College of Public Health students graduating
Kentucky and Appalachia Public Health Training Center

Annual NACCHO Conference Presentation: The Bridge Between Community Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Planning

The Kentucky and Appalachia Public Health Training Center's Dr. Angela Carman (DrPH) presented at the annual National Association of County and City Officials (NACCHO) conference hosted in Dallas, TX, on July 10-12, 2013.  The session was titled, The Bridge between Community Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Planning: Where Community Partnerships and Quality Improvement Techniques Meet.  

Dr. Carman’s presentation focused on interactive illustrations of information synthesis activities which can be used with community partners to identify strategic community issues.  In addition, quality improvement techniques such as the “5 Whys” will be demonstrated as methods to further understand why an issue is strategic as well as determine the composition of workgroups to address action steps. The purpose of the session was to provide practical guidance and tools to local health department leaders as they work to increase community partnerships and move from the community health assessment process to the community health improvement plan utilizing quality improvement techniques to focus strategic initiatives. Specifically, participants received a tool which correlates the CHA steps of the MAPP process with steps required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of non-profit hospital community health needs assessments (CHNA).  This tool may be used to illustrate the similarity of purpose between the local health department CHA and the non-profit hospital CHNA and thus encourage the efficiency and effectiveness that can be gained by local health departments and non-profit hospitals working as partners.

Noel Coplen, Director of the Graves County Health Department, presented alongside Dr. Carman to provide his 'real-world' example of how Dr. Carman's work and community health assessment and improvement methods have worked well in his community.  He also discussed the value and importance of his partnership with the Kentucky and Appalachia Public Health Training Center.

NACCHO is the only national organization that hosts annual conferences that specifically address the needs and concerns of local health officials. NACCHO’s conferences are vital, one-of-a-kind, learning and networking opportunities for local health officials and their public health partners from all geographic regions of the nation to share perspectives and engage in dialogue on common key public health practice issues.