Lowell General Hospital, the Greater Lowell Health Alliance, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell work together to conduct an assessment of community health needs for the communities of Greater Lowell every three years. This region includes the cities and towns of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, and Westford. This assessment evaluates the overall health of the community members, overviews the strengths and weaknesses of the area’s health services, identifies health barriers and social determinants of health, and provides recommendations to improve the health of its residents.
This report summarizes the major findings from our community health needs assessment. Primary data collection included 20 listening sessions with more than 20 participants, 19 key informant interviews and 1,355 surveys completed by community members. Secondary data sources included demographic, socioeconomic, and public health data.
The top health problems that were identified in the focus groups and interviews in order of preference and supported by public health data include:
- mental health
- substance addiction
- alcohol abuse/addiction
- and nutrition
Populations recognized in the community at greatest risk of health problems are people who identify as immigrants and refugees, the elderly population, people who earn low-wages, people who are homeless-experienced, teenagers and youth, and people who are part of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community.