Health Department

A Conversation about COVID-19
Dr. Swannie Jett Statement on Racism
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With Phase 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening of businesses and services, recreational marijuana stores are being allowed to open. This could mean greater access for teens, who may not realize that even occasional marijuana smoking and vaping can compromise lungs and increase susceptibility and complications from COVID. Vaping has been especially problematic during the closure, which has caused an upswing in black market cartridges, which can be especially dangerous due to unregulated chemicals. At least one Brookline teen has gone to the hospital with a very severe reaction from vaping.

CNN has done a recent informative piece -


Population Health


I’ve been asked many times what population health is. Wikipedia defines it as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group." It is in essence, a strategic plan to improve the health of the entire population.

Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 1998) Public Health is “What we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy." (IOM 1988).

 Public Health 

  • Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Prevents injuries
  • Promotes and encourages healthy behavior
  • Responds to disasters
  • Assures the quality and accessibility of Health Services

 “Population health is public health”

  • A medical model saves lives one person at a time
  • Public Health saves lives millions at a time.

Through public health achievements life expectancy in the United States has increased from 47.3 years in 1900 to 78.1 years in 1996. That’s a 25+ years of life improvement.

Additional Information

Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Commissioner of Public Health, asks that you contact the Brookline Health Department at 617-730-2300 with any questions or requests for additional information.