatest concern in their communities. Based on survey input, we selected four CBOs with strong community roots and current projects that were actively addressing environmental health concerns identified by community members, such as indoor and outdoor air quality, asthma, safe housing, lead poisoning, and health risks associated with climate change. ERG then worked collaboratively with MDPH and the CBOs to cultivate partnerships between the CBOs and MDPH and to increase the CBOs’ awareness of available tools and resources they can use to develop and expand their ability to train and organize their community members and leaders around environmental health issues.


Massachusetts Department of Public Health