Center for Healthy Communities

Community Health Improvement

Public health organizations and their partners work tirelessly to improve health and health equity in communities across the country. Through years of experience working with communities, CHC understands that, while models of community health improvement are often depicted as linear or cyclical, the reality is that community health improvement is dynamic and ever changing. The needs, the players, the resources and opportunities, and the challenges are different from community to community and within the same community over time or in different settings. This complexity requires a deep toolbox and the ability to adapt, and CHC supports communities by bringing forward health improvement strategies that work and discovering how they can be adapted to fit a specific context.

We offer expertise in both the process of improvement – from engagement to assessment and planning to implementation and improvement – and in the content of improvement – from various health outcomes and behaviors to social determinants of health to the provision of services to addressing the broader system and context. We look to the science of improvement, as well as the practice-based knowledge of the community and state leaders who have created change, but not written down how they did it.

Assessment and Planning

CHC leads, supports, and consults on projects related to building capacity in assessing community needs, creating detailed and thoughtful plans shared across partners, and putting those plans into action. Our approach emphasizes engaging non-traditional partners and those community members most impacted by threats to health within a community. We also emphasize adaptation, creating processes that are realistic and feasible, while also leading to discovery and transformation. We support partners with:

  • Assessment and Planning
    • Community Health Assessments/Community Health Needs Assessments
    • Community Health Improvement Planning
    • Strategic Planning
    • Ongoing assessment and planning activities
  • Facilitation
    • Identifying and convening partners
    • Group development
    • Authentic engagement
  • Evidence-based/informed Practices
    • Identifying appropriate strategies
    • Adapting strategies to the local context
    • Implementation

Performance Measurement and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

CHC supports communities in building structures for performance measurement and in building a culture of quality. Our approach is rooted in a desire to help communities and programs solve their problems from within using data driven, structured, and evidence-based methods. We emphasize understanding root cause, accessing both data and group wisdom, and discovering small but mighty changes. We support partners with:

  • Performance measurement
    • Identifying measures
    • Developing strategies for tracking & reporting
    • Using performance measures to drive improvement
  • Continuous Quality Improvement
    • Developing a CQI plan and an organizational strategy for supporting continuous improvement
    • Training in CQI tools and methods
    • Using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles
    • Using CQI tools for routine problem solving
    • Sustaining gains made through improvement efforts
    • Building a culture of quality

To learn more about the community health improvement services CHC offers please view this video or contact us at: