Spend time exploring the identity of your community from several perspectives. Look at your community from the point of view of the following perspectives and subsequent content areas.
|Geography and topography||elevation, landforms, terrain, bodies of water|
|Economic foundation||major industries and largest employers|
|Infrastructure||available transportation, major roadways, airports|
|Education||public school districts and schools, higher education institutions|
Below is a list of recommended resources for exploring your community's identity and features:
In addition to these national resources, you will want to look at the state level for websites for:
Likewise, you will want to look at the local level for information on:
You will want to spend some time exploring some very basic and specific population demographics from one of the U.S. Census Bureau databases. Explore and collect the following demographics for:
|Age range statistics|
|Population growth or decline|
As you collect data, try to collect like years if at all possible for each statistical comparison, make note if it is estimate data, and use the proper data identifiers or subgroups referenced in your source. For example, if you want to know the price of a dozen eggs from three grocery stores, it will only really do you any good if you compare prices obtained about the same time. If you have a price from one store from 2000, another from 2008, and the third price from 2015, you can't really make any type of decision as to the significance of your data.
Use the U.S. Census Bureau website to research and explore the above listed demographics of your community
There are several databases within the U.S. Census Bureau website. In particular, you will want to look at these:
For your community assessment, you will want to spend some time researching the following data to describe your community's health resources and workforce.
Health and community services to meet needs of general and vulnerable populations, hospitals, community health centers/primary care clinics, mental health services, services for children, services for the elderly, services for the homeless, services for the medically indigent, drug treatment services, hospice services, services for evening and weekend healthcare.
What type and how many providers working in your community-Include NPs, MDs and PA's, others if you desire. You will likely need to use multiple sources to compile a report on this information. Is your community a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) (for primary care, dental or mental health) or a Medically Underserved Area (MUA)?
Use the following links to research and explore health services resources in your community.
You will also want to find information from your state department of health and your state agency for children's services. If you don't already know their name or web address, the links below may help.
Use these links to find information about the health workforce in your community.
In addition to the resources linked, you'll need to search for other organizations that are local or relevant to your area: