196758 Collaborative community health assesment for planning and policy development

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cynthia L. Stone, DrPH , School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Tess Weathers, MPH , Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
David Fields , Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Cathy Gieseler , Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Davis Ellis, MD , Rush County Heatlh Department, Rushville, IN
A large university department of public health collaborated with a rural local health department to complete a community health assessment. The local health officer and board member approached the university public health department to work with them to conduct a community health assessment. This rural county of around 16, 0000 people had never completed a large community assessment. They wanted to use this information for planning, policy development and future accreditation requirements Meeting together a written survey was adapted from a North Carolina opinion survey and telephone surveys for residents and providers. IRB approval was received for the project. A pilot study of the tools was completed and adjustments made in the survey format. A random sample of 1,600 surveys was mailed, and a total of 425 (27%) surveys were completed and returned. In addition 25 telephone calls were completed to residents and health care providers. The data indicated 30% of respondents went outside of the county for necessary health services in the previous 12 months. Complete analysis of the data is still ongoing. A qualitative analysis of the open ended questions yields that the top five most important problems in the county are substance abuse, economic hardship, health care services issues, and youth related issues, and environment including poor water quality from use of pesticides. Further analysis and a GIS mapping of the demographic information compared to the health resources will be provided at the annual meeting.

Learning Objectives:
Identify collaborative resources to assist rural local health departments in conducting community assesments for planning and policy development.

Keywords: Community Health Assessment, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been teaching public and community health for 17 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.