Boston’s Blue Hill Corridor community is one of the most challenged communities in Boston and Massachusetts overall. With 46,000 residents living in poverty, many are less likely to have and fully utilize health services and health insurance benefits, leading to undiagnosed and untreated disease. In addition, the area is a food, nutrition and exercise desert. It abounds with fast food restaurants and few healthy options and, because of high rates of crime and violence, there are few safe spaces for residents to engage in physical activity. The community faces some of the highest rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and stroke seen in Massachusetts.
Accessible health and wellness education and resources are needed to address these disparities and empower residents with the knowledge and tools to improve their personal and family health. Preventive health interventions in underserved communities where the challenges are vast can only be effective if delivered where residents live, work, and play. Otherwise, poor health literacy and economic frailty continue from generation to generation, perpetuating entrenched health and life disparities.