To determine community health improvement needs and prioritize goals, the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement works with community stakeholders to conduct regular community health needs assessments. The results provide a road map that guides and focuses our work.

We know that social and economic factors in communities are significant determinants of health status and health behaviors, accounting for 70% of morbidity and mortality. Together with our community partners, the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement focuses on the social determinants of health and how they affect health outcomes, and works to develop strategies to prevent and treat illnesses. We are making substantial progress in six core areas listed below.

One of the participants in a Senior HealthWise exercise program
Access to Care

Massachusetts General Hospital has a long-standing commitment to see that everyone has access to the quality care they need, regardless of their ability to pay. The Center for Community Health Improvement extends this practice to Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett and Revere through their local MGH HealthCare Centers.

Mass General Hospital President Dr. Peter Slavin congratulates MGH Bicentennial Scholar Ahmed Ahmed
Opportunities for Youth

Our youth programs at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement are designed to engage young minds in STEM (science, health, technology and math) and provide students--from elementary school through high school and college completion--with the opportunities to learn the skills they need to chart a career and succeed in life.

Charlestown teens hang "Turn It Around" posters throughout the neighborhood
Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Intervention

Health assessments point to substance use disorders (SUDs) as the single most important issue in the communities we serve. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement takes a comprehensive and innovative approach to SUDs with community-based prevention and strong connections and linkages among inpatient, outpatient and community-based services throughout Greater Boston.

Revere Beach Farmers Market
Healthy Eating/Active Living (HEAL)

Obesity is a national epidemic and occurs disproportionately in low income communities and communities of color. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement takes an environmental approach to this challenge, supporting community-organized efforts to change the conditions that lead to unhealthy behaviors.

One of the Breast Cancer Navigators with a patient
Prevention and Early Detection of Cancers

Cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities contribute to a higher-than-state-average incidence and mortality of cancer in some of our neighboring communities. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement partners with the Mass General Cancer Center to improve outreach, education and prevention, helping at-risk patients overcome barriers to screening and care.

Violence Intervention Advocate Amanda Breen works in the Mass General Emergency Department
Violence Prevention and Public Safety

Violence is prevalent in our communities--and in the home--and creates profound health and mental health effects. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement works with community leaders, and through Mass General's Emergency Department, to help violence victims recover from physical and emotional trauma, empowering them with skills, services and opportunities to make positive changes in their lives.