Community engagement is focused on creating increased participation in decision making. It provides an effective process for working on community health needs/problems by engaging people, organizations and community resources.
Community benefit initiatives can focus on unmet health needs, increase knowledge and practices to reduce health disparities and build healthier communities. To do so, community benefit work must involve partners from many other sectors, such as banks and community investment organizations, affordable housing groups, resident groups and public education.
Why work across sectors? Such multi-sector partnerships can work to effect changes in public policy, fund priorities and resolve problems that may seem intractable.
Community Health Needs Assessments and Community Engagement
The community health needs assessment process required of nonprofit hospitals, as well as public health departments, provides the basis for creating implementation plans to address unmet and priority population health needs.