Collaborating to Support Our Community
In late 2021, as the mental health crisis among children and adolescents intensified, the City of Stamford, Department of Health & Human Services, Stamford Public Schools and a multitude of clinical and community service providers turned to the Vita Health and Wellness Partnership to help address it through a unique, collaborative approach, the Stamford Youth Mental Health Alliance (Stamford YMHA).
The Stamford YMHA addresses the challenges facing our youth, promoting mental wellness through a community-based strategy of awareness and response. YMHA members, representing many Vita partner organizations, focus on early intervention, prevention, and improving access to care. Our goal is to engage families, youth, and civic organizations in a comprehensive effort to reduce risk factors and increase protection factors. We invite you to visit the Stamford YMHA website, which presents a variety of resources, connections, and calendar of local events.
In March of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic became our new collective reality, the Vita Health and Wellness Partnership convened a unique Community Table, a network exceeding 100 community agencies to share information, pool resources and solve common challenges. One outcome was the establishment of the Vita Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) initiative to address a gap in the supply of personal protective equipment for Stamford’s essential front-line employees and service volunteers.
The Vita PPE initiative is a collective response to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. The community providers that comprise the Vita Partnership provide direct services to members of the Stamford population that are, or may be, exposed to COVID-19. Many of these organizations have critical shortages of protective masks and disposable gloves that are vitally important to safe and responsible client contact. By collaborating to address this common, urgent threat, Vita has demonstrated – as it has for the past ten years – that collective action is an effective response to a complex challenge, enabling individual organizations help address the needs of the broader community.
Committed to the Health of Stamford’s Most Vulnerable Members
Vita, pronounced vee-da, is Latin for “life.” The Vita Health and Wellness Partnership aligns multiple community service organizations to support the health and wellness of vulnerable Stamford residents.
Vita’s mission is to harness the power of collective action to propel Stamford’s commitment to healthful living by addressing the social determinants of health (termed SDOH). Stamford’s lower income and at-risk populations exhibit a disproportionate share of chronic disease and poor health status relative to the greater community. These disparities partially reflect their limited access to various forms of health care, largely related to specific social, environmental and economic conditions.
Just a few years ago, Stamford’s West Side neighborhood, called the Vita Health & Wellness District, was dispirited and home to some of our city’s least healthy residents. Vita’s vision of a vibrant residential and commercial district has now been realized at the doorstep of the new Stamford Hospital, with beautiful mixed-income housing communities, healthcare, thriving businesses and a communal urban farm. Cross-sector partnerships propel supportive services and programs to help individuals, families and small businesses reach their fullest potential.
Recently, the Vita Partnership has expanded its footprint beyond the West Side to encompass the entire city of Stamford. By working closely with the city’s public safety and health departments, Stamford Health, and other health and social service providers, Vita has emerged as a vital source of support for the entire community, creating the Vita Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) initiative and maximizing the impact of partners’ collective efforts on behalf of the most vulnerable members of our community.
The heart of our community, the organic, volunteer-powered Fairgate Farm plants, cultivates, harvests and shares more than 7,500 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables each year. Fairgate Farm also sponsors tours, learning labs, family workshops, cooking demonstration and special events.
The Stamford Community Collaborative, a partnership of community organizations, is focused on helping the Stamford community, including the people who live and work in Stamford’s West Side, to be as healthy as possible.
Many factors shape health.
Cross-sector partnerships, a volunteer-powered urban farm and green, mixed-income housing are just some of the innovative “interventions” bringing new health and vitality to Stamford’s West Side neighborhood. Learn who we are, what we are doing and why:
40 Clinton Avenue, Stamford, CT 06901