Jennifer Kelly, of Gloucester, is the new director of the Healthy Chelsea, a community coalition focused on improving the overall health of Chelsea residents by working to increase healthy eating active living and decrease the negative effects of substance misuse and toxic stress.
The coalition is supported by the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI).
Kelly comes to Chelsea with more than 20 years of experience working with youth, families, elders and communities both assessing and addressing their health needs. She has connected individuals to supportive service, such as housing, as well as provide crisis management, conflict resolution and outreach to those in need.
She has managed community coalition work for more than nine years. Most recently she was the coordinator for the Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, an evidence-based substance abuse prevention and resource coalition for individuals and families in that community. Kelly worked with community leaders and residents to determine the needs of the community. She provided resource and referral information, as well as ongoing support, to students and other community members. She facilitated comprehensive substance use education for students, parents, school faculty, and coaches, and she organized local support and psychosocial educational groups for users and family members who struggle with a loved one’s substance abuse. During her 2011-2016 tenure as coordinator, the coalition received funding from two important grants: the Drug Free Communities grant to reduce youth substance use and the Opioid Overdose Prevention Grant to fight the opioid epidemic.
Before working in Melrose, Kelly was the assistant coordinator for the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition (CSAC), a community coalition in Charlestown supported by CCHI. She received her Masters of Social Work from Salem State University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Vermont.