photo of mother and child

our priorities

The Greater Watertown Community Healthy Foundation (GWCHF) is working to make sure the future is bright for everyone who calls our community home, especially our children.

A huge share of healthcare resources is used to treat already-established disease. In contrast, GWCHF is focused on the "upstream" determinants of health. We are concentrating on the root causes of disease, addressing health risks at an early stage when prevention, early intervention and health promotion have the biggest benefits.

With a focus on health equity, we strategically allocate resources to move the needle on key child health indicators. Our strategic priorities include:

strong families

Weaving a web of support for young children and families

kindergarten readiness

Providing great early learning opportunities

school success

Creating systems of student supports

social emotional well-being

Growing resilient communities

healthy eating active living

Making health the easy choice


For each of our strategies, we closely monitor a performance indicator to ensure we are moving the needle with our investments.

link to community health needs assessment
family

strong families

Strong, healthy families lay the foundation for a child's success. We strategically weave a web of support so young children and families have the five key strengths to thrive:

Helping kids understand their feelings

Showing kids how to name, understand and manage emotions, express themselves and get along with others.

Parenting as children grow

Learning to support their child's growth at every age and stage.

Connecting with others

Building a network of people who care about each other.

Building inner strength

Keeping it together – and even growing stronger – during times of stress.

Knowing how to find help

Seeking support in times of need and knowing how to accept help when it's offered.

Performance Indicator: Child abuse & neglect rates
family

kindergarten readiness

Development in a child's early years is critical to their lifelong health and learning. By providing great early learning opportunities, children will be equipped with the social, emotional and developmental readiness skills to be successful in school.

Performance Indicator: 4-year-old developmental skill proficiency rates
family

school success

Every child deserves the support needed in order for him or her to be successful in school. We work with educators to create systems of student supports so every child can thrive.

Performance Indicator: Third grade reading proficiency & student attendance rates
family

social emotional well-being

When children are well socially and emotionally, they are better able to thrive in all areas of life. High social and emotional competence increases high school and post-secondary education completion rates, employment rates and average wages. It decreases dropout rates, behavior and mental health challenges, teen pregnancy, drug use and criminal behavior.

We invest in building systems that focus on growing resilient communities with the conditions needed for all children to be socially and emotionally well.

Performance Indicator: Student anxiety & depression rates
family

healthy eating active living

Studies show that children who enjoy good nutrition and regular physical activity feel better, behave better, are more attentive, have fewer absences, and achieve higher academic outcomes. When we make health the easy choice, children can develop habits to promote long-term wellness.

Performance Indicator: Student fruit & vegetable consumption