As part of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH)'s work to receive accreditation, RIDOH formed the Community Needs Assessment Group to engage community partners in diverse fields and disciplines in conversations and develop recommendations for improving health outcomes at the local level. This collaboration led to the implementation of community needs assessments in multiple communities across Rhode Island. Several Health Equity Zones have used baseline data from these needs asssessments to inform their Plans of Action to address barriers to health in their neighborhoods.
In recent years, the group, which is now called the Community Health Assessment Group, has shifted its focus to developing a statewide surveillance system to monitor Rhode Island's progress to improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions that impact health. Group members include partners from diverse sectors, including representatives from local and state government, academia, philanthropy, community-based organizations, healthcare, Health Equity Zones, nonprofit policy and advocacy organizations, and the private sector. The data work of the Community Health Assessment Group also complements the policy and advocacy work of the Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity (CHAE), and has participation from members of the CHAE's former data subcommittee
Through an extensive community engagement process, the Community Health Assessment Group examined more than 180 potential indicators to measure Rhode Island's progress in advancing health equity. This process led to the selection, in 2018, of a core set of 15 health equity measures in 5 domains. RIDOH and its partners are using these measures as the statewide standard for assessing the State's progress to improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions that impact health in Rhode Island. more
To develop a statewide surveillance system to monitor Rhode Island's progress to improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions that impact health.