What is a Community Assessment?
A community health assessment is a process that uses quantitative and qualitative methods to systematically collect and analyze data to understand health within a specific community. An ideal assessment includes information on risk factors, quality of life, mortality, morbidity, community assets, forces of change, social determinants of health and health inequity, and essential services. At best, the community health assessment process engages partners, informs decision-making, helps you prioritize issues, and galvanizes the community to take mutually reinforcing action.
–NACCHO’s Definition of an Ideal CHA
Why are CHAs important now?
Need Help with a CHA?
The CHA process impacts public health accreditation and aids non-profit hospitals with IRS reporting requirements. More importantly, the CHA process uncovers community assets and helps communities address health priorities with mutually reinforcing actions.
Since its inception, NCIPH has partnered with local health departments to conduct CHAs. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, NCIPH has expanded its technical assistance to assist hospitals and Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers in meeting their assessment requirements. Since 2010, NCIPH has provided training and technical assistance to NC local health departments for more than 17 CHAs projects in 23 counties, including 5 projects working closely in collaboration with hospital and Federally Qualified Healthcare Center partners.
NCIPH also participates with the North Carolina Hospital Association and NC Division of Public Health in the North Carolina Community Health Improvement Collaborative (NC-CHIC). NC-CHIC explores best practices and models for improving Affordable Care Act implementation including conducting collaborative CHAs among local public health agencies, hospitals and other community stakeholders. In 2013, NCIPH convened a statewide learning congress to share lessons learned from five local CHA/Community Health Improvement partnerships representing a variety of jurisdictions across North Carolina. The Community Health Assessment and Improvement Toolkit was one of the results of this learning congress.
Does your organization need help with CHAs?
NCIPH can provide technical assistance and flexible training options to complete CHAs in time and within budget.
- Primary data collection and analysis for Community Health Opinion Surveys, using GIS and mobile application technology, including the use of Collect SMART
- Example: Durham County Community Health Opinion Survey, 2013
- Primary data collection, noted above
- Key informant interviews or focus groups
- Secondary data collection and analysis for demographic, health and social determinants of health indicators
- Example: Pender County Community Health Assessment Data Sources and Indicators, 2014
- Committee facilitation
- Primary and secondary data collection and analysis, noted above
- Assistance with community forum presentation and facilitation
- Action planning
- Development of reports
- Example: Wake County Community Health Assessment, 2013
If you are interested in NCIPH’s services, please send email to Amy Belflower Thomas:firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.