Matt Fishman

Vice President of Community Health

Matt Fishman
Since 1994, Matt Fishman has led Partners' efforts to collaborate with community health centers and other community-focused organizations to make measurable progress on public health problems (including racial disparities, economic opportunity, substance abuse, infant mortality and low birth weight, domestic violence, and chronic disease prevention and management) in the communities the Partners system serves. In addition, Matt focuses on improving systems of care for low income patients and their caregivers, and providing affordable coverage for the uninsured through implementation of the landmark Massachusetts health care reform law, which he worked with many other people to help design. Previously, Mr. Fishman worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). As a Deland Fellow, he was a key participant in designing and implementing new efforts to respond to rising infant mortality rates in Boston. To carry out the hospital’s commitments, he established and became the first Director of BWH’s Center for Perinatal and Family Health (now the Office for Women, Family, and Community Programs). At the same time, he was the Operations Director for BWH’s Emergency Department (ED) for three years. He led efforts to improve ED patient satisfaction by improving ED systems and ED collaboration with inpatient units and other hospital departments. Matt began his career in state government. He served as Budget Director for the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare and then as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services during the second and third terms of Governor Michael Dukakis. He helped to develop and obtain funding for what became a nationally recognized job training, employment, and child care program for women on public assistance. Matt also played a key role in Massachusetts’s first effort to design and finance a statewide universal health insurance coverage system in 1987-88. And he led efforts to design and implement new models of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS treatment, and convert underutilized hospitals to other health care uses. Matt serves on the boards of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, the Institute for Community Health, and the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute. He is a graduate of Harvard College.

Community Grants Fight Hunger This Holiday Season

Hunger Assistance Grant Awardees

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and families, we are mindful of the challenges and stress the holidays can bring for some of the families in our communities.

One of those challenges is hunger.

This holiday season we’re helping to address this issue and providing grants – $10,000 in total – to community health centers to ensure that their patients have a little more food on their tables. These grants are an expansion of our commitment to fighting hunger and food insecurity. During the summer months, we collaborate with Project Bread to bring more than 450,000 meals to children throughout the communities we serve.

The hunger assistance grants will help health centers to provide quality, coordinated care that includes helping fill the hunger gap and making sure patients have enough to eat.

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Tags: community, community partnerships

Partners Named Most Charitable Corporate Contributor by Boston Business Journal

Matt Fishman of Partners HealthCare accepted our award at the Boston Business Journal 2012 Corporate Citizenship Summit. Business Journal photo by W. Marc Bernsau

We are thrilled to be ranked as this year’s most charitable corporate contributor by the Boston Business Journal. It is a privilege to be able to work every day toward improving the health and well-being of low-income residents within the communities we serve.

The Community Health team at Partners HealthCare strives to make measureable, sustainable improvements in the health of our communities by focusing our investments, collaborations and partnerships on increasing coverage and access to health care; enhancing economic and educational opportunities; and improving health and well-being through prevention.

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Tags: community

A Mission to Fight Hunger in the Summer Months

In some of the communities we serve, more than 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Now that the school year is over, you may wonder, where will those students eat lunch over the summer?

Thanks to the Summer Food Service (SFSP) program, as well as our partnership with Project Bread, children don’t have to miss meals during the summer months. We are helping to close the meal gap and prevent food insecurity for children during the summertime so they can return to school healthy and ready to learn in the fall.

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Tags: community partnerships

Supporting Boston Moves for Health

Today marks the official launch of Mayor Menino’s Boston Moves for Health initiative, which encourages residents across the city to lose one million pounds and walk 10 million miles over the next year. At Partners HealthCare, we are committed to providing a healthier tomorrow for our patients and the communities we serve, and together with our founding hospitals – Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital – we are committing $100,000 to this program.

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Tags: community

Improving the Well-Being of Our Communities

Following a rigorous strategic planning process, Partners Community Health recently identified three priority areas of focus in order to increase our commitment to the communities we serve. These three strategies – enhancing access to health care, building tomorrow’s health care workforce and improving the health and well-being of communities through prevention – will help us meet our goals of positively impacting the overall health of low income and vulnerable people.

Access

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Tags: community, community partnerships, creating jobs

Partners’ Healthy Living Forum: Battling Obesity in Our Communities

At Partners HealthCare, we’re committed to helping those in the neighborhoods we serve make healthier choices. Recently, we presented a healthy living forum in collaboration with Jeanne Blake of Words Can Work, a series of DVDs and booklets addressing the problems and challenges facing our youth. The forum featured community and legislative leaders (including Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, pictured left) and focused on how to talk with young people about physical fitness, nutrition and healthy weight (see more photos from the event here).

The obesity epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues of our time. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, more than one third of children in Massachusetts are overweight or obese, and in some communities, that number is as high as half. Through community-based initiatives such as these and others promoting healthy living, we are focusing on our mission of positively impacting the health of present and future generations.

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Tags: community

Serving our Communities and Enhancing Access to Care in Lynn

Partners HealthCare remains committed to making care accessible within the local communities we serve. Last year alone, we invested over $185 million in initiatives designed to aid the underserved, and we are pleased to announce the culmination of a partnership with Lynn Community Health Center that will deepen our commitment to the surrounding community even further.

With substantial support from the federal government and a $3 million dollar grant from Partners and North Shore Medical Center (NSMC), Lynn Community Health Center – the largest provider of primary care in Lynn – is opening a new addition that will enhance access to primary care. Groundbreaking for the project began back in June of 2010, and the expanded space will allow two new primary care teams to pilot innovative approaches to care. Based on the Patient Centered Medical Home Model, these initiatives will emphasize enhanced access to care, patient engagement, coordinated services across the health system and a team-based approach that fully integrates medical and behavioral health care. These teams are designed to deliver lower cost care with high social impact.

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Tags: community, community partnerships

Text Messaging Program for Pregnant Women Expands to Jamaica Plain

Earlier this year, I wrote about a pilot program at the Lynn Community Health Center that uses text messaging to encourage pregnant women to receive the proper amount of pre-natal care.

The messages were delivered to a group of 25 women, age 22 on average, who often had limited support systems in place and would truly benefit from additional reminders about how to have a healthy pregnancy. These messages were found to give the moms-to-be a feeling of being closely connected to their care team. A majority of the women who participated told us that the text messages also helped them to learn more ways to take care of themselves and their babies. In fact, results of patient surveys and review of the data showed women who got text messages from their clinical team received the recommended level of pre-natal care 9 percent more than other pregnant women who did not get text messages.

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Tags: community, technology

Camp Harbor View: A Commitment to Our Communities and Our Young People

Camp Harbor View (CHV) offers hundreds of Boston’s young people an escape from the city in the hot summer months, a respite from neighborhoods where violence is a factor and a chance to experience the peaceful, natural beauty of Boston’s Harbor Islands. 

We’ve supported the camp since it began, and this year we are deepening our commitment by adding an additional session called – the Health Explorers Camp.

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Tags: community partnerships

Youth Program Celebrates Teen Contributions to Community Health

Dozens of Cambodian youth in Lynn are making positive, healthy choices in their community through a youth program called KAYA.

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Tags: community, community partnerships

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our members and services, visit Partners.org