Building Brighter Futures with Youth - UMass Memorial Medical Center

UMass Memorial Medical Center | Worcester, MA

Poverty and lack of access to educational, social and economic opportunities are among the leading social determinants of health. Statistics show these socioeconomic factors result in lower utilization of health care services, higher rates of risky behavior and disease, and poorer health outcomes later in life. At nearly 30 percent, the rate of children under the age of 18 living below the poverty level in Worcester is almost double the state average. Youth living in poverty are exposed to and at greater risk of becoming involved in gangs, or affected by gang-related violence. In addition, many young people often seek medical care for violence-related injuries in hospital emergency departments (EDs). Thus, youth violence can also affect the health of communities by increasing health care costs, impacting livability of neighborhoods and decreasing property values.

Providing low-income youth with job skills and pre-employment training opportunities improves their likelihood of obtaining and holding employment as adults, thereby improving their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eating habits and access to care. UMass Memorial Medical Center listened to inner-city youth who said, during focus groups held on these topics, that they needed jobs to be healthy, off the streets and out of hospital EDs. In response, in 2005 UMass Memorial launched Building Brighter Futures With Youth (BBFWY), a youth jobs development initiative.

Related Resources

Action Alert
The AHA has developed a model comment letter for hospitals and health systems to use to submit comments to the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health…
AHA Center for Health Innovation Market Scan
While leading research, data and consulting firms each have their unique insights about what’s in store for health care this year, some key themes have emerged…
AHA Center for Health Innovation Market Scan
Two major players working to disrupt health rang in the new year by hiring prominent leaders to head their clinical operations.
Public Comments
Member Non-Fed
The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the departments) propose to require health plans to provide their…
Advancing Health Podcast
Public
As part of Human Trafficking Awareness mo
Toolkits/Methodology
Member
AHA Digital Pulse pilot members may log in via this page. For more information about joining the pilot or signing up for an informational webinar, contact Alex…