Identifying Community Priorities For Neighborhood Livability: Engaging Neighborhood Residents To Facilitate Community Assessment

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Identifying community-driven priorities to improve health outcomes is crucial toward achieving health equity. Seldom are communities experiencing health disparities included in community health assessment (CHA) and health improvement planning efforts (Pennel, McLeroy, Burdine, Matarrita-Cascante, & Wang, 2017). The purpose of this project was to conduct a CHA using a socio-ecological framework and community engagement (CE) process. In this paper we describe an exemplar engaging local residents as community facilitators to assess indicators of neighborhood livability, challenges and lessons learned, and implications for public health and community/public health nursing. Community residents were trained to facilitate focus groups and participated in analyzing these data. Data analysis yielded five neighborhood livability indicators and priorities reflecting the social determinants of health. Engaging community residents as stakeholders in CHA and health improvement planning is critical for identifying structural factors affecting neighborhood livability and priorities to improve health and well-being. Public health and health care system partnerships employing inclusive CE practices are necessary to improve overall population health outcomes. Public health nursing's role as strategy and system leaders can contribute toward the success of these cross-sector partnerships with diverse communities and populations.

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Public Health Nursing



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