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City’s Health Improvement Plan Reflects Community Voices

Mental health, affordable housing, and violence are among priority areas

June 5, 2015

CAMBRIDGE – The newly released 2015 City of Cambridge Community Health Improvement Plan will set the city’s health agenda for the next five years.

“This plan addresses some of the most challenging public health issues facing Cambridge and showcases the power of collaboration,” said Claude Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer, and director of the Cambridge Public Health Department. “As the plan rolls out, we will continue engaging the broader community in a meaningful and sustainable partnership to improve the health of all people in Cambridge.”

The plan describes actionable goals, objectives, and strategies for making tangible progress in four health priority areas for the city:

  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Violence
  • Healthy, safe and affordable housing
  • Healthy eating and physical activity

Two additional topics—health access and health equity/social justice—are integrated across priority areas because they are the foundations of a healthy population.

The community health improvement plan (CHIP) is the culmination of a two-year effort led by the Cambridge Public Health Department to involve the community, organizations, and local government in identifying the city’s major health needs and developing feasible solutions.

The precursor to the CHIP, the 2014 City of Cambridge Community Health Assessment, reflected input from 1,700 people in Cambridge who shared their views through a survey, focus groups, and interviews. Based on data and key themes in the assessment report, over 70 people from diverse sectors of the community participated in developing the components of the CHIP, and over 30 subject matter experts and reviewers helped refine the plan.

In addition to serving as a valuable guidance document, the plan also helps the Cambridge Public Health Department meet requirements for national accreditation, a distinction that indicates that a local, state, or tribal health agency is meeting national standards for public health system performance.

The Cambridge Public Health Department worked with Health Resources in Action of Boston, a nationally recognized health research organization, on both the assessment and health improvement plan.

The 2015 City of Cambridge Community Health Improvement Plan is available at: www.cambridgepublichealth.org/policy-practice/public-health-accreditation/Final-Cambridge-CHIP-Report.pdf.


Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer

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