In 1961, Harvard University and the City of Cambridge joined to improve the health services available to the people of Cambridge. The architects of the 1966 affiliation agreement hypothesized that a clear and well-resourced academic vision would attract capable clinicians and robust clinical care. Since that time, CHA has grown in its mission, vision, scope of services and academics.

The “Academic Council” was convened in 2004 to assure that CHA pursues its academics with the highest integrity and creativity and in concert with the institution’s strategic plan. The council includes representation from the major academic departments and administrative leaders, and it reports to CHA’s CEO and its Board of Trustees. The academic vision statement states simply, “academics is fundamental to CHA.” Hence, CHA’s academic concerns and clinical programming are tightly linked to the institution’s strategic direction. There are two components to improve the health of our own communities: reducing barriers to health for a population that otherwise is not as well-served by the existing system and to serve as a model healthcare system for the nation.