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Community Health Assessment

Understanding the health of the city is the vital first step to providing needed health programs and services to create a community that is healthy, safe, and equitable for everyone. The Cambridge Public Health Department conducts a comprehensive Community Health Assessment approximately every five years to identify the health-related strengths and challenges facing the people of Cambridge.

View the Reports

See older reports, here

About the Report

The most recent Community Health Assessment was completed in 2020 using the social determinants of health and a health equity lens as its foundation. Data were collected through a community survey, a series of focus groups, and a review of other data sources, such as mortality and hospitalization rates.

The overarching themes that emerged include:
  • Housing and economic vulnerability pose a substantial challenge for many Cambridge residents.
  • Chronic disease continues to be a leading physical health issue in Cambridge with other health conditions, such as mental health, more recently becoming notable concerns.
  • Safety and injury persist as major concerns, specifically bicycle and pedestrian safety as well as environmental health concerns.
  • Mental health is a significant concern among Cambridge residents.
  • Substance use disorder remains a leading concern among residents, though it is secondary to mental health.
  • Access to health care, particularly dental care, arose as a major concern despite broad health insurance coverage and the high density of health care services in Cambridge.
  • The need for a more equitable and inclusive Cambridge community was a consistent theme throughout the assessment
This information is currently being used to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan, which will be available spring 2021.

Updated on March 15, 2021




Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-665-3800 (main)
617-665-3888 (fax)
617-643-0744 (TTY)

Hours: Monday-Friday:
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
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Derrick Neal
Chief Public Health Officer



Cambirdge Health Alliance

Cambridge City
City of Cambridge