We help organizations create health opportunity through focused community development strategies.

Health opportunity is influnced by multiple factors beyond health care and health promotion programs, including opportunities for education, employment, affordable housing, transportation, healthy food, active spaces, and social connection.    Community development engages people and organizations in efforts to create and strengthen community assets that support population health and well-being.  Community Health Solutions helps local stakeholders advance community development in ways that enhance health opportunity, as outlined below.

Community collaboration is essential for community health and community development. The reality of most community challenges is that no single organization or sector has the capacity to produce a viable solution working alone.  The challenge lies in facilitating collaboration in ways that create real value for community members and the collaborating organizations. Meeting this challenge requires nuanced strategies that respect local values and provide practical supports for defining goals, crafting strategies, building on existing assets, and working together to produce results.  Community Health Solutions offers extensive experience in developing and supporting community collaboration for addressing issues in health and community development.

Community data is essential for identifying informing decisions related to strategic planning, program design, program evaluation, and site location.  Community mapping provides visual insight for identifying areas of health and risk, and where people live in relation to community assets such as schools, employers, affordable housing, transportation, food sources, activity spaces, and health services.   We help organizations use community data and mapping to inform the work of expanding health opportunity for community residents.

Community insight analysis is about engaging community stakeholders in sharing their insights and ideas for improving community services and overall community development.  Ideally community insight analysis is conducted in tandem with commmunity data and mapping to tell a multi-faceted story about community strengths, gaps, and possible solutions.  We help organizations develop community insight through community-based surveys, interviews, and group events.   We also provide training and technical assistance to help organizations develp their own capacity to conduct community insight analysis.

Community needs assessment combines elements of community data, mapping and insight to identify particular areas of need.  A community needs assessment can be structured as a broad-based assessment of community strengths and gaps, or as a more focused assessment of community needs and capacity with respect to particular issues or population segments.  We help organizations conduct community needs assessments that are strategically focused, action-oriented, and efficiently implemented.

For community programs and organizations, the key to sustainability is to define and communicate value in ways that matter to key stakeholders. By applying a systematic Community Value Analysis, a program or organization can define its value for key partners and funders, and use the results to drive improvement and make the case for funding.  CHS offers training and technical assistance to help organizations conduct Community Value Analysis using a proven process. As an example, view an outline of the Community Health Center Value Model we developed in collaboration with the Virginia Community Healthcare Association.

The value an organization delivers goes beyond its mission and services provided. In addition to their role as service providers, community programs and organizations are contributors to the local economy of their service region. CHS delivers economic impact analysis to help organizations communicate this message to key stakeholders. In our experience, economic impact analysis can be a powerful tool to accompany Community Value Analysis.

Health impact analysis (HIA) is a process that helps evaluate the potential health effects of a plan, project, or policy before it is built or implemented. HIA is often used to examine the potential impact of health related policies.  More recently, HIA has been used to analyze the potential health impacts of initiatives in education, economic development, housing, commercial development, transportation, and more.  Community Health Solutions is adept at methods of policy analysis and community analysis that are essential for health impact analysis.

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