Chelsea Welcomes Robert Wood Johnson Team Today, Friday

By Seth Daniel

A team of leaders from the City, the non-profit sector and from Mass General-Chelsea were ready to roll out the red carpet on May 18 and 19 as evaluators from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation pay a visit to Chelsea to see what makes the town tick.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino, GreenRoots Co-Director Roseann Bongiovanni and MGH’s Leslie Aldrich announced on Wednesday that they would have an official welcome for the contingent in the Council Chambers today, May 18, at 1:30 p.m.

From there, they planned to take the group on a bus tour of the City, visiting several non-profits and businesses with the Chamber of Commerce to highlight how the different sectors work well together to promote better public health.

The team is expected to take a social visit to the monthly Chel-Yea gathering Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Mystic Brewery, and it is expected a large turnout of residents and the business community will be there to welcome them.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health prize is in its sixth year, with Chelsea being one of 11 communities in the finals and getting a personal visit.

The Chelsea GreenRoots and the MGH/TND team both applied for the prize during the first round, but neither knew that the other had applied. Having watched the City of Everett win last year, many in Chelsea though they had a good chance to showcase the city as well and win the $25,000 cash prize.

After Round 1 was completed, both organizations were contacted by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and told they both had strong applications. They were asked if they would consider combining them, and the answer was a resounding ‘yes.’

Now, having survived Round 1, they are hoping to be chosen from the 11 finalists.

The site team, who are all independent experts in the public health field, will be on a bus tour that will include several stops throughout the day on Friday as well. The visit will also include the showing of a four-minute video that was put together by several youth groups in Chelsea.

The winner of the prize is expected to be announced in late summer.

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