About Us

     The Purpose of the Community Health Network of Cape and Islands is to:

  • To learn about agencies and services and other members of the continuum of care
  • To pursue improvements in the health status indicators pursuant to the mandate from DPH
  • To support and collaborate with members around issues and problems
  • To make recommendations to County, State and Federal governments on policy and legislation
  • To acquire new information and skills


The CHNA 27 Operational Guidelines also known as the by-laws define the purpose, membership, meeting structure, governance structure and process, and Code of Conduct for the Community Health Network Area 27.



Cape & Islands Community Health Network Area 27
Barnstable County: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, Yarmouth.

Dukes County: Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, West Tisbury. Nantucket County: Nantucket.


Purpose, Structure and Code of Conduct

Recommended by Steering Committee on August 24, 2011 Adopted by CHNA on September 8, 2011.


I. Purpose:

CHNA 27 is a collaborative group organized around building healthy people in healthy communities.

Its purpose is:

  1. To learn about agencies and services and other members of the

    continuum of care

  2. To pursue improvements in the health status indicators pursuant to

    the mandate from DPH

  3. To support and collaborate with members around issues and


  4. To make recommendations to County, State and Federal

    governments on policy and legislation

  5. To acquire new information and skills

II. Membership  

Participation in a Community Health Network is open to anyone interested in working with others to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents and communities.

Each member of CHNA 27 is a vital link in a collaborative community network, and as such shares in ideas, concerns as well as decisions about the allocation of CHNA resources to address the needs of residents based upon a priority setting process.

Membership in the Cape and Islands CHNA requires submission of a completed membership form. Regular participation is expected to maintain an active membership.


III. Meetings:

The CHNA shall hold regular monthly meetings except in July and August. CHNA meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month. From time to time CHNA subcommittees may find it necessary to meet outside of regular monthly meetings.

Meetings of the CHNA are open to the public and meeting notices are sent in advance to an email list of members.


IV. Governance Structure and Process

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is comprised of no less than seven and no more than eleven members. CHNA strives to have representation from across Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties. A representative from Cape Cod Healthcare Community Benefits shall have one permanent seat on the Steering Committee. A representative from the Department of Public Health serves in an advisory capacity and is a non voting member of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee meets on a monthly basis.

Nomination Process

Steering Committee may be nominated by CHNA members or members can self-nominate. The expectation is that nominees will have attended a minimum of 4 meetings within the current year.


Responsibilities of the Steering Committee Member

  1. Attend and actively participate in monthly general membership meetings

  2. Participate in monthly steering committee meetings

  3. Set monthly general membership meeting agenda

  4. Make recommendations to CHNA general membership

  5. Facilitate at least one monthly CHNA meeting during the year

  6. Take a leadership role on working groups when applicable

  7. Participate in the priority setting process of the CHNA

  8. Attend annual full day Steering Committee retreat

  9. Review CHNA policies and procedures annually

  10. Elect officers of CHNA

  11. Orient new members

  12. Two members of the Steering Committee are chosen to represent the CHNA on the Barnstable County Health and Human Service Advisory Council


Steering Committee nomination forms are distributed at the May meeting and elections are held at the June meeting. A CHNA steering committee member is elected for a two year term. No steering committee member can serve more than two consecutive two year terms. After not serving for one term, former Steering Committee members may be re-nominated.



At its annual retreat, the Steering Committee will elect from among its members the following officers: Chair, Vice-Chair and Fiscal Liaison. Each officer is elected for a two year term. No officer can serve more than two consecutive two year terms.

Chair: responsibilities include convening the steering committee meetings, setting meeting agendas, organizing the annual steering committee retreat, working with fiscal liaison to process invoices and in general, keeping the work of the CHNA moving forward. An outgoing chair will assist a newly elected chair for a limited period of time to ensure a smooth transition.


Vice- Chair: responsibilities include assisting the chair and performing the chair's duties if the chair is not present.


Fiscal Liaison: responsibilities include communication between fiscal agent and CHNA, presenting monthly financial reports at general membership meetings, ensuring invoices are properly processed.


Decision Making & Fiscal Policies

General Business: Business coming before the CHNA shall be considered General Business. Decisions requiring a vote of the CHNA shall take place during CHNA meetings. Any CHNA member may bring matters for consideration to the Steering Committee. Additionally, matters may be brought from the floor at a general CHNA meeting.

Voting: Only CHNA members may vote. Each agency or entity present shall have one vote. A simple majority of those in attendance will determine the outcome by voice vote.


Role of the Steering Committee in Decision Making: The Steering Committee works in an advisory capacity and recommends items for consideration to the full CHNA. The Steering Committee does not have the authority to set policy, determine CHNA priorities, endorse initiatives, or select Steering Committee Members without the endorsement of the CHNA membership. Deliberations & decision making by the Steering Committee requires a quorum. Quorum is achieved when over 50% of voting members of the Steering Committee members are present.

Authorization to Expend Funds: Expenses incurred on behalf of the CHNA require prior approval as follows:


1.) Amounts under $100.00 require prior approval by the treasurer;

2.) Amounts less than $1000.00 require prior approval by the steering committee;

3.) Amounts over $1,000.01 require prior approval by the general membership.


Authorization of funds required for the operation of CHNA business may be voted on at regular meetings by a majority of those in attendance.

Authorization to Expend Determination of Need (DON) and other grant funds: CHNA is authorized to expend DON funds under the guidance provided in the DPH Community Health Initiatives Policies and Procedure Statement. CHNA will disperse DON funds and other grant funds when available following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process approved by the CHNA. This process includes establishing an RFP Review Committee to make recommendations for funding to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee presents its recommendations to the CHNA who will vote on the recommendations. CHNA [also] envisions funding projects to address community-identified needs by expending DoN Funds directly on a contractor or contract employee pursuant to a specific scope of work, for which there has been a minimum of 2 bids sought if over $1,000, and supervised by the CHNA Steering Committee or other CHNA designated sub-committee.


Priority Setting and Planning: Following the process outlined in the Process and Accountability for Determination of Need Funds adopted by the CHNA (Attachment A) the CHNA will engage in periodic community needs assessment and priority setting.

Fiscal Agent: The CHNA engages the services of a fiscal agent to maintain accounts, pay invoices and provide monthly financial statements.


V. Code of Conduct

The CHNA expects all members to accept personal responsibility for maintaining reasonable standards of conduct, performance and observing established rules and policies. Members must refrain from taking part in, or exerting influence in, any transaction in which their own interests may conflict with the best interests of the CHNA or any of its members.

Exactly what constitutes a conflict of interest or an unethical business practice is both a moral and legal question. The CHNA recognizes and respects the individual member's right to engage in activities outside of his or her participation in the CHNA, which are private in nature and do not in any way conflict with or reflect negatively on the CHNA. The Steering Committee reserves the right, however, to determine when a member's activities represent a conflict with the CHNA interests and to take whatever action is necessary to resolve the situation, including, but not limited to, describing the conflict of interest to the CHNA membership.

When voting on grant funding recommendations, staff and volunteers of agencies being recommended for funding are ineligible to vote.


VI. Review and Distribution of Guidelines

The Steering Committee will review these guidelines annually, or when the need arises. Amendments to these guidelines may be made at a regular meeting of the CHNA by a simple majority affirmative vote of the members present and voting. Each year at the September general membership meeting, guidelines are distributed to members. Copies are also available at www.bchumanservices.net.


Adoption/Revision History

Recommended by Steering Committee on August 24, 2011 Adopted by CHNA on September 8, 2011.

Amendments recommended by Steering Committee, September 2013 Adopted by CHNA on October 10, 2013