Community Health Solutions
Community Health Solutions offers over sixteen years of experience at the local level to plan, coordinate and support effective public health and prevention programs addressing health, nutrition and food insecurity, fitness, underage substance abuse prevention, school climate and bullying, and trauma-informed communities.
Community Health Solutions Consulting
Our approach seeks to create effective community health engagement models by involving the community to make change. Community engagement for healthy change begins at the grassroots. At CES, we know that social and environmental risk and protective factors underpin and support strong educational outcomes for all students and families. In keeping with our mission to to develop and foster educational excellence and opportunity for all learners through collaboration and leadership,
We believe that the foundation of any successful project is getting to know the communities or groups that we are working with, and designing programs as a trusted partner. Our consultants are expert at assessment, evaluation, and in the use and adaptation of multiple evidence-based models and processes for change, applied to meet the specific needs of the project. Our close ties to and experience in western Massachusetts provide clients with opportunities to view projects and needs from the grassroots level.
Our consultants have deep knowledge in the following areas.
- Healthy Food Access/Diet and Nutrition
- Healthy Retail
- Physical Activity/Fitness
- Overweight and Obesity
- Age-friendly Communities
- Community Planning for Health/Community Walkability
- Substance Abuse Prevention
- School Climate
- Trauma-informed Care
- Youth Development and Mental Health
Who do we work with?
Community Health Solutions helps nonprofit organizations, local and regional public and private health institutions and departments, government, schools, colleges and universities, community organizations and groups, youth and adult leaders to gather research and assess community needs, and facilitates strategic planning and implementation for programs that can increase healthy behaviors and support healthy communities. Among the clients and partners we have in this work are Healthy Hampshire, SPIFFY, Educational Development Corporation, and the Northampton Prevention Coalition.
Assessment and Evaluation
We gather, analyze, and use data to assess community-wide strengths and problem areas.
- Youth Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS)
- Surveys of parents, teachers, youth, and community residents
- Qualitative data collection methods (focus groups and key informant interviews)
- Data searches and presentation of data
- Walkability and Bike-ability audits
Strategic Planning for Community Engagement
- Strategic planning and community capacity building
- Facilitating collaboration
- Successful grants and funding development
- Sustainability planning
- Engaging youth and adults in making their community a healthier place to live
Evidence-Based Prevention Strategies
Promoting a wide variety of healthy behaviors:
- Community outreach and engagement
- Using the risk and protective framework
- Educational curriculum
- Social norms marketing
Heathy Hampshire, including the Food Access Advisory Committee convened in 2017, is administered by the City of Northampton in partnership with Community Health Solutions. We work with residents, community partners and municipalities in 11 communities to reduce rates of chronic disease by effecting changes to policies and systems that encourage physical activity, healthy food access, improved patient care, and linkages between healthcare systems and community-level prevention activities.
Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth (SPIFFY)
SPIFFY is a coalition of over 80 community partners working together to improve outcomes for youth in Hampshire County. For twenty years, CES has administered the Coalition and CHS assists in its work.
I cannot stress how happy I am with CES – I have been in this business for 30 years, and I’ve never worked with such great people. One of the best outfits we’ve worked with on grant administration.
— Public Health Director
Community Health Solutions Team
Sue Cairn, M.Ed.
Sue has over 25 years of experience managing grants and has extensive experience collaborating with schools that serve at-risk youth, behavioral health providers, youth serving agencies, and community partners. Sue specializes in coalition building, community engagement, strategic planning and assessment, in particular in the area of prevention and public health. In her work with SPIFFY, Sue has coordinated the substance abuse prevention coalition, including assessment, the development of strategic plans, sustainability, coordination of environmental strategy implementation, and fundraising. Sue focuses on collaboration and community building, with a focus on ensuring that all voices are brought to the table.
Position: Director, Healthy Families and Communities
Phone: 413.586.4900 x5580
S. Clarke Bankert, MPH
Clarke Bankert (she/her/they/them) is the Senior Manager for Community Inclusion Strategies, and in this role she facilitates a variety of community-led processes to promote healthy communities, shift power to people most impacted by health inequities, and dismantle systems of oppression that concentrate power in the hands of the few. Prior to this role, she managed Healthy Hampshire for eight years and has worked in the field of public health for over a dozen years to create healthier communities by supporting community-led processes for change. She has been involved in all aspects of the change process, including assessment and data collection, program design, program implementation, evaluation and organizational capacity building. Through each of these elements, Clarke brings a passion for community-led efforts that center the voices and actions of people who experience the greatest burden of health inequities in our communities. Prior to her work at CES, Clarke was a Prevention Specialist with the Western Massachusetts Center for Healthy Communities, a program of Cooley Dickinson Hospital supporting regional public health efforts. While at the Center for Healthy Communities she conducted the first Community Health Needs Assessment for the hospital and provided technical assistance on community food systems to the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council.
Position: Senior Manager, Community Inclusion Strategies
Heather Warner, MPH
Heather Warner, MPH, (she/her/hers) is the Hampshire Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership Coordinator, at the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Tobacco-Free Community Partnership is part of a statewide public health program, the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) focused on comprehensive approaches to reduce tobacco and nicotine use. The program aims to reduce the health and economic burden of tobacco use by preventing young people from starting to smoke, helping current smokers to quit, protecting children and adults from secondhand smoke, and identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities.
Prior to starting her position with the Tobacco-Free Partnership in 2022, Heather worked for 15 years at CES as the SPIFFY Coalition Coordinator and then Manager. Heather’s passion for public health started when she worked at the Holyoke Health Department as the Director of the Holyoke Tobacco Control Program when the first tobacco-free laws were being established, before moving into the role of Coordinator for the Holyoke Community Health Planning Commission. With encouragement from local mentors, Heather attended the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences in Amherst and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Community Health Education. At the heart of her public health work is a deep commitment to listening, learning and taking action to address systemic and structural racism and promote social justice through collective and transformative frameworks for change.
Position: Hampshire Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership Coordinator
Phone: (413) 588-5583