The Power of Community Voices for Enhancing Community Health Needs Assessments

Academic Article


  • As required by the Affordable Care Act, Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) are formalized processes nonprofit hospitals must perform at least every 3 years. CHNAs are designed to help hospitals better tailor health services to the needs of local residents. However, CHNAs most often use quantitative, population-level data, and rarely incorporate the actual voices of local community members. This is particularly a problem for meeting the needs of residents who are also racial or ethnic minorities. This article discusses one model for integrating residents’ voices into the CHNA process. In this model, we videotaped interviews with community members and then coded and analyzed interview data to identify underlying themes. We created a short video aimed at starting conversations about community members’ concerns. In addition to demonstrating how other nonprofit hospitals may use qualitative data in the CHNA process, this article illustrates how adding qualitative data may change how we think about health promotion. We find that community members requested that health care providers view culture as a health resource, foster community connections, and be present in the community.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cain CL; Orionzi D; O’Brien M; Trahan L
  • Start Page

  • 437
  • End Page

  • 443
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 3