Moving Forward

The vision and mission of the MDPH is to support health equity for all people in the Commonwealth.

According to the 2017 Massachusetts State Health Assessment, "the good news is that because most health inequities result from socially-determined structural inequities, change is possible. We can begin to improve health for a whole community when systems and structures, such as structural racism or gender bias, are acknowledged and explicitly addressed. By transforming inequitable policies, cultural norms, and structural barriers, we can move towards a Commonwealth where all people have the same opportunities to be healthy, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age."

MDPH mission and vision supported by data and focusing on determinants and disparities.
Image courtesy of MDPH

As you are working to promote health in your community, how can you also support health equity?

Asking the right questions in the planning phase, and ensuring your action plan includes the necessary elements for success, including evaluation, will support health equity.

Other ways include:

  1. Focusing on the social determinants of health, and striving to eliminate health disparities
  2. Engaging the community in all parts of the process
  3. Using relevant, timely data
  4. Acknowledging historical and current injustices, and ensuring your plan does not further such practices


Local Community in Action

The Communities That Care Coalition (CTC) was formed in 2002 in Franklin County, MA, when a group of community members came together to address alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among local youth.

The vision of the CTC is that Franklin County and the North Quabbin region be a place where young people are able to reach their full potential and thrive with ongoing and coordinated support from schools, parents, and the community.

word cloud
Image courtesy of the CTC

The CTC uses data about the status of local young people to identify needs and measure the success of their programs.

With a robust set of diverse community partners, the CTC has:

After the public release of data from the 2016 Teen Health Survey, the CTC adopted a new goal to "increase health equity in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region, specifically in our coalition's priority areas."

Since the report was released, the CTC has been exploring ways to incorporate racial justice into its coalition culture, goals, and plans. To support this, the CTC decided to add a racial justice workgroup to its current organizational structure. The scope for this new workgroup is currently being developed.