Kelly Vitzthum

2014 Public Policy Summer Fellow

May 27, 2014
Graduate Degree:Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree:University of California, Berkeley
Area of Interest:Public Health Issues
Mentors:Ben Forman, MassINC and Ruth Sappelt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agency:Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Supervisor: Gail Hirsch, Office of Community Health Workers
Project Description:This summer, Kelly worked at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in the Office of Community Health Workers as well as the Office of Oral Health. She helped compile and summarize key research on the efficacy of Community Health Workers (CHWs) on specific disease areas in reducing healthcare costs and improving population health, work that will be included in a toolkit for Prevention and Wellness Trust fund grantees. She also developed documents for public consumption that detail best practices in the organizational integration of CHWs and address stakeholder concerns with Massachusetts’ current efforts to certify this emerging health profession. Kelly’s work with the Office of Oral Health included planning for a revision of the Status of Oral Disease in Massachusetts report; evaluation development for a medical-dental linkage pilot in community health clinics across the Commonwealth; and the drafting of a Department policy statement on community water fluoridation.