Massachusetts covers 7,840 square miles, with a 2011 population estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau of 6,587,536 people - 26,908 of which live in rural areas. The eastern part of the state is mostly urban and suburban comprised of the City of Boston, the surrounding metro-Boston area, and a number of secondary and their surrounding areas. However, rural communities are located in central and western Massachusetts except for the immediate areas of Worcester and Springfield and in the coastal areas of the southeastern part of the state.
According to the Massachusetts State Office of Rural Health (Dec. 2012), there are 70 acute care hospitals in Massachusetts, 11 of which are located in rural areas. The state has three hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (March 2013). There is one Rural Health Clinic in Massachusetts (Kaiser, 2012) and 36 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 303 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2010).
For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
Massachusetts Office of Rural Health;
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts;
Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (BCBSMA)
The BCBSM Foundation is the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Executive Office of Transportation and Construction
Provides resources regarding transportation in Massachusetts.
HUD Community Development Block Grants: Massachusetts
Contact information for the State CDBG program. Provides funding for community development projects.
Local Public Health Institute of Massachusetts
Strengthens the capacity of Massachusetts' local boards of health through workforce education, leadership training, and promoting strategic alliances.
Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Addresses the concern of health disparities in the Commonwealth with a focus on health workforce development.
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)
The Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) is a statewide association of the 25 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) operating in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Association of Health Boards
Works to strengthen public health in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis
Works to improve the delivery and financing of health care by providing information, developing policies, and promoting efficiencies that benefit the people of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Is a place to find out about environmental matters in your community, to conduct business on-line with MassDEP through the Service Center, and to participate directly in the environmental protection work.
Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
Offers programs, housing and funding to communities to serve those with low to moderate incomes.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Serves all the people in the Commonwealth, particularly the underserved, and promotes healthy people, healthy families, healthy communities and healthy environments through compassionate care, education and prevention.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement
To protect the economic well-being of children by enforcing the financial responsibilities of parenthood.
Massachusetts Division of Medical Assistance
The MassHealth program provides comprehensive health insurance-or help in paying for private health insurance-to nearly one million Massachusetts children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Works to improve the health of Massachusetts residents.
Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA)
A voluntary, not-for-profit organization comprised of hospitals and health systems, related organizations, and other members with a common interest in promoting the health of the people of the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
Exists to provide leadership to their membership in achieving their goals and to promote accessible, quality, community-responsive health care.
Massachusetts Office of Community Health Workers
An office of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health working to improve health outcomes among vulnerable populations by providing programs and resources that strengthen CHW workforce development.
Massachusetts Office of Primary Care
The Bureau of Family and Community Health supports a number of programs and activities designed to promote the availability of affordable, high quality systems of primary health care throughout the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts Office of Rural Health
A component of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which collects and disseminates information on rural health; coordinates resources and activities within rural communities; provides technical assistance for planning and development; strengthens local, state, and federal partnerships; and administers the Massachusetts Rural Hospital Flex and the SHIP programs.
Massachusetts Public Health Association
Is a statewide membership organization of people working to protect the health and safety of all the Commonwealth's residents.
Massachusetts Regional Extension Center
Massachusetts State Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that helps health care providers become meaningful users of electronic health records by providing information and technical assistance.
Massachusetts State Government
Lists state agencies and state online services.
Massachusetts State Legislature
Provides information about Senate and House Leadership.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region (NN/LM-NER)
Supports collaboration among 16 regional libraries and over 500 library and information centers in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD)
One of four regional rural development centers in the nation. Focuses on rural issues including community and economic development, food systems, natural resources, and entrepreneurship. Serves a 12 state area in the Northeast region which includes CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, RI, PA, WV, NH, ME, MD, VT.
NorthEast Telehealth Resource Center
One of the telehealth resource centers funded by the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. Assists health care organizations, health care networks, and health care providers in the implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
Resources for Communities and People Solutions
Works with communities of all sizes to address a broad range of needs.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Massachusetts (HUD)
Works to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing. The HUD state office provides information about HUD housing programs and local contacts for the state.
USDA Rural Development State Office: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island
Committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. The Rural Development State Office provides information about Rural Development programs and applications for financial assistance.
ERS State Fact Sheet: Massachusetts
Lists statistics on population, educational attainment, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for the state.
Massachusetts Health Centers Data
Provides access to information on Federally Qualified Health Centers for the state. Includes a map of FQHC locations, as well as information on the populations served by health centers, services provided, staff, patient visits, costs of care, and use of electronic health information.
Massachusetts KIDS COUNT Data Center (KCDC)
Provides data on child well-being for the state.
Basic demographic and economic statistics for the state, with links to county-level data.
Massachusetts State Health Facts
The latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation. Individual state profiles and 50-state comparisons.
National Healthcare Quality Report State Snapshot: Massachusetts
Health care quality report for the state, based on the National Healthcare Quality Report.
NN/LM New England Region: Massachusetts Resources
Overview of the state and provides links to state agencies, health associations, and other resources for residents of Massachusetts.
Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC)
Comprised of 14 accredited schools of public health that serve in a national capacity to meet preparedness and response training and education needs of the U. S. public health workforce. Funded schools are located in AL, AZ, FL, IA, IL, MA, MD, MN, NY, OK, NC, TX, and WA.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Tools
BJís Charitable Foundation
Funding for hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, healthcare, and education to those who are underserved.
Claneil Foundation Special Project Fund
Provides seed funding to emerging nonprofits, or to new projects of established organizations in the areas of education; environment; health and human services; and hunger and nutrition.
Entergy Micro Grants
Provides grants for projects that effectively impact arts and culture; community improvement/enrichment; education and literacy; the environment; or healthy families.
Georgia-Pacific Foundation Grants
Grants for organizations projects that focus on education, the environment, community enhancement, affordable housing, arts and culture, and entrepreneurship.
Gladys Brooks Foundation Grants
Offers grants for libraries, educational institutions, hospitals, and clinics.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region Funding
Provides funding for National Network of Libraries members located in the New England region to assist them in conducting outreach and technology projects.
Nonprofit Training Resource Fund
Grants to organizations for employees to attend approved classes and courses that will enhance their job performance.
Inactive Funding Opportunities -
Lists additional funding programs for this state that are not currently accepting applications. Programs that are inactive may be offered again in the future.
Documents, Reports and Other Publications
Aiming Higher for Health System Performance: A Profile of Seven States That Perform Well on the Commonwealth Fundís 2009 State Scorecard
Author(s): Greg Moody, Sharon Silow-Carroll
Sponsoring organization: Commonwealth Fund
Demonstrates that high levels of health system performance are achievable and sustainable, and provides useful examples of policies and practices in Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Delaware that may be associated with health system improvement.
Date: 10 / 2009
Changing Faces of New England: Increasing Spatial and Racial Diversity
Author(s): Keneth M. Johnson
Sponsoring organization: Carsey Institute
Discusses racial diversity in New England. Includes information about rural or Nonmetropolitan New England.
Critical Care, Critical Choices: The Case for Tele-ICUs in Intensive Care
Describes telemedicine and intensive care units (ICUs) and the potential to address critical care staffing shortages.
Date: 12 / 2010
Demographic and Economic Profile: Massachusetts
Author(s): Kathleen K. Miller
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
Discusses demographic and economic data including population, race, education, age, poverty, income, and more. Includes maps and graphics.
Hospital Performance Measurement in Rural New England: Recommendations for Improvement
Sponsoring organization: New England Rural Health RoundTable
Serves as the foundation for developing a set of useful quality indicators and measures that Critical Access Hospitals in New England can use.
Date: 03 / 2010
Small Business Profile: Massachusetts
Sponsoring organization: Small Business Administration
Profile of the state's economy, covering the number of firms, industry composition, small business income, banking, women and minority business ownership, and employment.
Date: 2 / 2013
See also: State-by-State Resources: Documents
EMS Co-op Helps Rural Providers
Using the power of group purchasing within a cooperative structure, the North Central EMS Cooperative (NCEMSC) is an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) cooperative developed to serve Minnesota and surrounding states.
Moving Beyond Enrollment
This network was formed to support experienced community-based outreach workers in providing the follow-up necessary to educate Medicaid clients, help them solve problems, and utilize the health care system most effectively in order to receive health care.