Research Centers & Affiliations

Institute on Urban Health Research - Project Launch

Project LAUNCH

Subcontract: Institute on Urban Health Research, Northeastern University

Prime: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Funding Agency: SAMHSA
Project Period: 10/01/09-9/30/14

Mass LAUNCH, an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), will develop the state's early childhood service system for children from birth to age 8. The Department has chosen the Boston Public Health Commission, working in partnership with the Boston Mayor's Thrive in Five (Ti5) Initiative, as its local partner to enhance local systems of care for Boston children birth to 8.

Mass LAUNCH is grounded in two major state policy initiatives. The first is the strategic plan of EOHHS' Young Children's Interagency Workgroup, staffed by the Director of Massachusetts Early Childhood Comprehensive System project. The plan includes objectives on strengthening, expanding and integrating statewide services into a comprehensive system of community-based, culturally competent, behavioral health services for young children with emotional and behavioral needs, and their families. The second initiative is state healthcare reform, with a strong focus on a medical home as a hub for health services for all Massachusetts citizens. Several statewide medical home pilot projects for different populations are currently underway.
Boston LAUNCH is designed to leverage both of these statewide initiatives by building comprehensive local systems in Boston neighborhoods with pediatric medical homes. The design of the program assures enhancement of community-based mental health services, and integration of behavioral health with primary care and other community services. It also assures a voice for families at every level of system implementation. Boston LAUNCH will create a Learning Collaborative with two community health centers and one hospital primary care clinic to determine best practices for pediatric medical homes with a focus on children at risk for or experiencing early childhood mental health (ECMH) issues.

The target population for the local component consists of children ages 0-8 and their who are patients at two community health centers and the pediatric primary care clinic at Boston Medical Center, all located in low-income neighborhoods of Boston. The project will focus on families experiencing child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, maternal depression or other parental mental health problems. Boston LAUNCH is designed to assure a focus on underserved children and families with cultural, linguistic or other risk factors.
The combined number of children birth-8 served by the two health centers and Boston Medical Center clinic is 11,500. An additional 7,500 are served by the three spread sites for years 3-5 for a total of 19,000 children. The race/ethnicity of this combined patient population is approximately 57% Black, 33% Latino and 7% other. Many patients at the two health centers are foreign born and speak a primary language other than English, including substantial numbers from Haiti and from the African island of Cape Verde. The estimated number of children and families served by the project in year one will be 500; year two will be 1,000; and 1,600 each of the following years for a total of 6,300 served.


< Back to IUHR Research Activities



Contact Info

IUHR
310 Int'l Village
Tel: 617.373.7292
Fax: 617.373.7309