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Ongoing Projects

Project Solve

Project Solve aims to mitigate the impact of mental illness on vulnerable families by developing, testing, and disseminating strategies through novel care delivery systems.

Vital Village

Vital Village is a network of residents and organizations committed to maximizing child, family, and community well-being. Our place-based, community engagement network aims to mobilize collective investment from residents, community organizations (CBOs) and institutions to seed scalable and sustainable community change around child protection and promoting healthy socio-emotional development in early childhood. The Vital Village Network is using a collective impact approach to supporting deeper collaboration among educators, clinicians, social service providers, legal advocates and residents to strengthen prenatal, early childhood education, and economic security and preventive legal resources that support family and community protective factors. We have developed hubs of innovation within and a formal collaborative network across three Boston Neighborhoods: Dudley (Roxbury/North Dorchester), Mattapan, and Codman Square (Dorchester). We strive to connect and strengthen opportunity structures that support protective factors and family strengths within existing community resources.

Breastfeeding Center

Boston Birth Cohort

The Boston Birth Cohort initiated in 1998 is a large-scale molecular epidemiological study funded by the National Institute of Health, with a particular focus on environmental factors, genetic variants, epigenomic alterations, and their interactions in adverse reproductive outcomes, food allergy and related conditions, and obesity and metabolic syndrome in children. In 2002 a follow-up study was begun looking at health outcomes of the children enrolled at birth and continuing to seek care at Boston Medical Center.

Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Sciences (AFINS)

In 2009, Boston University School of Medicine facilitated the creation of the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Sciences (AFINS) in Hanoi, a partnership with a Vietnamese medical school (Hanoi Medical University), Vietnam’s largest tertiary care hospital (Bach Mai Hospital, BMH), and the National Institute of Nutrition in Vietnam, to support a largely unaddressed issue: hospital malnutrition.

The goal of the partnership was to create a center of excellence in clinical nutrition and serve as a national model for best hospital-based practices. We adopted a three-pronged approach consisting of education and training, medical nutrition care, and research. The partnership has grown to include experts from Boston Children’s Hospital, BU’s Sargent College, and Emory University. AFINS piloted the development of an infrastructure for nutrition departments in hospitals associated with BMH in the northern region, trained more than 1500 professionals, and is currently publishing project and research findings. During the AFINS intervention (2010-2013), the risk of malnutrition at BMH decreased by 25%.

AFINS has won support at the highest level of Vietnam’s healthcare system and is now viewed as a critical partner in the nation’s continued efforts to strengthen hospital nutrition throughout the country. In 2014-2015, AFINS will expand its efforts to provincial hospitals in other regions of Vietnam and, through its alliance with the largest children’s hospital in Southern Vietnam, Children’s Hospital #1, turn its focus to pediatric nutrition. By using a train-of-trainer model and offering new research opportunities, the partnership will continue to promote and facilitate the dissemination of standards for the inclusion of adult and pediatric nutrition into hospitals nationwide.

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