Students in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University complete their degree requirements by participating in a group capstone project in conjunction with and in service to a public or nonprofit sector partner. These projects are research-based and client-oriented analyses, which, in the end, are applied by the client to the issue at hand. Areas of focus range broadly, encompassing issues of urban and regional policy (e.g., transit oriented development, housing, and sustainability), social policy (e.g., workforce development, community services, urban education, health), and public and nonprofit sector management (e.g., strategic planning, budgeting, program evaluation).
In spring 2020, students Randall Gilbert, John Lovett, and Alexandra Sullivan Muniz worked with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy in Boston to develop recommendations on the relocation of the Shattuck Hospital from its current site in Jamaica Plain to other potential near-by sites.
Here is an excerpt from the executive summary:
The Lemuel Shattuck Hospital is one of four Department of Public Health (DPH) teaching hospitals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, currently located in Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain. It is a state-operated hospital, consisting of 260 beds. The hospital provides medical and psychiatric treatment to the state’s most vulnerable and underserved patient populations. The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has decided that the hospital will relocate its psychiatric inpatient and outpatient services, in 2021, to the Newton Pavilion in the South End. The Commonwealth considers the cost of renovating the existing Shattuck Hospital building to be excessively high, and has determined that it would be more economically feasible to demolish it. There are currently multiple proposals on the table for the future use of the Shattuck Hospital campus. However, non-profit providers that currently work in conjunction with the Shattuck Hospital are expected to remain on site.
Our client, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy (ENC), is interested in restoring the site to its original use as parkland. Prior to moving forward with this proposal, the remaining non-profit providers would need to be relocated within the neighborhood. The non-profit providers’ services include residential mental and behavioral health treatment programs, a methadone clinic, and the Pine Street Inn shelter, among other housing and health services for the homeless.Our team researched and assessed best practices in terms of delivering the aforementioned services. We also conducted a search for alternative sites within a mile radius of the Shattuck Hospital site to house such services, of which we found many.