Community Health Network Area (CHNA): Developed by the MA Department of Public Health, CHNAs are committed to continuous improvement of health. Each of the Community Health Networks collaboratively identifies local and regional health priorities, designs community-based prevention plans, and track success in achieving healthier communities. CHNAs develop new health improvement projects as initial projects are completed.
Cultural Humility: A lifelong process of self-reflection, self-critique and commitment to understanding and respecting different points of view, and engaging with others humbly, authentically and from a place of learning.
Determination of Need (DoN): When a health care institution intends to build a new facility or make a major capital purchase, it is required to file a DoN application with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). If the application is approved, the applicant facility then provides the equivalent of 5% of the capital outlay to support community health initiatives which are non-clinical initiatives that, for the most part, take place outside of the hospitals and address a range of social determinants of health.
Health Disparities: Differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.
Health Equity: The opportunity for everyone to attain his or her full health potential. No one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of his or her social position (e.g. class, socioeconomic status) or socially-assigned circumstance (e.g. race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, geography).
Health Inequities: Differences in health status and mortality rates across population groups that are systemic, avoidable, unfair, and unjust. These differences are rooted in social and economic injustice, and are attributable to social, economic and environmental conditions in which people live, work, and play.
Implicit Bias (or Unconscious Bias): Learned stereotypes and prejudices that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection.
Inclusion: The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. More than simply diversity and numerical representation, inclusion involves authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging.
Intersectionality: The premise that people possess multiple, layered identities, including race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and ability, among others. Intersectionality refers to the ways in which these identities intersect to affect individuals’ realities and lived experiences, thereby shaping their perspectives, worldview, and relationships with others. Exposing these multiple identities can help clarify they ways in which a person can simultaneously experience privilege and oppression.
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP): A community-driven strategic planning process for improving community health. Factors such as structural and institutional racism and economic inequalities greatly contribute to health inequities. In 2015, BACH completed this health planning process on both the neighborhood and citywide levels. Five strategic issues were identified that were later implemented into Boston Public Health Commission’s CHIP.
Oppression: The systemic and pervasive nature of social inequality woven throughout social institutions as well as embedded within individual consciousness. Oppression fuses institutional and systemic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry and social prejudice in a complex web of relationships and structures that saturate most aspects of life in our society; Unjust use of power and authority. People of Color: A political construct created by People of Color to describe people who would generally not be categorized as White.
Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE): An intervention approach to reducing the burden of chronic diseases that focuses on enacting effective policies (e.g., laws, regulations, formal and informal rules) or promoting environmental change (e.g., changes to economic, social, and physical environments). Prejudice: An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
Privilege: Advantages and immunities enjoyed by one, usually powerful group or class, especially to the disadvantage of others.
Race: A socially constructed way of grouping people, based on skin color and other apparent physical differences, which has no genetic or scientific basis. This social construct was created and used to justify social and economic oppression of people of color by Whites.
Racial Discrimination: Unfair treatment because of an individual’s actual or perceived racial or ethnic background.
Racial Justice (or Racial Equity): The creation and proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment and outcomes for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity or the community in which they live; Racial justice goes beyond “anti-racism.” It’s not just about what we are against, but also what we are for. A “racial justice” framework can move us from a reactive posture to a more powerful, proactive and even preventative approach.
Racism: A form of oppression based on the socially-constructed concept of race that is used to the advantage of the dominant racial group and the disadvantage of non-dominant racial groups., 
- Internalized Racism: The set of private beliefs, prejudices, and ideas that individuals have about the superiority of Whites and the inferiority of people of color; the way social messages are absorbed about race and adopted as personal beliefs, biases and prejudices. Among people of color, it manifests as internalized racial oppression which can involve believing in negative messages about oneself or one’s racial group. Among Whites, it manifests as internalized racial superiority which can involve feeling a sense of superiority and entitlement, or holding negative beliefs about people of color.
- Interpersonal Racism: The expression of racism between individuals. When we act upon our prejudices or unconscious bias — whether intentionally, visibly, verbally or not — we engage in interpersonal racism. These are interactions occurring between individuals that often take place in the form of harassing, racial slurs, or telling of racial jokes. Interpersonal racism also can be willful and overt, taking the form of bigotry, hate speech or racial violence.
- Institutional Racism: Discriminatory treatment, unfair policies and practices, and inequitable opportunities and impacts that occur within organizations and institutions such as schools, businesses, and government agencies that adopt and maintain policies that routinely produce inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for white people, often unintentionally or inadvertently.
- Structural Racism: Racial bias over time among interlocking institutions and across society causing cumulative and compounding effects that systematically advantage white people and disadvantage people of color. This structural level of racism refers to the history, culture, ideology, and interactions of institutions and policies that work together in various, often reinforcing, ways to perpetuate racial inequity.
Stereotype: A standardized mental picture that is held in common about members of a group that represents an oversimplified opinion, attitude, or unexamined judgment, without regard to individual difference.
Social Determinants of Health: The circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, play, and age that influence access to resources and opportunities that promote health. The social determinants of health include housing, education, employment, environmental exposure, health care, public safety, food access, income, and health and social services.
White Privilege: A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or experienced by White persons beyond the common advantage of all others; unconsciously or consciously, by virtue of their skin color in a racist society. It exists regardless of other, intersecting forms of discrimination that may negatively impact a group of people based on gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, etc. White privilege has been described as an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.
White Supremacy: White supremacy is a historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.
Other important terms
Classism: Unfair treatment of people because of their social or economic class.
Sex: The biological, reproductive parts (penis, vagina, etc) that divide people by their reproductive functions.
Gender: The state of being male or female that is socially created and is not biological. Gender identity is fluid; a person can identify as both male and female or identify with neither.
Cisgender: When the gender a person feels they are, matches what sex their parents were told at birth.
Transgender: When the gender a person feels they are differs from the sex their parents were told at birth.
Patriarchy/Sexism: A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
Misogyny: Hatred of women.
Homophobia: Fear and hatred of gay and lesbian people.
Transphobia: Fear and hatred of transgender people.
Islamophobia: Fear and hatred of the Muslim community.
Marginalized Communities: Groups that are confined to a lower societal status. Such a group is denied involvement in mainstream economic, political, cultural and social activities.