Online Program

Community perceptions of the implementation and results of the local public health system assessment in three rural North Carolina counties

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nancy Winterbauer, PhD, MS, Brody School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Ashley Tucker, MPH, Brody School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Suzanne Lea, PhD, Brody School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Caroline Chappell, MPA, North Carolina Division of Public Health, Greenwood, SC
Jean Caldwell, BS, RHEd, Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Division of Public Health, Morehead City, NC
Joy Brock, BS, Greene County Health Department, Snow Hill, NC
Amy Belflower Thomas, MSPH, CPH, Nash County Health Department, Nashville, NC
Barbara Earley, RN, MSN, Hertford County Public Health Authority, Winton, NC
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) is a planning tool that encourages a participatory approach to community health improvement planning. While it is similar in many respects to the community health assessment and improvement planning required of North Carolina local health departments, MAPP is new in emphasizing a systems approach. The Local Public Health System Assessment (LPHSA), one of four MAPP assessments, relies on participation of a broad array of non-traditional community health partners (e.g. higher education, business) to evaluate the capacity of the system to provide the 10 Essential Public Health Services. The LPHSA is considered an arduous process due to the length/complexity of the tool and level of participation needed to complete it. This may be especially challenging for rural communities with limited financial/human resources. Three rural North Carolina counties participated in MAPP in 2011-2012. This is the first known application of the LPHSA in North Carolina. In this study, four focus groups were conducted with LPHSA participants (n =25) to gain insight into community partners' perspectives regarding the process and outcomes of participation. Results indicate that participants valued participation, were educated about the scope of the public health system and their role in it, appreciated the opportunity to engage with non-traditional health partners and felt LPHSA results were accurate. Study results provide encouragement to LHD staff hesitant to conduct the LPHSA that community partners will appreciate the experience and suggest that the assessment offers additional opportunities to educate and engage partners in systems thinking. g.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify the attributes of the MAPP Local Public Health System Assessment (LPHSA) Describe benefits of participation in the LPHSA

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in community health planning for over 10 years, have received funding to conduct strategic and community health planning and currently teach planning at the graduate level.
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.

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