Image of a beautiful young African American mother in a hospital gown gently holds her infant in her arms and smiles down at her. The baby's eyes are closed.

Some questions to ask

  • What information will be gathered to help choose the priority issue(s)?
  • What evidence will be used to justify the choice of a priority issue, including marked differences in outcomes for particular groups?
  • What determinants produce marked differences in outcomes (inequities) for particular groups?
  • What resources and assets can help address the priority issue?

 

Some recommended actions

  1. __ Gather information to help choose the priority health/equity issue(s). Including:
    • Existing data sources on community-level outcomes; look for where there are marked differences in outcomes for particular groups (e.g., related to race/ethnicity, income/poverty, gender, and/or where people live)
    • Additional quantitative data (e.g., surveys, observation, small area analysis)
    • Qualitative data (e.g., interviews, listening sessions, focus groups)
  2. __ State evidence justifying the choice of the priority issue or goal, including:
    • Community-level indicators showing the size of the problem (e.g., rate of infant deaths)
    • How frequently the problem (or related behavior) occurs (e.g., number of youth reporting alcohol use in the past 30 days)
    • The marked differences in outcomes related to race/ethnicity, income/poverty, gender, and/or where people live
  1. __ Identify social determinants that produce marked differences in outcomes (inequities) for particular groups (e.g., related to race/ethnicity, income/poverty), including:
    • Differential exposures and opportunities (e.g., to stress, support networks)
    • Differential vulnerabilities and capabilities (e.g., education)
    • Differential consequences (e.g., access to quality services, discrimination)
  1. __ Describe what relevant resources and assets are available, and how the group can use those resources to address the priority issue.

 

Assessment example

The Geary County USD 475, Geary County Health Department, and Geary Community Hospital spearheaded a community health assessment for Geary County to provide a deeper understanding of community health issues of importance and the assets available to address those issues. Multiple assessment methods were used, including a community concerns survey, a series of focus groups, interviews, PhotoVoice, a local public health system assessment, and an empirical review of secondary data. Identified community challenges included: lack of available and affordable health food options; few environments that support physical activity; poorer quality of life for those with lower incomes; barriers and limited use of prevention health services; inadequate access to dental health services; lack of mental health services; need for quality jobs; transportation barriers; safety; alcohol and tobacco use; and limited high-quality affordable housing for those of low-income.

 

Resources to help you assess

Tools from the Community Tool Box

Toolkit: Assessing Community Needs and Resources

Chapter 3: Assessing Community Needs and Resources

Tools from KDHE and other sources

KDHE Local Public Health Resources (see Community Health Assessment and Improvement)

KDHE Public Health Informatics

Kansas Information for Communities (KIC)

County Health Rankings

Kansas Health Matters

Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health

KIDS Count Data Center (Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Early Childhood Needs and Resources Community Assessment Tool

Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Kansas PRAMS – Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System