Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance awarded $100k Hearst Health Prize

New York City-based Hearst Health and Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University's College of Population Health awarded the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance in Boston the 2018 Hearst Health Prize for its program that provides permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people.

The $100,000 annual award recognizes outstanding achievement in managing or improving health in the U.S. The honorees are selected based on population health impact, measurable improvement and scalability and other criteria.

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance's supportive housing program, called Home and Healthy for Good, aims to decrease overutilization of acute care and emergency care by removing housing barriers. The program's tenants live in leased, independent apartments or shared living arrangements and have access to medical and mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, case management and vocational training.

Home and Healthy for Good resulted in a 78 percent decrease in emergency services use within the first six months of housing and an increase in utilization of preventive and primary care services.

"Awarding the Hearst Health Prize to Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance acknowledges that housing and health are intertwined," said David Nash, MD, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health. "The provision of housing and related services are interventions that have an impact on issues such as readmissions, addiction, employment, mental health and preventive healthcare."

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