Feb
22

Margaret Fuller House Recognized as City of Cambridge Wins National Health Award

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Cambridge, MA (February 22, 2013)- The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH) was thrilled to be recognized for its health programming and education efforts yesterday as the city of Cambridge received the Inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Roadmaps to Health Prize.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest national philanthropy devoted to health and health care, awarded this prestigious prize to only six communities across the country.  Cambridge was chosen for its innovative, collaborative approach in the areas of healthy eating and physical activity; strengthening families; progressive urban planning; and integrating local public health within various City departments, community agencies and the Cambridge Health Alliance.

Standing at the far right, Barbara Kibler, Executive Director of MFNH, poses with city officials after Cambridge receives the Robert Wood Johnson’s inaugural Roadmaps to Health Prize on Feb. 20.

“We were extremely proud to stand beside city officials yesterday and present to a national audience the work that we’ve done together to build a healthy and strong Area IV community,” said Barbara Kibler, Executive Director.

Over the past several years, the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House has worked closely with the Cambridge Public Health Department and with the guidance of the Men of Color Task Force to develop the Men’s Health League—a program addressing health disparities and access to Health care for over 500 men of color. We have also collaboratively designed and implemented diabetes support groups with the Cambridge Community Center and with the guidance of the Public Health Department.

“The Margaret Fuller House has been a core community partner for the Cambridge Public Health Department, as well as a next-door neighbor,” said Claude Alix Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer of Cambridge. “The partnership exemplifies how a community-based organization and local government can work together for health.”

At yesterday’s ceremony at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., foundation officials praised such partnerships as critical to improving the overall health of the nation’s communities.

“These prize winners represent leadership at its finest—trailblazers creating a culture of health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize shines a light on their accomplishments; we hope it will inspire others to take bold steps to improve health in their communities.”

MFNH has focused on building a stable and healthy Area IV community since its founding in 1902, when it first provided nutritious meals to young women who worked in local Cambridge factories.  Today, with the help of various city agencies and community non-profits, we work to strengthen the health of the community in several ways:

  • Our Street worker, funded through the Cambridge Human Services Department, provides outreach and support to at-risk young adults and our Area IV Coordinator liaisons with the City and the community.
  • Our new Keep it Kool Project encourages teens to say “no” to drinking and drugs.
  •  Our food pantry provides thousands of families with fresh vegetables and fruits every week, thanks to our partnership with organizations like Food for Free
  •  Our outreach to isolated seniors, supported by the Cambridge Community Foundation and Tufts Community Health Initiative, provides these elders with spaces to share their life-long experiences, and to encourage better physical, mental and social well-being.

We at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House thank all of our partners—both inside city government, and within the non-profit community—who have helped us to address the serious health needs of our community. We know these partnerships will lay the foundation for even more good work to come.

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