2017 Wellbeing of Somerville Report Reveals Data About City’s Overall Health

Report focuses on health across life stages and promotes holistic look at wellbeing, including social determinants from prenatal stage onward

The City of Somerville and Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) released today the 2017 Wellbeing of Somerville Report, a comprehensive look at the health of city residents. The report highlights health across the life stages: prenatal and early childhood, school age and adolescent, early adult, young adult, middle adult, and older adult.
“Using the social determinants of health in this report emphasizes the connections among health education, economy, housing, food security, safety, and health care and the impact they have on the general wellbeing of a community,” said co-author Doug Kress, Somerville’s Health and Human Services Director. 
In addition to the life stages data, the report also contains demographic data, including population figures and information on diversity in schools, educational attainment, poverty, housing access, health care access, and more.
“CHA’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve, and we are honored to take part in this initiative to better understand the drivers of health in Somerville across the lifespan,” said Cambridge Health Alliance CEO Patrick Wardell. “We look forward to learning together from the report about what factors are impacting the wellbeing of Somerville residents. As the health delivery system that cares for more than 25,000 Somerville residents annually, CHA is committed to working collaboratively on the next steps of this community health improvement process.”
"Data-driven decision making is at the core of who we are, and the data recorded in the Wellbeing Report gives us an opportunity to begin a community wide dialogue about the health of our city and the steps we want to take to improve it," said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. "Taking cues from our SomerVision process, we're excited to embark on a collaborative planning process alongside fellow government agencies, health care and community partners, and our residents to identify community health priorities and develop a comprehensive Community Health Improvement Plan."
Among the findings in the report are:
Somerville has one of the largest populations of young adults in the country with a median age of 31.3 years, and more than 32% of the population between the ages of 25 and 34 years.
In 2016, 80% of Somerville High School students reported that they had an adult outside of school they could talk to and 64.4% had a similar relationship with an adult in school.
In 2015, residents ages 35-64 were least likely to have health insurance and 6.1% of residents had no health insurance.
Alcohol and substance-related emergency department visits for adults aged 65+ were higher than the state average.
Lung cancer was the leading cause of death for those aged 65+; Somerville’s rate of lung cancer deaths is significantly higher than the state average.
The next phase of the report process will involve gathering community input on health and wellbeing priorities and developing a comprehensive Community Health Improvement Plan. Information regarding how to get involved with that process will be released soon.
The 2017 report represents a continuation of more than 25 years of periodic review and analysis of Somerville public and community health data. The previous community-wide health data report was published in 2011. The new report can be accessed online by visiting www.somervillema.gov/wellbeing.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected].