Boston Recognized as National Leader in Public Health

The Boston Public Health Commission, the country’s oldest health department, an independent public agency, has rated Boston the highest ranking in a two-year analysis of US cities and the health policies in place to help communities thrive and residents live healthier lives.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded based on the number and strength of policies in nine areas, as well as overall medals.

Boston was among five cities to receive the overall gold medals.

“Every Bostonian deserves to have equal opportunities, and that begins with ensuring the good health of our residents,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

CityHealth policies include recommendations on employment benefits, education, affordable housing, active living and transportation, public safety, tobacco control, clean indoor air, food safety and nutrition.

To earn the overall gold, Boston received gold medal ranking in five of the categories tracked, silver in three and bronze in one.

Policy Recommendation


Tobacco 21


Alcohol Sales Control


Restaurant Grading


High-Quality, Universal Pre-K


Healthy Food Procurement


Inclusionary Zoning


Complete Streets


Clean Indoor Air


Paid Sick Leave


“Policy is a powerful lever for leaders looking to make a difference in people’s well-being and make their cities great places to live. Boston has seized these opportunities to lift all neighborhoods. We congratulate this strong performance in our assessment, and look forward to working together to enhance policy areas like paid sick leave and public safety,” said Dr. Shelley Hearne, CityHealth’s principal investigator.

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