Health Outreach Partners (HOP) is proud to present its toolkit titled “Community Health Needs Assessment: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Responding to the Needs of Your Community”. The toolkit provides a wealth of information, practical tools, and strategies to support organizations in their efforts to meet the health needs of underserved populations. The easy-to-use toolkit guides the user through the 5 key steps of the needs assessment process, and it is intended for health centers, Primary Care Associations, safety net providers, and local and state agencies.

Authors: Sonia Lee, Megan O’Brien, Alexis Wielunski



On March 24, 2015, HOP held a webinar to lead participants through the community health needs assessment process of planning, implementation, and dissemination using HOP’s new toolkit. Mary Jo Ybarra-Vega, Outreach/Behavioral Health Coordinator at Quincy Community Health Center in Quincy, Washington, also shared lessons learned from conducting needs assessments at her health center.


Toolkit Sections

1. Introduction

2. Understanding a Community Health Needs Assessment

This section provides an overview of a community health needs assessment, the different ways to approach conducting one, and why it is beneficial to undertake the process. A visual representation of the key steps of the needs assessment process is included.

3. Planning Your Needs Assessment

This section guides you through planning and developing a work plan for the needs assessment process, including establishing structures to provide direction and involve the right people, setting a goal, and determining the type of information needed to find through the needs assessment.

4. Developing Your Data Collection Tools

This section introduces the two types of data consisting of primary and secondary data, the different data collection methods, the benefits and limitations of each method, and considerations around qualitative and quantitative approaches.

5. Collecting and Analyzing Your Data

This section provides the different steps of conducting the needs assessment, including pilot testing data collection tools, getting informed consent from the participants, training the needs assessment team, and organizing and analyzing data.

6. What’s Next: Sharing and Using Your Findings

This section provides an overview of the various ways that to share and use the findings from the needs assessment, from report writing to infographics to community presentations. Real-life examples of health centers are presented to show how they have applied their findings.