The Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is a long-term regional strategic plan for addressing health disparities and improving community health based on the Greater Worcester Regional Community Health Assessment (CHA) and subsequent community conversations with local leaders and residents. The Worcester Division of Public Health (WDPH) and Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester collaborate to manage the CHIP's development and implementation across the Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance (CMRPHA). The CHIP also complements the CMRPHA municipalities’ strategic plans for healthy, thriving communities.
Some recent initiatives that have resulted in part from community implementation of previous CHIPs include:
The 2021-2026 CHIP was developed over a span of 16 months, and it is intended to be a living, breathing roadmap for health improvement and resource investment to support WDPH, hospitals and organizations that have a stake in improving health for the residents of CMRPHA communities. It was informed by data and priority health concerns presented by the 2018 Greater Worcester Regional Community Health Assessment, as well as 35 in-depth conversations with nearly 100 residents.
The 2021-2026 CHIP was shaped by four central principles:
Compared to previous CHIPs, the 2021-2026 targets more focused, "upstream" systems that currently breed health inequity as opposed to a "downstream" list of individual programs or goals. Improving policy and root social determinants of health, such as access to education and housing, will lead to more sustainable and longer-term change. As you browse the 2021-2026 CHIP, it may be helpful to keep this Glossary of Racial Equity from the Partnership for Racial and Ethnic Health Equity handy in case you come across any terms you are unfamiliar with.
As stated in the CHIP's Letter to the Community, by virtue of being human, every single person in the Greater Worcester community deserves access to quality childcare, education, compassionate navigation through healthcare systems, access to healthy food and safe streets. Our past, present and futures matter, and to achieve health justice we must endeavor together to ensure our neighbors have full, healthy, valued lives.
Health equity is defined as "attaining full health potential and wellness as experienced and honored through one's many intersecting identities (race, sex & gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, ability status, immigration status, religion, etc.), and that of their family and communities" (Samantha Calero, adapted from the Boston Public Health Commission, 2019).
The CHIP intends to achieve its overall goal of health equity through three primary racial equity policies to ensure that municipal leaders are aligned with values, structures and tools to combat health disparities and equitably distribute resources:
The CHIP will amplify and support 12 campaigns selected based on the CHIP's community conversations and that are already underway as locally-led legislative and advocacy priorities aimed to improve the health of our community. Click each button below to learn more.
The CHIP will convene six working groups in collaboration with local community groups to address health issues persistent on the community level through the following service strategies. The will seek to tackle systemic issues with the goal of creating more equitable avenues to resources and care, and as a result, greater equitable health outcomes across race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status.
Visit the full 2021-2016 CHIP Website for more details and to download the CHIP booklet and poster.
There are many ways to get involved to help implement the CHIP. You can...
Learn about understanding key problems that impact health and assess the strengths of our community on our Greater Worcester Regional Community Health Assessment (CHA) page.