Improving Community Engagement


Impact Statement: 
The county health department used a QI planning approach to improve their planning processes for community meetings resulting in the community becoming more involved in improving its own health.

While the Comanche County Health Department (CCHD) is involved in an active community coalition, it was through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) beta test self-assessment that CCHD recognized the importance of a formal community health assessment (CHA) and community health improvment plan (CHIP). CCHD was aware of these missing elements; however, the self-assessment made it clear that the process of development was just as critical as the final product. As a result, the focus began to shift from the need for an end product (CHA/CHIP) to the quality of the process required to produce a CHA or CHIP.

Final Aim: By December 2010, CCHD will improve community engagement as evidenced by 60% of community sectors being represented at meetings, with an average score of 4 on the meeting effectiveness survey. Community health sectors were defined as the following:
1. Health
2. Schools/Education
3. Law Enforcement/Fire
4. Government
5. Business
6. Youth
7. Parents
8. Faith
9. Civic
10. Media

The improvement theory reasoned that if the local health department (LHD) demonstrated respect for partners' time and participation, the number of community sectors represented at meetings and meeting effectiveness would be increased.

The data clearly indicated that the improvement was effective. The team had set a goal of achieving a 4 on the meeting effectiveness survey and ended up with a 4.6. Additionally, the team had set a goal for 6 out of 10 sectors to participate, and 7 sectors were represented. Considering the success that the data identified and the response of community partners in the development of a CHIP, CCHD decided to adopt the improvement.

The team learned that organizational self-awareness is vital when developing a quality public health organization. Organizational self-awareness gained by this experience has stirred an awakening in CCHD that will undoubtedly result in local public health excellence.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Comanche County Health Department

Reed, K. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving Community Engagement. Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:51. Available at Accessed June 21, 2024.

Submission Status: 
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