Community Health Improvement Planning

Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Planning (CHIP) are collaborative community processes that are used to identify trends, needs, and resources in a community or jurisdiction and develop action plans for community health improvement. Well-designed and implemented CHA and CHIP processes can provide a roadmap for community partners to methodically address community health priorities.

Two recent developments have created an increased focus on CHA and CHIP in communities throughout the country. First, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires non-profit hospitals to conduct or support community health needs assessments and implement related interventions to address identified health needs every three years. Second, a national voluntary accreditation program for health departments, recently launched by the Public Health Accreditation Board, requires health departments to conduct CHA and CHIP in order to be eligible for accreditation. Reaccreditation occurs every five years.

Our framework for community health improvement work defines health broadly and recognizes that health and well being are affected by the conditions and circumstances in which people live, age, work, learn, and play.

Our commitment to the belief that all people and communities have the right to achieve and maintain good health fuels the passion we bring to the work.

Our approach to the community health improvement process includes these key components:

  • Coalition-building among public and private community partners;
  • Grassroots community engagement;
  • Data collection and analysis to identify community health needs, inequities, strengths, and assets; and
  • Development, implementation and evaluation of action plans that include common goals, a shared system of measuring outcomes, and proven interventions.

We are uniquely positioned to assist with this important assessment and planning work. We have the organizational capacity and staff skills and experience to contribute by:

  • Serving as a neutral convener to  engage community partners and residents;
  • Collecting, analyzing and presenting community health data in an understandable and meaningful way;
  • Facilitating health issue prioritization and action planning; and
  • Assisting with action plan implementation and evaluation.

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National Network of Public Health Institutes

We are also part of the National Network of Public Health Institutes that provides access to other colleagues involved in the practice of community health improvement processes around the country and to proven, adaptable community assessment and planning tools and resources.

Read about our current involvement in Healthy Montgomery, the community health improvement process in Montgomery County, Maryland and how we provide technical assistance, facilitation and administrative support to the effort.

For more information about this project, contact us at 202.747.3512 or via email at