A Needs Assessment to Develop Community Partnerships: Initial Steps Working with a Major Agricultural Community

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American Journal of Health Education




Background: Healthy People 2010 identified community partnership as one of the most effective strategies in eliminating health disparities and considered it a critical element in improving an individual's quality of life. To be effective at engaging communities in partnerships, an initial community based needs assessment is recommended.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to use a community assessment to establish if there is a need for community partnerships in a rural Northern Colorado county.

Methods: A mixed-methods design using an online survey and focus groups was used to collect data.

Results: The analysis of the online survey indicated strong support for community partnerships and analysis of focus group transcriptions found both barriers and solutions to human service delivery.

Discussion: Survey responses indicated a perception of support, involvement, and interest in community partnerships; however, focus groups revealed that although some partnerships do exist, significant improvement is needed to better serve disparate populations. Translation to Health Education.

Practice: Future health educators must be equipped with the strategies to effectively address disparate populations and incorporate community partnerships within their agencies once they graduate and enter into employment.