La Colaborativa was a leader in transforming Chelsea from the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic to a model of health equity through effective community participation and response. Chelsea, like other Gateway Cities, was disproportionately and devastatingly impacted by the pandemic. We led with innovation to ensure equitable, and inclusive access to testing, vaccines, and community education.
La Colaborativa is applying what we’ve learned from pandemic response/emergency initiatives to develop an emerging model for health distribution to other social determinants of health. We went from a COVID hotspot to one of the leading high-risk cities in the state in terms of vaccination rates. With our distinct approach that is culturally relevant, community-based, and built on existing community assets, we can modify community behavior in multiple areas – including and far beyond virus prevention. This includes increasing food security, housing security, economic stability, mental wellness, access to healthcare services, healthy eating, physical fitness and more.
Current Health Initiatives
Food Security & Healthy Eating
Promoting food security and good nutrition are two key protective factors that can help keep our residents nourished and healthy amid the global pandemic and beyond. La Colaborativa has developed our food security and health equity initiatives to be closely interrelated and offer holistic, systemic solutions to address our community’s history of experiencing poor health outcomes and chronic food insecurity.
We have a limited supply of at-home COVID-19 tests available at La Colaborativa. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms are encouraged to get tested and these tests are free to all Chelsea residents.
More information about local testing locations and hours here.
We offer periodic vaccination clinics. People age 12 and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can get vaccinated against COVID-19. People ages 12-17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine. People age 18 and older can get any vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. You don’t need an ID or insurance to get it. Visit the City of Chelsea website for more information on vaccination clinic hours and locations.
Every Friday, we offer flu shot clinics at our food distribution at Sixth Street and Spruce Street. This clinic is free and open to anyone.
Blood Pressure Tests
Every Friday, we are offering blood pressure tests at our food distribution at Sixth Street and Spruce Street. These tests are free and open to anyone.
Each week, we offer exercise classes for our community members. Currently, we are offering a zumba class, a Latin dance class, and meditation classes. Check our social media for the latest updates on these classes.
This week, La Colaborativa's RIOT Squad is launching Season 1 of their podcast, Our Voice is Our Power. Entirely youth-led and -created, the podcast is meant to be a space for youth voices to speak on the issues impacting their lives and opportunities, and mobilize...
In the season 3 premiere of Giving Done Right, La Colaborativa Executive Director Gladys Vega talks with hosts Phil Buchanan and Grace Nicolette about our community, the pandemic, and what it truly means to have "boots on the ground." She discusses La Colaborativa’s...
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