The Kraft Center for Community Health creates new career paths for next generation of community health leaders
10/11/2012, 5:45 a.m.
With the support of Partners HealthCare and its founding academic medical centers — Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals — The Kraft Center for Community Health is helping to develop the careers of physicians and nurses who are committed to improving the health of our communities.
“We hope that our focus on developing the careers of a committed group of physicians and nurses will build resources in our community — bringing more primary care, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry to health center-based practice sites,” said Derri Shtasel, M.D., M.P.H, Executive Director for the Kraft Center for Community Health.
The Kraft Center for Community Health was established in 2011 by a generous gift from the Kraft family to Partners HealthCare to expand access to high-quality, cost-effective health care for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Community health centers serve as clinical practice sites for the motivated young physicians and nurses engaged with Kraft Center programs, offering them hands-on experience and mentorship from seasoned clinicians well-versed in the specific needs of underserved communities.
Together with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the Kraft Center is actively collaborating with health centers across the Commonwealth — including sites in Roxbury, Dorchester, South End, Jamaica Plain, Chelsea and Brockton areas.
“Through our programs which combine clinical, management, policy and research activities, we hope participants are better equipped to address the diverse health care needs of our communities and serve as leaders in the delivery of health services,” said Shtasel.
The Kraft Center’s focus is post-residency training through a fellowship or a practitioner track. Kraft Center programs provide participants the opportunity to obtain an MPH (Master of Public Health) through the Harvard School of Public Health, mentorship from community and academic experts, hands-on experience in public sector health activities, immersion in a clinical community health center-based practice and a loan repayment program.
“Chronic diseases affect patients from all socioeconomic classes, but fall most heavily upon societies most disadvantaged,” said Ian Huntington, M.D., a Kraft Fellow engaged in clinical practice at Codman Square Health Center. “Based on my experiences through the Kraft Center, I seek to find a bridge between the system as it is now and the needs of the patients who use it most.”