The 2021 Greater Worcester Regional Community Health Assessment (CHA) aims to identify community health issues, barriers to care, disparities in health outcomes, vulnerable populations, gaps in the health service system, and opportunities for collaboration across the five Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance (CMRPHA) municipalities: Grafton, Millbury, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, and Worcester. One primary goal is to gather information on the lived experiences of Greater Worcester's diverse populations, which is critical in efforts to center health equity and address needs and barriers in ways that are comprehensive, accessible, and culturally competent.
The CHA is conducted every three years and for 2021 was developed collectively by the Worcester Division of Public Health (the lead agency of the CMRPHA), Fallon Health, The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, and UMass Memorial Health. Together they engaged with community stakeholders, including health and social service providers, advocates, elected and appointed officials, faith leaders, community organizations, Boards and Commissions, and residents.
Findings from the CHA are used by the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester to develop the Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which in turn serves as a strategic plan for the CHA sponsors and other local stakeholders to deliver health-related services when, where, and how residents need them. Analysis of the CHA is one part of a comprehensive and months-long process to plan the CHIP, so the 2018 CHA informed the 2021-2026 CHIP, and the next CHIP will be built on the 2021 and 2024 CHAs.
Note: An addendum to the 2021 CHA including new findings based on the 2020 United States Census is forthcoming.
Learn about making Greater Worcester a champion of health equity by 2026 on our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) page.