Healthy Communities and Community Engagement Capacity Building

Community-based partners are essential for the Department of Public Health’s efforts to improve community health.

The Department of Public Health supports capacity building for healthy communities through a Community Health Training Institute, the Ounce of Prevention conference and by developing and implementing standards for community engagement and coalitions.

Coalition Engagement Principles and Guidelines

In 2014, DPH undertook a process to better understand the ways the Department can best serve, encourage, and support its community partners, which include community coalitions, collaborations, and boards of health.

As a result, DPH created the Coalition Engagement Principles and Guidelines. Envisioned as a living document, the Guidelines can be consistently applied to a number of DPH functions, including RFR collaboration and the Determination of Need, Factor 9 process.

An internal Community Engagement working group has been established to help operationalize the guidelines.

Additional Resources

Community Engagement Standards for Community Health Planning

This resource guides hospitals required to conduct a Community Health Initiative project through the Determination of Need process. In addition, it provides resources and standards for community engagement that can be adapted for other community health planning activities. 

Community Health Training Institute

The Department offers online and in-person trainings throughout the year through its Community Health Training Institute, which is managed by Health Resources in Action. These trainings are designed to increase the capacity and skills of community health leaders and stakeholders, enabling them to build and sustain coalitions and partnerships that support healthy communities and improve health outcomes across the Commonwealth. View the curriculum and sign up for email updates through the Community Health Training Institute’s website.

The Community Health Training Institute also created a free tool that makes it easy to find coalitions working toward healthier communities in Massachusetts. Use the Community Health Training Institute Coalition Finder to see coalitions in your area or doing similar work to foster peer-to-peer communications. This includes searching for and connecting with Community Health Network Areas.

Ounce of Prevention Conference

The annual Ounce of Prevention conference will be held on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 virtually. The annual conference continues to be a great opportunity to bring together stakeholders from across the Commonwealth working to create healthier and more equitable communities. Detailed conference and registration information is available on this Event page:

These initiatives are overseen for the Department through a collaboration between the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention’s Division of Prevention and Wellness and other Bureaus and Offices, including the Office of Local and Regional Health.

Contact   for Healthy Communities and Community Engagement Capacity Building

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