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Assignment: Course Project – Needs Assessment

Before you plan any public health program, you must determine the needs of the community through a needs assessment. The needs assessment is the “most critical step in the planning process” (McKenzie et al., 2017, p. 68). With this step, you can target your public health program to exactly what is needed, not just what someone guessed would be helpful.

This week, you will prepare a needs assessment for your community. For your needs assessment, interview two community members (in addition to yourself) to help gauge the “pulse” of the community, what residents perceive are necessary changes, and the actual needs of the community. Remember that you are part of the community as well, and your own qualitative observations and opinions as a student of public health/health studies are also important.

To Prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapter 4 of the McKenzie et al. text.
  • Conduct a brief qualitative needs analysis of your community. Using the questions provided below, interview two members of your community about the perceived public health needs. Consider the barriers to addressing significant public health issues within the community and think about resources available that might help to address them:
    • How long have you lived in your community?
    • What do you believe are the greatest health issues that exist within your community, and who are the populations you believe are most impacted by these health issues?
    • What are two barriers that exist within your community that you feel could negatively influence these health issues (e.g., no public parks, pollution from a particular factory, no major hospitals or grocery stores)?
    • Why do you think those barriers exist? What Social Determinants of Health are most responsible for health problems in your area? (See the Healthy People 2030 Social Determinants of Health link in Learning Resources for a list of examples.)
    • What kinds of resources exist within your community that could help influence the health of individuals within your community (i.e., hospitals, community clinics, non-profits, etc.)?
  • Consider the resources available within the community to help address the perceived public health issues.

The Assignment (3–4 pages)

  • A brief description of the community that is being evaluated
  • A brief description of the members of the community that you interviewed
  • Describe the information that you gathered from your interviews. Be sure to explain the perceived public health needs of the community
  • Explain what resources are available within the community that address the identified health needs
  • Explain how you might address the needs within the community. Be sure to describe how you will utilize resources and address the barriers within the community

Your written Assignments must follow APA guidelines. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate.