About Our Region
The Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network is a collaborative working to enhance and improve public health-related services within the region. The Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network is hosted by the City of Manchester Health Department. The mission of the Manchester Health Department is, “to improve the health of individuals, families, and the community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats.”
Public Health Region
The Greater Manchester Public Health Region includes the City of Manchester and the Towns of Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Deerfield, Goffstown, Hooksett, and New Boston. The Greater Manchester Public Health Region serves the approximately 180,000 people living in these communities.
Regional Public Health Advisory Council
The Greater Manchester Public Health Advisory Council is comprised of community leaders and representatives from a diverse group of community sectors. The primary work of the Council is to set regional health priorities, provide guidance to regional public health activities, and ensure coordination of health improvement efforts. In addition, the Advisory Council will be part of the Health Department’s Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy as it implemented.
Priorities for Action
- Substance misuse prevention – The Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network provides infrastructure, leadership, and coordination to increase the number and reach of evidence-based substance misuse prevention programs, policies, and practices implemented in the region. Utilizing an asset-based public health approach, the network coordinator, regional Substance Misuse Prevention Committee, and partners engage and support the business, education, health, safety, government, and community and family supports sectors in the implementation of the region’s strategic plan. In addition the Makin’ It Happen Coalition for Resilient Youth is engaged in YouthNet, a year-long leadership program, Suicide Prevention Initiative (Spi), and Life of an Athlete, a premier whole health youth empowerment program. For more information about the Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network’s work regarding substance misuse prevention, please visit www.mih4u.org or contact Mary Forsythe-Taber at 603-686-6844.
- Continuum of care – Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network provides leadership and coordination in developing a comprehensive, effective, and well-coordinated substance misuse services Continuum of Care (CoC). This work includes convening subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify assets and gaps and to develop regional plans that initiate cooperative actions that increase awareness of current services, remove barriers to accessing services, increase capacity of existing services, and develop new services to fill gaps. A Substance Misuse Collaborative group including providers from Prevention, Intervention, Treatment, and Recovery meets monthly to network and discuss CoC concerns. Additional workgroups meet more often to forward the region’s Development Plan. For more information about Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network’s work regarding CoC, visit our website or contact Jenny O’Higgins.
- Public health emergency preparedness – The Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network provides leadership and coordination to improve the readiness of partners to mount an effective response to public health emergencies and threats. This work includes the maintenance of a Regional Public Health Emergency Annex, which includes plans for response to and recovery from public health emergencies that impact communities in the region. In addition, the Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network works closely with hospitals, municipal emergency management directors, and other governmental, public health, and health care entities to plan for public health emergencies and ensure the provision of public health, medical, and behavioral health services before, during, and after an incident. Since the Manchester Health Department is a full-service, local health department, it serves as the foundation for regional response. For more information about the Greater Manchester Regional Public Health Network’s work regarding public health emergency preparedness, please visit www.manchesternh.gov or contact Phil Alexakos at 624-6466 x307.
- Emergency volunteers – The Greater Manchester Public Health Region coordinates efforts to recruit, train, and deploy a volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) during public health emergencies. The MRC supports local emergency responders to provide emergency public health services throughout the region. MRC volunteers include medical, public health, and general professionals. For more information about the Greater Manchester MRC, please contact Phil Alexakos at 624-6466 x307 or visit http://gmmrc.manchesternh.gov or www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterMedicalReserveCorps.
- Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy (NHIS) – There are many worthwhile recommendations that were generated from the NHIS process. However, it would be highly challenging and resource intensive to attempt to implement ALL of these recommendations simultaneously. To establish a solid foundation in which to grow, the NHIS Leadership Team has identified the following as priority recommendations for action in launching the NHIS.
- Create resident leadership training opportunities for youth and families to be engaged and empowered to lead/participate in efforts to improve neighborhood safety and quality of life.
- Establish a coalition of key stakeholders to conduct an asset mapping and gap analysis of local resources essential for supporting economic self-sufficiency on the individual level as well as community economic development.
- Create a coordinated and sustainable “Healthy Homes” system comprised of multi-disciplinary partnerships and approaches that effectively and efficiently address living conditions which impact resident health, safety, and well-being.
- Ensure that all children and families have the early developmental support that they need for a healthy start, including intensive programs that promote healthy child development, school readiness, and parental skill development.
- Strategically align and connect the health care delivery system with community and public health services to improve individual outcomes and overall neighborhood health through care coordination/case management in the elementary school environment.
- Strengthen the focus on behavioral and mental health care by co-locating providers in the elementary school environment.
- Provide intensive community services and programming for at-risk, elementary-aged youth and their family to prevent truancy and promote attendance.
The priority recommendations were selected based on their ability to synergistically combine for greater impact. Overall, the NHIS Leadership Team believes that the Manchester community should first invest in building systems and mechanisms for empowerment aimed at improving family stability for younger children. Therefore, the beginning work of the NHIS has also been further prioritized for early childhood and elementary school aged children and their families. For more information, contact Anna Thomas, Deputy Public Health Director at 624-6466 x 341 or visit: http://www.manchesternh.gov/health/NeighborhoodHealthImprovementStrategy.pdf.