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MassGIS Data: Community Health Centers

October 2019

This point datalayer contains the location of community health centers (CHCs) in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents



The layer was originally produced by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH) GIS program. The source material was provided by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, a.k.a. "the League." The League defines a community health center as a non-profit community-based organization that offers comprehensive primary and preventive health care, including medical, social and/or mental health services, to anyone in need regardless of their medical status, ability to pay, culture or ethnicity. The October 2019 release of the dataset includes verification of and updates to facility location and services based on BEH data from spring 2018.

The layer is named CHCS_PT.

CHCs are grouped into Main and Satellite locations. Main CHCs may have one or more satellite locations (also known as access points). The MCHC_CODE item defines the affiliation between main CHCs and their satellites.

CHCs vary by both the facility and/or building type in which they are located, scope of clinical services offered, and target patient population. The BEH GIS program used the MassGIS HospitalsSchools and Colleges and Universities datalayers, and Internet Web sites in the case of homeless shelters, to derive the locations of health centers in these facilities. Health centers known to be administrative offices are attributed accordingly. With respect to clinical services, this GIS datalayer makes no distinction among CHCs. An exception is eye care and dental service providers that are indicated in the EYE and DENTAL fields. No information regarding target patient population is explicitly defined, though assumptions may be based on health center name and/or location.

In all cases, patients seeking care should contact the CHCs directly to verify availability of clinical services, hours, etc., rather than rely on the information contained in this GIS datalayer, as such information is subject to change.


A development dataset was generated by address-matching the Massachusetts League of Community Health Center's data. Whenever possible, development locations were manually refined using the latest digital ortho-photography and other MassGIS infrastructure datalayers. The October 2019 release matched facilities with points in the MassGIS Master Address Database.


The layer's point attribute table contains the following fields:
Unique ID assigned to each CHC by BEH
Internal code linking satellite to main facilities
Name of CHC
Category of facility:
HOSPITAL = Hospital-based health center
NOS = Not otherwise specified
HOMELESS = Homeless shelter
SCHOOL = Primary, secondary, or post-secondary school-based clinic
Distinguishes administrative versus clinical offices
Y = Yes
N = Assumed No
Postal address of facility
Secondary address elements
Post Office box
Unique numeric identifier of town in which the CHC is located
Postal city
U.S. Postal ZIP Code
Geographic town in which the CHC is located
Automation method:
R = refined against orthophoto and other sources
G = address-matched
Distinguishes between main (N) and satellite (Y) facilities
Indicates availability of eye care (Y/N)
Indicates availability of dental services (Y/N)
Identifier linking to MassGIS' Master Address Database


The MA DPH BEH GIS Program maintains the data for this layer and will provide updates to MassGIS.