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Assessment is defined as:
Collecting, analyzing, and using data to educate and mobilize communities, develop priorities, garner resources, and plan actions to improve public health. (Assessment in Action: Improving Community Health Assessment Practice, Clegg and Associates, 2003)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified Ten Essential Services of Public Health. Community Health Assessment relates to the several of these essential services;
- Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems: This service includes accurate diagnosis of the community’s health status; identification of threats to health and assessment of health service needs; timely collection, analysis, and publication of information on access, utilization, costs, and outcomes of personal health services; attention to the vital statistics and health status of specific-groups that are at higher risk than the total population; and collaboration to manage integrated information systems with private providers and health benefit plans.
- Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems: This service involves convening and facilitating community groups and associations, including those not typically considered to be health-related, in undertaking defined preventive, screening, rehabilitation, and support programs; and skilled coalition-building ability in order to draw upon the full range of potential human and material resources in the cause of community health.
- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services: This service calls for ongoing evaluation of health programs, based on analysis of health status and service utilization data, to assess program effectiveness and to provide information necessary for allocating resources and reshaping programs.
Source: American Public Health Association (APHA)
The Yakima Health District continually monitors the health of our community and is available to answer specific questions that you have about Yakima County’s health status.