Improving Community Health

Theory of ChangeNorth Central Mass Community Health Improvement Plan Vision & Mission

We recognize that positive community health outcomes have a direct impact on all other aspects of community life, including education and job access, economic sustainability and growth, and civic engagement. By giving all residents equitable opportunities to improve their physical, mental, and emotional health, we aim to create a community in which people have a fair chance to pursue educational and career goals, a community in which all people feel safe and valued, a community in which people from throughout the state wish to live, work, and play.


The mission of the North Central Mass Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) 2025: Planning for Sustained Growth project is to invest in the infrastructure and sustainability of the Community Health Network for North Central Mass (CHNA 9) so that it can best function as an umbrella coalition for community health throughout the region, providing structure and support for the regional Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and encouraging coordination and collaboration across agencies, coalitions, and partnerships working to achieve collective impact and advance the goals of the CHIP.


The vision of the North Central Mass CHIP 2025: Planning for Sustained Growth project is that the power and responsibility of the CHNA 9 will be shared among representatives with lived and/or professional experience in each of the CHIP areas and representing the full diversity of North Central Mass.

Values of the North Central Mass Community HealthValues

  • The CHNA 9 places equity at the center of all goals and strategies. This means designing and measuring all plans and activities around intentionally eliminating disparities in social determinants of health. Improving aggregate outcomes in the community without reducing disparities perpetuates inequity.
    • The CHNA 9 believes that community voice belongs in every stage of the CHIP process, from planning through implementation and evaluation. This means intentionally making space for and actively seeking the input of residents with lived experience and historically marginalized populations.
    • The CHNA 9 values systems change as the most sustainable and broadly impactful form of change. Therefore, the primary focus of all CHNA 9 initiatives is on this upstream work.
    • Collaboration among CHNA 9 member organizations aligns resources and efforts to maximize impact, sustainability, and scope and improves overall outcomes for the community.
    • Engagement with multiple sectors throughout the community ensures that the CHIP is reflective of the needs and desires of the region, that a sense of shared purpose is cultivated, and that CHNA 9 member organizations are invested in the goals of the CHIP.
    • The CHNA 9 recognizes that institutional accountability must be built into all CHIP plans and that member organizations must continually examine and reflect on their commitment to equity and the other values of the CHNA 9.

2023 CHIP Process

The 2025 CHIP is well underway, informed by data from the 2021 health assessments and by the results of the 2020 CHIP. To gather more direct input from residents, in 2023 we held evening and weekend events in partnership with trusted community organizations in each of 5 subregions, as well as one virtual charette and one-weekday charette. Approximately 160 people engaged, many for the first time, including many who speak a language other than English. This represents nearly twice the number engaged through our first CHIP process in 2016, and our most inclusive process to date. A downloadable slide presentation explains the results - overwhelmingly, community members identified strong connections and collaboration, anti-racist systems change, policies and funding that support public health and social services, and reliable, affordable, accessible transportation as the four key drivers that lead to healthy living conditions for all.