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Community health planning

Learn about planning in the Boston Public Health Commission.


The Boston CHNA-CHIP Collaborative is a new initiative to take on the large-scale citywide Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan process.

BPHC community health planning

What is a Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHNA-CHIP)?

A Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) identifies the key health needs, strengths, and resources of a community through data collection and analysis. 

A Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is the response to needs identified in the CHNA. The CHIP process involves creating a detailed, evidence-based improvement plan. The plan addresses the prioritized needs of the community.


The BCCC is a group of Boston health centers, community-based organizations, hospitals, community residents, and the Boston Public Health Commission. The group came together to achieve sustainable positive change in the health of the city by collaborating with communities, sharing knowledge, aligning resources, and addressing root causes of health inequities. 

How were the key health needs identified in the 2022 Boston CHNA? 

The Boston CHNA-CHIP used a participatory, collaborative approach to engage the community through: 

  • A review of existing secondary data on social, economic, and health indicators. 
  • 29 virtual and in-person focus group discussions with a total of 309 residents. 
  • key informant interviews with 62 individuals. 
  • For 90-minute virtual community listening sessions with 122 community members

We narrowed the information through a process that included:

  • an online survey
  • small group discussions, and
  • a large inclusive prioritization meeting.

This process highlighted the priorities for collaborative action identified in the 2022 Community Health Improvement Plan Report

The priority areas selected in the 2022 CHIP are consistent with the priority areas identified in 2019. These core issues remained a very strong priority for community members in 2022 and COVID-19 exacerbated the persistent health inequities in Boston. The overarching commitment to achieving racial and ethnic health equity in Boston underpins the priority areas for 2022.

The final priorities selected were:
  • Housing: Includes affordability, quality, homelessness, ownership, gentrification, and displacement
  • Economic Mobility and Inclusion: Includes jobs, employment, income, education, and workforce training
  • Mental and Behavioral Health: Includes mental health and substance use
  • Accessing Services: Includes healthcare, childcare, and social services

The overarching focus is:

  • Achieving Racial and Ethnic Health Equity recognizing that institutional racism and structural inequities drive health disparities in the City.
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