A Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems in a community. The plan is based on the results of community health assessment activities, and is part of a community health improvement process, helping to set priorities, coordinate efforts, and target resources. It should define the vision for the health of the community through a collaborative process and should address the gamut of strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that exist in the community to improve the health status of that community. (Source: Public Health Accreditation Board)
A CHIP FOR GREATER LOWELL
With a goal to create a long-term strategy to strengthen the area’s health systems, our CHIP will be used as road map for health improvement over a three-year period, guiding the investment of resources of organizations with a stake in improving health for the residents of Lowell and the surrounding communities. Our CHIP mission: to turn data into action and working initiatives to address our community’s top health priorities. While addressing specific health priorities, the overarching goal is always one of health equity, meeting the health needs not just for some, but for all.
OUR PLAN IN ACTION
Our first CHIP, developed in part from data collected by the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment and released in 2017, has had a significant impact on our region. Hundreds of community partners and dozens of community agencies and businesses collaborated to evaluate the community’s health needs and create action plans surrounding those needs. At the GLHA, those plans have turned into action through two key routes: GLHA task forces and GLHA grant funding, which complement other partner-focused efforts throughout the region.
In November of 2020, we released our second CHIP.
Although our CHIP is a working document, it is already creating impact. The CHIP process helped determine priority areas for grants, enabling the GLHA to distribute funds to the organizations on the front line of addressing our area’s unmet health needs. Our Community Health Initiatives Grants have been awarded around health priorities and programs that met the specific areas of focus identified by the CHIP process: Access to Healthy Food, Asthma, Mental Health, Physical Activity, Social Determinants of Health, and Substance Use and Prevention.