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Community Health Improvement Plan & Community Health Assessment

Community Health Improvement Plan

In 2015, the City of Worcester Division of Public Health as the lead agency of the Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance, in partnership with UMass Memorial and Fallon Health, sought to answer this question and others about the health status of the communities of Greater Worcester through a Community Health Assessment (CHA). That process revealed a number of priorities our community needs to address in order to best improve health. Some of those priorities were more immediately apparent such as substance use. Some were more complicated, like economic opportunity.

Using the information that was gathered in the CHA, including the input of over 1,500 individuals who live, work, learn or play in the Greater Worcester region, a process began to create this Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). A CHIP is used as roadmap for health improvement over a 3-5 year period and guides the investment of resources of not only the health department, hospitals and health plans, but of any and all organizations that have a stake in improving health for the residents of Worcester and the surrounding communities. This CHIP for the towns of Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury, West Boylston and the City of Worcester, was developed using a 6-month planning process. Shortly after the completion of the 2015 CHA, the planning process for the 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) began.

The CHA identified 9 priority areas. Subsequently, 8 working groups were established each with 2-3 conveners who volunteered or were nominated as leaders of a four session planning process. Conveners and staff of WDPH recruited members of those groups who went through a standardized process to set actionable objectives and strategies using the data in the CHA. Once completed, the Worcester Partnership for Racial and Ethnic Health Equity convened two roundtables to assess all proposed objectives and strategies through a lens of health equity.

1 Goal: Health Equity

3 Core Principals: Invest First in the Community, Empower, Listen to and Respect Community Voice, Eliminate Gaps Between Services

9 Priority Areas: Racism & Discrimination, Substance Use, Access to Care, Mental Health, Economic Opportunity, Cultural Responsiveness, Access to Healthy Food, Physical Activity, Safety

How Can You or your Organization Get Involved?

Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan. The vision of making the Greater Worcester region the healthiest in New England by 2020 is a huge undertaking, but with your help and commitment we can succeed! Please join us and CHIP In to help make our community the healthiest it can be by filling out one of these agreements, available for both individuals and organizations:

Completed forms can be sent to:

Worcester Division of Public Health, Room 200
25 Meade Street
Worcester, MA 01610


Community Health Assessment

Advancing the health of a community is critical for improving residents' quality of life and enhancing the future social and economic wellbeing of the community. To this end, the Division of Public Health, lead agency of the Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance, Fallon Health, UMass Memorial Medical Center and Healthy Greater Worcester CHNA-8 are leading a comprehensive community health planning effort to measurably enhance the health of residents in the Greater Worcester area, including the City of Worcester and the communities of Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury and West Boylston. The community health assessment, which examines a range of health behaviors and outcomes, social and economic issues, health care access and gaps and strengths of existing resources and services, is an essential tool for identifying major health priorities and overarching goals for the region.


The 2015 Greater Worcester Community Health Assessment utilized the Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework as a guide. The MAPP tool was developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in cooperation with the CDC.

MAPP is used to guide community health improvement planning through four (4) key assessments:

  1. Community Themes and Strengths Assessment
  2. Local Public Health System Assessment
  3. Community Health Status Assessment
  4. Forces of Change Assessment

The information gathered through these assessments is then utilized to identify key priorities and strategic health improvement goals. The Community Health Assessment Facilitating Partners conducted these assessments in the Greater Worcester region to build a comprehensive assessment to inform the development of the 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan.

For more information on the methods, please visit the MAPP framework.

To view the full report view the 2015 Greater Worcester Community Health Assessment (CHA).

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