Online Program

Bridging the gap between data and people: A CBPR approach to community health needs assessment

Monday, November 2, 2015

Chris Kirk, Ph.D., North Jersey Health Collaborative, Morristown, NJ
Sharon Johnson-Hakim, Ph.D., Atlantic Center for Population Health Sciences, Atlantic Health System, Morristown, NJ
Ashley Anglin, Ph.D., Atlantic Health System, Morristown, NJ
Traditionally, community health needs assessment (CHNA) processes have involved organizations working in isolation to collect high-level data then presenting this information back to the community. Often, this process produces data that may not be truly representative of the community, and do not directly include community perspectives.  Additionally, this top-down, organization-driven approach to community health assessment often results in several separate “health improvement plans” for the same community administered independently by separate institutions.

In contrast, this presentation will illustrate a community-based participatory action research approach to community health needs assessments using a case study from the North Jersey Health Collaborative (NJHC).  With over 50 partner organizations from a diversity of sectors, the NJHC enables partner organizations to meet needs assessment requirements and address community issues with greater impact than any one organization could accomplish alone. This process involved a variety of research methods, including collection and analysis of quantitative health data through the NJHC website (, key informant surveys directed at community leaders and partner organizations and a community art project that incorporated elements of PhotoVoice.  This initial wave of data was followed with opportunities for community prioritization and further data collection, as directed by the community.  Results of this process include engagement by a broader array of community partners, better data and a shared plan of action with increased resources for implementation. After a detailed description of this process, the presentation will conclude with key findings, as well as research methodology and lessons-learned that can be applied to other contexts.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate between top-down CHNA processes, and those that are community-based. List the benefits of a community-based participatory research approach to community health needs assessment process. Identify the core components of CBPR and ways in which your health system or health department can utilize them in your next assessment.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the acting President and Chair of the North Jersey Health Collaborative and have been directly involved in the community-based participatory research process described in this proposal. I am also the Director of Mission Development at Atlantic Health System and a Community Psychologist with extensive experience and expertise in CBPR, community collaboration, community health needs assessments, and population health.
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.