Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Health: Health Information, Library, Research & Statistics

H37 Office of Statistics and Evaluation

H38 Department of Public Health Library System

H39 Center for Health Information and Analysis

H40 Registry of Vital Records and Statistics

H41 Massachusetts Cancer Registry

H37 Office of Statistics and Evaluation (OSE)
Bureau of Community Health and Prevention
Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-624-5418

The Office of Statistics and Evaluation (OSE) is a information center that provides statistics in the following areas: health needs assessment and surveillance projects; DPH data collection and program evaluation and health statistics interpretation. These services provide the Center for Community Health with the best available data on which to base programmatic and policy decisions for the health of Massachusetts residents. Data is also disseminated to the public, state and federal officials and the public health community. OSE maintains its commitment to providing superior services by continuously advancing our technical expertise and professional collaborations.

H38 Department of Public Health Library System

The Department of Public Health Library System serves the educational and research needs of public health professionals, healthcare providers and citizens of the Commonwealth. The libraries' collection includes books and journals on public health, environmental health, medicine, laboratory sciences and archival material of the DPH. Borrowing terms vary according to material type and location; call for specific information or visit their website.

Library Locations:

Massachusetts Hospital School
Three Randolph Street
Canton MA, 02021
Tel: 781-828-2440

Lemuel Shattuck Hospital
170 Morton Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Tel: 617-971-3225

State Laboratory Institute
305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Tel: 617-983-6290

Tewksbury Hospital
365 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01878
Tel: 978-851-7321, ext. 2255

H39 Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA)
501 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Tel: 617-701-8100
Toll Free: 1-800-888-2250
TTY: 617-988-3175

The Center for Health Information and Analysis is an independent agency created by Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs through Increased Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation,” for the purposes of providing reliable information and meaningful analysis for those seeking to improve health care quality, affordability, access, and outcomes. CHIA’s duties include collecting, analyzing, and disseminating health care information to assist in the formulation of health care policy and in the provision and purchase of health care services; providing an analysis of health care spending trends as compared to the health care cost growth benchmark established by the Health Policy Commission; partnering with the General Court and other state agencies like the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, the Health Policy Commission, the Office of Medicaid (MassHealth), and the Division of Insurance to collect and disseminate data concerning the cost, price, and functioning of the health care system in the Commonwealth and the health status of individuals; and reporting to consumers comparative health care cost and quality information through the consumer health information website.

H40 Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
Department of Public Health
150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Tel: 617-740-2600

This registry is responsible for keeping the records of all births, deaths, and marriages that occur in Massachusetts. Certified copies of these records from 1926 to the present are available via mail or in person. Records from 1841-1925 are now on file with the Archives Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. Also, local city and town clerks have records of events occurring in their communities prior to 1841, as well as since 1841. The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics also maintains an alphabetical index of divorces since 1952 in order to direct individuals to the proper probate court where the divorce was granted, for obtaining certified copies. The registry also notifies the Social Security Administration of all deaths and births so that Social Security checks can be terminated upon an individual's death and a Social Security card can be issued voluntarily to all newborns. All vital statistics are provided to the National Center for Health Statistics, which in turn utilizes the data to publish a national profile of population trends for the country. Public research hours are Monday, 2:00 pm to 430 pm, Tuesday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Thursday, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm and Friday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Access is restricted on records of people born out of wedlock after 1921. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are the only accepted forms of payment when ordering copies of records by phone.

Option: Birth, marriage, and death certificates are also available from the city or town Clerks' office where the event occurred (or applied from for marriage licenses).

H41 Massachusetts Cancer Registry
Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-624-5642

The Cancer Registry has two primary purposes: to provide public information and statistical analyses of cancer incidence in Massachusetts communities and to serve as a resource for epidemiological investigations of cancer. It is responsible for the collection of all newly-diagnosed cases in the Commonwealth. This data base provides information for monitoring the impact of environmental and occupational hazards, as well as for the design and evaluation of cancer prevention and control programs. Each year, a report on cancer incidence and mortality is issued.  Special topical reports, such as "Cancer in Women," "Cancer in Men" and "Cancer in Children", are also done.  It also maintains an occupational lung disease registry.

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