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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.

How were the key health needs identified in the 2019 Boston CHNA? 

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

  • a review of existing data
  • a community survey administered in seven languages that gathered 2,404 responses
  • 13 focus groups with 104 community residents, and
  • 45 key informant interviews with leaders and direct service providers across sectors.

We narrowed the information through a process that included:

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

This process identified the priorities for collaborative action.

The final priorities selected were:
  • Housing: Includes affordability, quality, homelessness, ownership, gentrification, and displacement
  • Financial Security and Mobility: Includes jobs, employment, income, education, and workforce training
  • 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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