Advancing the health of a community is critical for improving residents’ quality of life and enhancing the future social and economic wellbeing of the community. To this end, the City of Worcester Division of Public Health, lead agency of the Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance, and UMass Memorial Medical Center are leading a comprehensive community healthplanning effort to measurably enhance the health of residents in the Greater Worcester area, including the City of Worcester and the outlying communities of Shrewsbury, Millbury, West Boylston, Leicester, and Holden. The community health assessment, which examines a range of health behaviors and outcomes, social and economic issues, health care access, and gaps and strengths of existing resources and services, is an essential tool for identifying major health priorities and overarching goals for the region.


The 2012 Greater Worcester Community Health Assessment utilized the Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework as a guide. The MAPP tool was developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in cooperation with the CDC.

MAPP is used to guide community health improvement planning through 4 key assessments: 1)  Community Themes and Strengths Assessment, 2) Local Public Health System Assessment, 3) Community Health Status Assessment, 4) Forces of Change Assessment. The information gathered through these assessments is then utilized to identify key priorities and strategic health improvement goals. The CHA Steering Committee conducted adapted versions of these assessments in the Greater Worcester region to build a comprehensive assessment to inform the development of the 2012 Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan. More information about the MAPP process can be found on NACCHO’s website.

Overview of the MAPP Process


*Photo Credit: NACCHO 2014.

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