Analyze Community Health Needs

Create a 3-5-page report presenting three or more specific high-priority health improvement needs in a community of your choosing.


Each of us belongs to multiple populations: our neighborhood community, workplace, family, and so on. In the workplace, employers recognize the positive benefits of a healthy lifestyle such as reduced absenteeism, improved productivity, and fewer health insurance claims. In the community, health care organizations, community health centers, health districts, and other key stakeholders promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle in hopes to improve the overall health of the community. Reducing obesity, the harmful effects of smoking, drug, and alcohol use, or the transmission of HIV may be the focus of community-wide health initiatives. Overall improvements in health status across a given population are an important goal of politicians, legislators, employers, and community leaders.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has emphasized the importance of these initiatives, and health care leaders are tasked with building cultures of health and wellness for their communities (Nash, Fabius, Skoufalos, & Clarke, 2016). Population health initiatives have been widely impacted since the passage of the law as new programs are introduced to achieve the key objectives. These programs have evolved from a focus on a single illness to more robust, comprehensive interventions that seek to improve the overall health of the population (Nash, Fabius, Skoufalos, & Clarke, 2016). Collaborative efforts between health care providers, politicians, and community organizations are beginning to form as stakeholders recognize the wide variety of services necessary to treat an entire population (Nash, Fabius, Skoufalos, & Clarke, 2016).

At the highest level, the United States Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) establish health care policy while individual health care workers are tasked with implementation at the lowest level. As of this writing, the Trump administration is making efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Although the new administration indicates that it has many of the same goals and objectives of improving population health as the previous administration, the far-reaching effects and final policies remain unknown.

An important concept in community and population health is epidemiology, which is defined as the study of the distribution and determinants (causes and risk factors) of health-related states and events in specified populations (CDC, 2017). It is a method used to find the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations (CDC, 2017). Public health announcements, such as news of flu outbreaks, are based on epidemiology studies. Epidemiology is an important part of public health, as it helps to identify specific risk factors for diseases to improve preventative healthcare outcomes. Epidemiology is data driven and quantitative in design (CDC, 2017). It relies on sound research, as it tests hypotheses grounded in biology, behavioral sciences, and physics (CDC, 2017). Epidemiological studies can cover a wide variety of public health concerns including smoking, obesity, maternal health, HIV, influenza, vaccine use, and outcomes.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). What is epidemiology? Retrieved from

Nash, D. B., Fabius, R. J., Skoufalos, A., & Clarke, J. L. (2016). Population health: Creating a culture of wellness (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Demonstration of Proficiency

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 1: Integrate principles of epidemiology, population health, and community engagement to plan interventions.
    • Identify salient characteristics that define a community.
    • Assess engagement of community stakeholders.
    • Identify specific health improvement needs of a community by using epidemiological information.
  • Competency 2: Differentiate and evaluate evidence-based treatment models and prevention models designed to promote wellness and disease management for population health.
    • Evaluate a treatment model and a wellness model.
  • Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and respectful of the diversity, dignity, and integrity of others and is consistent with expectations for health care professionals.
    • Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
    • Write following APA style for in-text citation, quotes, and references.

Note: It is recommended that you complete the assessments in this course in the order they are presented.


For this assessment, you will be discussing high-priority health improvement needs in a community of your choice. These needs could relate to any number of areas related to the health of populations in the community. Some examples for potential areas include nutrition, smoking, diabetes management, drug use, or other concerns.

To prepare for this assessment, it is recommended you complete the following:

  • Use the Internet to locate a health needs assessment for your local community and explore websites with a .gov, .org, or .edu extension. You may find multiple community needs assessments depending on where you live.
    • Feel free to download several reports and compare them; you may find it interesting to review both similarities and inconsistencies among the reports.
  • Identify the salient characteristics of your community, such as geography and demographics. Also, identify qualitative information that characterizes the community, such as common perspectives and interests or other bases of social ties. Information of this kind may be provided in the community needs assessment, or you may cite it from other sources.
  • Conduct a second search for epidemiology trends in your community focusing on government, nonprofit, and educational Web sites. You may find multiple sources depending on where you live.
    • Are the trends identified in the epidemiology reports consistent with the needs identified in the community needs assessments you read?
  • Use the information you have gathered to identify three, specific, high-priority health improvement needs of your community.
  • Assess how government, community agencies, and other stakeholders are currently addressing each problem.
    • Refer to the Stories on the Trust for America’s Health website, for potential solutions.
  • Complete the Vila Health: Community Health Mission and included questions to develop your knowledge around best-practices in researching population health data and applying models.


Based on the community needs assessment and your research, write a 3–5-page report discussing three or more specific high-priority health improvement needs in your community. As mentioned above, these could relate to nutrition, smoking, diabetes management, drug use, or other concerns. The goal of your report is to describe the needs of the community and how the community is currently addressing them.

Consult the scoring guide to ensure you address all criteria at the level you desire.

Include the following in your report:

  • Identify salient characteristics that define a community.
    • These characteristics include considerations such as geography, demographics, and qualitative information that characterizes the community, such as common perspectives and interests, or other bases of social ties.
  • Identify specific health improvement needs of a community by using epidemiological information.
    • Be sure to identify three, specific, high-priority health improvement needs of your community.
    • Support your choices by citing epidemiological information from your research.
  • Assess the current engagement of community stakeholders.
    • Stakeholders could include government, community agencies, private citizens, and health care organizations.
      • These stakeholders may be involved in programs to address your identified health improvement needs or may be directly impacted by them.
        • How are these stakeholders involved or impacted by your identified health improvement needs?
  • Describe treatment or wellness models that address an identified community health need.
    • Identify treatment or wellness models that are currently being used to address at least one of the high-priority health improvement needs of your community.
      • Describe these strategies or approaches currently being used.
      • Examine each strategy to determine if it is based on a treatment model or a wellness model.
        • How you can determine which kind of strategy is employed?
        • Note: You must identify at least one strategy based on a treatment model and one based on a wellness model. This may require you to look at more than one of your identified community health improvement needs. Also, it is possible you may need to do more research to meet this requirement.
    • Briefly discuss general advantages and disadvantages of treatment models versus wellness models from these examples.

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Ensure writing is clear and well organized to support orderly exposition of content, with correct spelling, grammar, and syntax.
  • Length: Submit 3–5 typed and double-spaced content pages set in Times New Roman, 12 points, not including title page and reference page.
  • References: Cite at least three current scholarly or professional resources.
  • APA formatting: Use APA style for references and citations. You may wish to refer to the following APA resources to help with your structure, formatting, and style:
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