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Academic Health Department Consortium (AHD)

Learn about the Academic Health Department Consortium at MDPH

Table of Contents

About the Academic Health Department Consortium

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) formed an Academic Health Department Consortium (AHD) with eight local schools and programs of public health with the common goal of bridging the gap between practice-based public health and public health academia in April 2019.  Academic health departments are most often established to foster a more practice-oriented education for students of public health, while simultaneously creating collaborative opportunities for faculty and staff through trainings, to develop the current and future public health workforce, build the evidence base for public health including joint-research projects, better deliver the Essential Public Health Services, and interdepartmental work.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv]

Academic Health Department Mission Statement

MDPH and the eight academic partners agreed on a temporary mission statement that will be revisited after 12 months of development:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the participating schools and programs of public health will collaborate to strengthen the relationships between practice and academia through workforce development, professional support, field placement, and interorganizational systems communication.

Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps Participating Academic Partners

At the request of the Baker-Polito Administration and the COVID Command Center, the Academic Health Department, the Massachusetts Health Officers Association and additional academic partners were called to action on March 20, 2020.  The group then formed the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps which includes 12 academic institutions as well as the Massachusetts Health Officers Association, and the Massachusetts Public Health Association. The mission of the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps (APHVC) is to leverage public health students, alumni, and expert volunteers to augment, amplify, and promote local public health efforts in Massachusetts.

The partner organizations in the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps include:

  1. Boston University School of Public Health
  2. Bridgewater State University
  3. Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  4. Holyoke Community College, CHW Program
  5. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  6. Massachusetts Health Officers Association
  7. Massachusetts Public Health Association
  8. Northeastern University
  9. Northern Essex Community College, Associates in Public Health & CHW Certification Programs
  10. Regis College
  11. Simmons University
  12. Tufts University
  13. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  14. University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  15. University of Massachusetts, Worcester

Follow the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps on social media:

Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps

The Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps (APHVC) is a program of the AHD. Formed at the request of the Baker-Polito Administration and the COVID Command Center, the APHVC provides teams of volunteers who are alumni, staff, faculty and students from our participating academic institutions to local boards of health across Massachusetts. The mission of the APHVC is to leverage public health students, alumni, and expert volunteers to augment, amplify, and promote local public health efforts in Massachusetts.

As of September 30, 2020, An initial wave of over 789600 volunteers were have been deployed in April to support the meet emergent needs of over 12790 communities communities across Massachusetts. This summer fall and winter the APHVC continues to deploy hundreds of well qualified public health volunteers to local boards of health to support many different services.

Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps Services

The Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps (APHVC) is a program of the Academic Health Department Consortium. The mission of the APHVC is to leverage public health students, alumni, and expert volunteers to augment, amplify, and promote local public health efforts in Massachusetts.

Volunteers are currently providing the following services:

Health Communication (Print, Local TV, Social Media, Websites)

  • Town social media development and management
  • Activity-specific messaging and infographics
  • Population-specific messaging and infographics
  • Talking points for media conferences and public outreach

Community Outreach

  • Wellness phone calls for seniors
  • Wellness phone calls for non-English speaking communities
  • Infographics for marginalized groups
  • Mental health support and resources

Translation Services (Available in more than 10 languages)

  • Written and oral translations
  • Needs assessment to identify community language needs

Data Analysis & Presentation

  • Charts/Graphs
  • Community-level data analysis
  • GIS Analysis Mapping

Policy and Protocols

  • Emergency dispensing drive-through plans
  • Policies for local businesses, nursing homes and grocers
  • Policies and public information on re-opening strategies

Mobilizing and Supporting Partnerships

  • Needs assessment to identify ways to support communities
  • Grant writing to secure funding in support of safety net organizations/community services

Note: APHVC members are also available to support non-COVID public health activities including efforts around EEE.

Additional Resources

Contact

Phone

Address

250 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02108

i. Conte, C., Chang, C.S., Malcolm, J., Russo, P.G. (2006) Academic Health Departments: From Theory to Practice. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 12 (1) 6-14, 2006. 00124784-200601000-00003

ii. Erwin PC, Barlow P, Brownson RC, Amos K, Keck CW. Characteristics of Academic Health Departments: Initial Findings From a Cross-Sectional Survey. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2016;22(2):190-3.

iii. Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practices (2011) Academic Health Departments: Core Concepts. Public Health Foundation. http://www.phf.org/resourcestools/Documents/AHD_Concepts_2011Jan14.pdf

iv. Erwin, P. C., Harris, J., Wong, R., Plepys, C. M., & Brownson, R. C. (2016). The Academic Health Department: Academic–Practice Partnerships Among Accredited U.S. Schools and Programs of Public Health, 2015. Public Health Reports, 131(4), 630–636. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033354916662223

Date published: May 13, 2019
Last updated: October 21, 2020
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