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Using a Web-Based Tool to Evaluate a Collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment

Kuehnert, Paul DNP, RN; Graber, Judith PhD; Stone, David PhD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: March/April 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 175–187
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31829dc1e5
Original Articles

Despite the fact that community assessment has been identified as a core function of public health for more than 2 decades, evaluations of the impact of the practice of community health assessment are few in number and have only recently been published. This article describes an evaluation of a 2011-2012 community health needs assessment (CHNA) of Kane County, Illinois. The evaluation customized and used a reliable and valid Web-based survey, the New York State Community Health Assessment Usefulness Survey, to measure Kane County CHNA user perceptions of content, format, and impact utility of the assessment. Survey respondents were community leaders and members from a diverse set of professional backgrounds and were nearly evenly divided between those who had actively participated in the CHNA and those that had not. Respondents were overwhelmingly positive in their evaluation of the Kane CHNA, with an average per item score of greater than 3 on a 4-point Likert scale, although respondents who were not involved in the CHNA process were less positive than those directly involved. Implications for public health practitioners and researchers are discussed.

This article describes an evaluation of a 2011-2012 community health needs assessment of Kane County, Illinois.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey (Dr Kuehnert); Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey (Dr Graber); and Associate Vice President for Research and Associate Professor of Public Health, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois (Dr Stone).

Correspondence: Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PO Box 2316, Route 1 and College Rd East, Princeton, NJ 08543 (

The research described in this article was conducted by the first author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of his Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Judith Lloyd Storfjell, PhD, RN, and Kathleen Baldwin, PhD, RN, who served on the first author's DNP Committee and provided invaluable review and insights to earlier versions of this article. They also deeply appreciate the contributions of Christopher Hoff, BA, Uche Onwuta, MS, MPH, and Jacqueline Forbes, MS, of the Office of Community Health Resources of the Kane County Health Departments and the members of the Kane County Community Health Assessment Committee to the Kane community health needs assessment and its evaluation.

The views expressed in this article solely represent those of the authors and are not those of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rutger's University, or the Northern Illinois University.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.