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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2018), a community health assessment is a localized study of a specific group whether it is local, statewide, tribal, or territorial. This research helps organizations and the government identify specific health needs and issues through the gathering of data. Community health assessments are needed to help improve the overall health of the population. It provides agencies with facts and numbers that would create a better and clearer understanding of the areas they want to serve.
            There are many tools available to help facilitate this endeavor. The majority of the models use similar processes. Their goal is to determine the community’s strengths, weaknesses, needs, and assets. Some of the benefits of choosing one model toolkit versus another depends on the number of steps and the depth of the research that the organization or group wants to perform. In addition, it seems that not all the toolkits are designed to assess the same type of data, and their focus appears to be different as well. Some are specific to hospitals, while others are more engaged on public health. Using a specific model to assess the community will ensure that the data collected would be used and analyzed to help improve, engage, and prioritize issues that affect the public. 
Agencies and Time Line
            When doing a community health assessment, agencies need to be involved in order to have a more comprehensive understanding of the surroundings and the people that live in the community. Agencies such as schools, healthcare organizations, private and governmental institutions, local workforce agencies, and churches are some of the key assets when conducting a community health assessment. All of their voices, input, and expertise are valuable resources. They could serve as tools that community health nurses may use to implement changes in their areas and help make a difference in the population. According to Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHAUS, 2015), hospitals should expect to spend approximately six to 18 months planning and conducting their community health assessment. This number will vary according to the size of the hospital, the size of the community, and the number of organizations involved in the process. In addition, the availability of financial resources will have an influence on the duration of the process (CHAUS, 2015).
The Role of the Public Health Nurse
            The role of the public health nurse in implementing the community health assessment model is essential in this process. The nurse can serve as a guide to educate, advocate, assess and evaluate individuals in the community. They have in-depth knowledge about the different determinants of health that affect the community as well as thorough understanding of the many aspects that influence the needs of the population. They also play a vital role in collaborating with agencies to help collect data and implement measures to achieve improvements in the health and social conditions of the most vulnerable populations.
Catholic Health Association of the United States. (2015). Assessing and addressing community
health needs. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, July 24). Community health assessment and
health improvement plans. Retrieved from

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Prior to this week, I was unaware of what a community assessment consisted of. I learned that most of these assessment tools consist of phases an steps to follow. This phases and steps include organizing a plan, engaging in the community, and developing a goal to achieve. You must then do the community health assessment, prioritize the information you have assessed, and develop the plan to achieve your goal. Once all of this has been established, you can implement this into the community and evaluate the process. On the CDC website, I chose the model Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP). A brief description from the CDC website included was a framework for a community improvement planning and putting a strong emphasis on the engagement and collaboration in the community on a local level (CDC-Assessment, 2015). This specific community assessment plan to help improve community health. Through this plan, it allows communities to apply critical thinking to prioritize issues in public health and to help identify the resources needed to address the issues. This ultimately improves efficiency and effectiveness throughout the community and improves the overall outcome of the community. There are six phases to go through with this community assessment model. Stage 1 of this model includes how to get organized develop a partnership. Stage 2 is visioning which allows us to share community vision and goals to accomplish. Phase 3 includes the four assessments, we are able to analyze and collect data during this phase. Stage 4 helps you identify the issues within the community so you can base your plan upon the issues. Stage 5 helps you determine a plan and goals to reach while stage 6 is when you put your plan into action within the community  (MAPP, n.d). I feel that the community health nurse has a lot of research to do based on this community assessment. I think it would be best to team up with leaders through out the local community such as the health department and maybe even emergency services since they have so many statistics on our population for our community. I think a reasonable time frame would include four to eight months for a community assessment.
CDC – Assessment – Community Health Assessment – STLT Gateway. (2015, November 9). Retrieved from
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP). (n.d.). Retrieved from

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