Cambridge Health Alliance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cambridge Health Alliance
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Care system Public
Hospital type Academic Teaching, Community
Affiliated university Harvard Medical School
Emergency department 24 hour emergency care at three locations
Founded Cambridge City Hospital -> Cambridge Hospital, Somerville Hospital; Merged 1996; Whidden Memorial Hospital; Merged 2001
Lists Hospitals in Massachusetts

Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is a healthcare system in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston, Massachusetts' metro-north communities and one of the academic teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School.

As an integrated healthcare network, and one of the Top 100 most integrated health care systems in the nation,[1] Cambridge Health Alliance serves patients at more than 30 clinical locations, including 15 primary care practices and 20 specialty centers. These sites include its three hospital campuses (Cambridge Hospital, Somerville Hospital, and Whidden Hospital) and community sites.

CHA provides a wide range of health services with a special focus on primary care, preventive health, behavioral health, and the needs of diverse communities. It also offers planned care programs for chronic disease and a three-site emergency department with more than 100,000 annual visits. CHA also has an electronic medical record that connects all its care sites. For asthma patients, the EMR is linked to guidelines that have helped reduce asthma-related inpatient admissions and emergency department visits by 50 percent since 2002.[2]


CHA includes three main hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices, and the Cambridge Public Health Department. The three CHA hospital campuses are Cambridge Hospital, Somerville Hospital and Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett. Each hospital has a 24-hour emergency department, and a wide variety of medical services.

In addition to the three hospital campuses, CHA has many community locations all serving patients in Cambridge, Somerville, Malden, Chelsea, Revere, Everett and Winthrop.


The Cambridge Health Alliance offers a wide variety of health services including:

  • Three 24-hour Emergency Departments
  • Primary Care for all ages at offcies in Cambridge, Somerville, Malden, Everett, and Revere, MA
  • Elder Service Plan (PACE program)
  • Cambridge Women's Health Center
  • Cambridge Breast Center
  • Maternity Care, including the Cambridge Birth Center
  • Medical Specialties
  • Surgical Specialties
  • Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Women's Health

Services Highlights[edit]

Community Hospital Cancer Program, Am. College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer
Primary Stroke Service, MA Department of Public Health

National Accreditation:
- Cambridge Breast Center, National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers
- CT Service, American College of Radiology
- Ultrasound Service, American College of Radiology
- Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, American College of Radiology
- Baby Friendly Hospital, National Baby Friendly Health Initiative


Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) was created in 1996 when the city-owned Cambridge Hospital merged with private, nonprofit Somerville Hospital. In 2001, Hallmark Health sold the Whidden Hospital to Cambridge Health Alliance. All three hospitals were founded around the turn of the 20th century, with Somerville Hospital being the oldest. Since 2001, CHA has made major investments in all three hospital campuses include new facilities, medical staff, and technology.

In 2013 Cambridge Health Alliance became affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - a major Boston teaching hospital. In 2014 its physicians joined BIDCO the Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization.

Financial Troubles[edit]

The Alliance has faced some financial difficulties in the last few years. As of April 11, 2014, the organization has already posted a loss of $21.5 million for fiscal year 2013. This is in contrast to their projected loss of $19 million for 2013.[3]

Previously, the system was noted to have lost $28.5 million on health care operations based on the financial report released for their fiscal year of 2012, and had a reported loss of $36.9 million in 2011. It was also penalized in 2012 for failing to meet quality and patient satisfaction standards set by the federal government, and for having too many Medicare patient readmissions within 30 days of being discharged. When asked about the 2012 report, the Chief Financial Officer at the time Gordon Boudrow was quoted as saying, “Our weakness is driven from serving a high proportion of low-income and uninsured patients for which reimbursements are poor.”[4]

Residency and Fellowship Training[edit]

As the only healthcare organization that is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and the Tufts University School of Medicine, CHA has strong medical professional training programs.

  • Harvard Internal Medicine Residency Program - a premier academic community based training program with emphasis on primary care in underserved population with the flexibility of subspecialty training at other Harvard-affiliated tertiary care teaching hospitals, and in producing healthcare policy and community leaders. The training site of Harvard Medical School Cambridge Integrated Clerkship for Harvard medical students.
  • Combined Training in Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine - a new combined four-year training program began in 2010, administered by Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health which allow residents to become board-eligible in both specialties: internal medicine and occupational (preventive) medicine and receive a Masters of Public Health Degree (MPH) at HSPH.
  • Family Medicine Residency Program - affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. Based in Malden, Massachusetts as one of 14 nation-wide residency curriculum using the new model of residency training called Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4).
  • Harvard General Psychiatry Residency Program - this is one of the four Harvard Medical School Adult Psychiatric Residencies. The department serves as a popular training site for Harvard Medical students.
  • Harvard Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program - this is one of the three Harvard Medical School Child Psychiatric Residencies.
  • CHA also training programs in Podiatric Surgery, Dentistry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatic Medicine.

Community Programs[edit]

Community health is a major focus of Cambridge Health Alliance. CHA touts a comprehensive approach to health improvement that includes programs to reduce health disparities and promote wellness, public health initiatives aimed at improving the overall health of our communities, and collaborative research projects that address health issues and health policy.

The CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance serves as commissioner of public health for the city of Cambridge. Since the system was created in 1996, it has operated the Cambridge Public Health Department through a contact with the city.

Multicultural Health[edit]

Cambridge Health Alliance is a safety net health system and a recognized leader in multicultural health. It works to maintain health care access to a large number of vulnerable and diverse patients through its interpreter services program and many bilingual primary care providers. It also has award-winning linguistic programs like:

- The Haitian Mental Health Team (the 2010 Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver of the Year)[5]

- The Volunteer Health Advisor program (American Hospital Association NOVA Award).[6]

The organization was also named a leader in Delivering Culturally and Linguistically Competent Patient Care by the American Hospital Association Institute for Diversity[7]


Further Information[edit]


"Rekindling the Flame A Casebook" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
"Cambridge Health Alliance". Retrieved 2007-08-22. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°22′29″N 71°06′17″W / 42.3748°N 71.1048°W / 42.3748; -71.1048