Boston Alliance for Community Health

About Us

True health equity is achieved when every person, regardless of their socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other status, has the opportunity to achieve their full health potential and the highest quality of life appropriate for each stage of life.

Health Planning and Improvement Committee

Over 100 people gathered at the invitation of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council at The Great Hall in Codman Square to learn more about the health of the neighborhood and the role race plays in health delivery systems from Barbara Ferrer, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. The previous week, an even larger group organized by the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition gathered for a similar discussion, which included residents of public housing, long-time residents of historic homes, whites and Latinos, young and old. Across the city—add South Boston, Jamaica Plain, East Boston, Chinatown, Dorchester and Roxbury to the list—neighbors and community partners are discussing what makes their community special and what is holding it back.

Health planning is a core activity of the Boston Alliance for Community Health. BACH members recently completed a neighborhood-based and city-wide planning effort called Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP). This framework was chosen because it seeks to address issues of sustainability and health equity and is designed to build on the assets a community has to offer. For some communities, MAPP is enhancing conversations that had already begun; for others, it is helping them to think strategically and broadly about public health, identify gaps in services and determine the resources needed to address them. Key partners in these efforts are community residents, community health centers, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Mass Dept. of Public Health, the Council of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH), community development corporations, and other health and human service providers. The MAPP process also provides BACH and its partners essential data it needed to educate decision-makers on program and service needs, and to advocate for broader policy changes. Beyond its own efforts, BACH also participates in other city and state health planning initiatives such as AHEAD.

The Health Planning and Improvement Committee (HPICom) goals are to

  • Monitor trends in health disparities in Boston neighborhoods and make recommendations to the Steering Committee on priority areas to increase health equity
  • Recommend a coordinated set of health planning and action processes that are evidence-based and data-driven, to address the social determinants of health and focus on the elimination of health inequities for vulnerable populations
  • Identify and coordinate with other health planning and advocacy entities and assist in the implementation of health planning processes at the local and city levels
  • Identify and build relationships/partnerships with other entities that will enhance data collection, assessment, and research
  • Identify and ensure technical assistance and other resources necessary for neighborhood coalitions to enhance local health assessments, and health, evaluation and implementation plans
  • Oversee the implementation of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership (MAPP) health planning process on the neighborhood and citywide levels