Christine Bongiorno, Public Health Director
27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 19, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition Director Completes Harvard’s Leaders In Health Program
ARLINGTON — Health and Human Services Director, Christine Bongiorno is pleased to announce that Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition Director, Karen Koretsky recently completed the Leaders in Health program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The Leaders in Health (LIH) program strengthens community health initiatives through introductory training in public health research and science. The LIH program aims to build the capacity of community partners by providing participants with an introduction to the fundamentals of community-based participatory research (CBPR), program planning and evaluation.
By earning her certification on Thursday, Nov. 8, Koretsky joined the ranks of more than 60 public health professionals certified by Leaders in Health since 2011.
Participants attended interactive training sessions, completed assignments and received support to create an action plan to enhance their work.
During the eight-week class, Koretsky learned about Community Based participatory Research (CBPR), project planning and evaluating methods to apply toward advancing the Arlington Youth health and Safety Coalition’s mission.
CBPR is a joint effort that involves researchers and community representatives in all phases of the research process. The program engages community members, uses local knowledge to understand health problems and design interventions tailored to specific communities. A critical element of the approach is the level of investment and engagement it elicits from community members in the research process.
Koretsky, developed an action plan and set goals toward improving the work of the Coalition, which focuses on preventing substance use and building resliency skills among Arlington youth ages 12-18. In her final presentation she described her plan for the Coalition’s Community Outreach and Engagement.
“Community investment in youth substance use prevention requires a multi-tiered approach,” Koretsky said. “Leaders in health taught me that in order to continue reducing youth use rates, we need to directly involve Arlington’s youth in the data collection, analysis and advocacy of our work. They must be active and engaged partners in our efforts.”