Upcoming Forum to ‘Build a Healthier South End’

Blackstone Community Center in the South End.

Thanks to a new initiative, South End residents and those working in the comunity will be able to come together next week to share ideas to build a healthier neighborhood.

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), in partnership with the South End Healthy Boston Coalition, the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH), and the Blackstone Community Center, is hosting a special community health meeting in the South End to discuss the health of residents in the neighborhood and to facilitate a strategic planning process to create a healthier community. The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, at the Blackstone Community Center (50 W. Brookline St.)

The meeting is the first in a series of citywide health forums this year. The focus of the meeting is to get those living and working in the communityt o come together to deiscuss ways to build a healthier neighborhood, including promoting safety, reducing crime and decreasing substance abuse. 

“We are excited about the opportunity to come together with the community to think about many of the factors that impact health in the neighborhood,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of BPHC. “We know that understanding and addressing root causes is a must when it comes to making our neighborhoods healthier.”

The results of the latest neighborhood-by-neighborhood health assessment are in, and they show the South End is a young, well-educated neighborhood.

Over half of residents are between the ages of 18 to 44, and 53 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Adults in the neighborhood are slightly less likely to smoke cigarettes or to have asthma and slightly more likely to exercise regularly compared to Boston overall.

However, substance abuse deaths and rates of emergency department visits for nonfatal violence remain challenges for the community.

“The coalition looks forward to this opportunity to share the results of our assessment and continue learning from residents from throughout the community about what impacts their health,” said Caitlin Johnson, coordinator of the South End Healthy Boston Coalition.

The event is free and open to the public.

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