Community Health Planning |

Community Health Assessment

A community health assessment is conducted to provide an understanding of the health status of a community and the social factors that contribute to and influence health in the area. The assessment will serve as a guide for developing strategies to improve community health. Periodically updating assessments reflect changes in health status and factors over time and help ensure that continuous improvement efforts are based on current community needs. Metro Public Health facilitated the 2013 Community Health Assessment process for Nashville-Davidson County.

For 2019, the Metro Public Health Department, Saint Thomas Health, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Metro Social Services, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, ConnectUsHealth, and the Healthy Nashville Leadership Council have entered into a collaborative relationship to partner with residents and community stakeholders to understand the current health status. needs of Davidson County, Tennessee. This updated assessment of unmet health needs will provide a baseline for addressing county health and serve as a baseline for each of the partner organizations’ community health improvement plan/implementation strategy to ensure sustainability. alignment with community needs.

2018 Community Health Assessment Report

Community Health Improvement Plan

A community health improvement plan is an action-oriented plan outlining priority community health issues based on the community health assessment Mobilizing for action through planning and partnerships. The Healthy Nashville Community Health Improvement Plan outlines how these issues will be addressed, including strategies and actions to improve the health of Nashville by achieving our vision: A Healthy Nashville has a culture of compassion and wellness where everyone belongs, thrives and prospers.

Thousands of Nashvillians participated in the visioning, assessment and strategy development processes that culminated in this community health improvement plan. The process of mobilizing for action through planning and partnerships used the Mayor-appointed Healthy Nashville Leadership Council as its steering committee, and Metro’s public health department, Saint Thomas Health, the Vanderbilt University, Metro Social Services, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, ConnectUsHealth came together to form a core team to convene and guide the process. The Community Health Assessment Report for Nashville details the assessment process and its results, and can be viewed on this page.

Community Priorities

Healthy Nashville’s 2020-2022 Community Health Improvement Plan outlines five key systemic issues for the community to address over the next three years. These questions were raised from a rigorous community health assessment process using the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships for Community Health Improvement framework. The Mobilization for Action through Planning and Partnerships assessments served as the foundation to inform the development of priority community health issues for Nashville to address over the next three years.

Access and coordination of resources

Prioritizing the coordination of resources between many different service providers was a necessity for many community members throughout the needs prioritization process. “Resource Access and Coordination” encompassed many different types of services and resources in the community, not just health or clinic related. Some examples of the types of services that should be coordinated include, but are not limited to, social services, clinical services, housing support, and mental health services.

Meeting basic needs and social determinants

The need to address the social determinants and meet the basic health needs of Davidson County populations has been one of the biggest issues revealed by all of the assessment processes. “Meeting basic needs and social determinants” involves many different things, including access to food, transport, housing and education. Failure to meet basic needs increases the risk of developing chronic diseases and worse health outcomes. Analysis of primary and secondary data largely underlined the importance and need to address the lack of access to basic needs in Davidson County.

Support mental health and reduce toxic stress

Mental health and toxic stress were cited as a major issue throughout the needs assessment process. Secondary data analysis indicates a high need for mental health services, decreased negative mental health stigma and education, prevention and treatment of toxic stress, primarily negative childhood experiences.

Access to affordable health care

Access and affordability of health care was a major issue, highlighted throughout the needs assessment process. This includes insurance coverage, access to specialist providers, and affordability of insurance.


The need for an equitable approach to addressing proposed health needs emerged as an issue in quantitative and qualitative assessments, and by participants at the 2019 Healthy Nashville Summit. The Metro Public Health Department’s 2015 Health Equity and Recommendations report defines health equity as follows:

“[…] the societal and systematic understanding and appreciation of differences between individuals and populations; where everyone is valued and has the opportunity to achieve optimal health and well-being.

Understanding this definition, and continuing to understand the complex social determinants of health, requires a systems approach when considering future health programs and interventions. This will require expanding our knowledge of what creates health, including looking at policy changes, finances, evidence-based programs that lead to data-driven action, community resources, and collaborative partners. . In addition, certain groups are more likely to experience social disadvantages that lead to health inequalities. Therefore, particular attention should be paid to:

  • Children, young people or elderly people;
  • People with Disabilities;
  • Ethnic or racial minorities;
  • People experiencing homelessness;
  • People who speak limited English;
  • Individuals and families with low income;
  • Religious and denominational communities;
  • women, and
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

Achieving the health needs outlined above (access and navigation to resources, mental health and toxic stress, meeting basic needs and social determinants, and access to and affordability of health care) will require a health equity lens that puts strategic focus on vulnerable populations and in-depth understanding of the complexity of certain health disparities. In doing so, health leaders will need to engage in individual, organizational, and community capacity-building activities and actions that will lead to more equitable outcomes.

Implementation measures

Several community partners have already identified actions to be taken over the next few years to achieve the goals of the Community Health Improvement Plan. The development of partnerships will be an ongoing process throughout the implementation of the community health improvement plan. If you are interested in getting involved in the implementation of the Community Health Improvement Plan, please email [email protected]

In addition to the goals and objectives included in the Community Health Improvement Plan, the Healthy Nashville Leadership Council and Metro Public Health Department will continue to seek opportunities to partner, convene, and participate in initiatives that support the five issues. priorities for the community.

Community health status reports

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