In 2022, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) conducted a series of community health assessments to better understand the concerns and needs of Delaware communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve health in Delaware in the future. As part of Delaware’s State Health Improvement Planning (SHIP), DPH partnered with the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities and Epidemiology Program to conduct surveys in each of Delaware’s three counties. DPH is using this information to design targeted interventions and health messaging campaigns.
A community health assessment (sometimes called a CHA), also known as community health needs assessment (sometimes called a CHNA), refers to a state, Tribal, local, or territorial health assessment that identifies key health needs and issues through systematic, comprehensive data collection and analysis. Community health assessments use such principles as
A community health improvement plan (or CHIP) is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems based on the results of community health assessment activities and the community health improvement process. A plan is typically updated every three to five years.
The Public Health Accreditation Board defines a community health improvement plan as a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems on the basis of the results of community health assessment activities and the community health improvement process. This plan is used by health and other governmental education and human service agencies, in collaboration with community partners, to set priorities and coordinate and target resources. A community health improvement plan is critical for developing policies and defining actions to target efforts that promote health. It should define the vision for the health of the community through a collaborative process and should address the gamut of strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that exist in the community to improve the health status of that community.