assessment, data, planning, policy, Web-based data query



  1. Irani, Priti MS
  2. Bohn, Cate MPH
  3. Halasan, Corazon MPH
  4. Landen, Mike MD, MPH
  5. McCusker, Dawn MPH


Community health assessment (CHA) is a core public health function. Community health assessment is a term that describes both a process and its tangible products, such as a community health profile or other types of reports on the status of the community's health and existing influences on its health, including the extent and nature of health-related resources. Assessment has enabled a better understanding of the community's health, and this has impacted public health decisions. The authors use the framework for community health improvement proposed in 1997 by the Institutes of Medicine to show how CHA is part of the community health improvement process. Community health assessment drives the need for current, easily accessible population health data. The importance of Web-based data query systems, the focus of the other articles in this special issue, can be best understood within the broader context of CHA. Selected case examples of how Web-based data query systems have impacted the CHA process in three states are highlighted.