The Health Equity Partnership's guiding strategic plan is the North Central Mass Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Created in 2016 and informed by data from the hospitals' Community Health Assessments, subject matter experts, and community stakeholders, the plan is a living document, revised to reflect the changing landscape of public health and the opportunities and realities of our region.

Priority Areas

Priority areas help us assess the importance of our goals and the impact of our activities. The Health Equity Partnership uses these broad categories to ensure alignment of projects we fund and of the regional CHIP with the Department of Public Health and our region's hospital CHIPs.

  • Healthy Food Access
  • Healthy and Safe Relationships
  • Mental and Behavioral Health
  • Racial and Social Justice
  • Transportation, Housing, and the Built Environment

Assessing the CHIP - the Key Domino Analysis

The 2025 CHIP has 13 goals that aligns with one or more of the priority areas and involves multiple partner organizations working together. In 2023, we conducted a causal analysis exercise with community members. We consolidated the goals into nine easily understandable statements and asked 160 community members in six events held throughout the region, "If goal X was moving in the right direction, would it positively impact goal Y?" The goal statements are:

  1. Stronger connections and collaboration between organizations, municipalities, schools, and programs
  2. More safe and affordable housing and emergency shelter options in our local communities for all
  3. More affordable, reliable, and convenient transportation across the region
  4. More access to affordable and culturally appropriate healthy food
  5. More people have access to career advancement pathways that lead to jobs that pay a living wage
  6. Less racism in our systems (employment, education, healthcare, government, criminal justice) through advocacy, education, training, and supporting BIPOC voices
  7. More safe and supportive learning environments for all youth, including childcare, extracurricular activities, training, employment, activism, leadership, and decision-making
  8. More effective policies and funding that support our public health and social service systems
  9. More mental and behavioral health supports in place to foster resilience, mitigate trauma, and support recovery across the lifespan

The results were enlightening. 

Results infographic

The process revealed that four of the goals are foundational - they impact each other as well as every other goal. This is where the CHNA9 can leverage the most resources for the greatest impact. These goals are 1) less racism in our systems, 2) strong connections and collaboration, 3) affordable, reliable, convenient transportation, and 4) policies and funding that support public health and social services.

Two of the goals center on our environments, the education and employment spaces where so many of our daily activities take place. These goals affect each other as well as the three remaining goals, which can be categorized as conditions for wellbeing. These goals (mental and behavioral health supports, safe and affordable housing and shelter, and affordable and culturally appropriate healthy food) only become possible when the foundational and environmental goals are moving in the right direction.

2025 CHIP Goals