266392 Getting more for your money: Conducting Needs Assessments to build lasting community partnerships and sustained collaboration

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dale Ainsworth, PhD , Valley Vision Organization, Sacramento, CA
Heather Diaz, DrPH, MPH , Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
Mathew Schmidtlein, PhD , Department of Geography, Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
Most community needs assessments are unilateral in nature and fail to include a CBPR and collaborative based approach, limiting them in their scope. California Senate Bill 687 requires non-profit hospitals to conduct mandatory needs assessments every three years to determine where community prevention dollars should be spent. These assessments are often contracted out to external organizations--which sit on a shelf- underutilized by the hospital system for design of community planning programs. In 2010 in a CBPR needs assessment approach with four area hospital systems in the Northern California area. Merging concepts from the Organizational Development, the approach included components around 1) goal/objective determination; 2) use of a guiding framework; 3) creation of a container in which to interact face-to-face; 4) established feedback loops; and 5) intentional trust building and emotional bonding exercises with the hospital representatives. The approach was to build lasting relationships between hospital systems which would extend beyond assessment time period to other meaningful projects and efforts. Results of using this approach reveled that members representing all four hospitals: 1) began to meet regularly after the needs assessment was completed ; 2) increased collaboration with other community based organizations; 3) expanded their own level of inter-organization departmental partnerships; 4) enjoyed the process; 5) felt that their own professional knowledge had expanded; and 6) felt connected both professionally and personally with other hospital representatives. As a result of the design, other projects are under way to address the large uninsured status of area residents and will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to 1. Explain the community-benefit health needs assessment requirement for non-profit hospitals; 2. Describe an effective design approach for a community-assessment to foster increased collaboration

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Needs Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator of the work.
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.