Community Health Assessment
Otero County has partnered with The Counseling Center and the Otero County Community Health Council to work with community members, groups, organizations, and local governments to collaboratively improve our community health through focused and coordinated efforts. These efforts are meant to change the underlying factors that affect the community's health, make healthier choices easier, improve access to care, and provide everyone with a fair opportunity to achieve their full health potential. It is about taking on the most significant health challenges the community faces - together.
What is a Community Health Assessment (CHA)?
A community health assessment is a long-term, systematic effort to comprehensively collect, identify, and review data and information on key health needs and issues for use in:
- education and mobilization of communities,
- development of priorities,
- garnering resources or using resources in different ways,
- adopting or revising policies, and
- providing a sound basis for decision-making and planning actions to improve the population’s health.
Ideally, community health assessments occur every 3-5 years and are critical for the foundation of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Why do a Community Health Assessment?
The purpose of a Community Health Assessment is to learn about the community and inform the decision-making process of prioritization of health-related issues. A Community Health Assessment explores a range of health-related issues specific to the local community, including:
- providing perspective on
- the public health system,
- community health,
- community needs of various communities within the county,
- community assets that can be mobilized to improve community health,
- contributing factors that impact health outcomes,
- health disparities in the community,
- social determinants of health,
- opportunities for improvement; and
- providing useful information for
- public health and health care providers,
- policy makers,
- social service agencies,
- community groups and organizations,
- religious institutions,
- businesses, and
- consumers who are interested in improving the health status of the community and region
As Otero County continues to invest in conducting Community Health Assessments, the community will begin to see positive, comprehensive, and systematic changes occur over time. With a Community Health Assessment, Otero County and other local government and businesses may by able to strengthen opportunities to compete for funding opportunities, collaborate with existing partners and meet new partners, and promote action to achieve health priorities established by the community.
What methodology is being used?
Otero County is using a modified Mobilization for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) approach, and other National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) resources.
We will be gathering information from various sources, including:
- community engagement events throughout Otero County,
- focus groups with community members, partner organizations, and key stakeholders, and
- key informant interviews with groups and individuals.