Before You Begin

Step 1

Map Development

Step 2

Build Relationships

Step 3

Develop Community Profile

Step 4

Increase Equity With Data

Step 5

Prioritize Needs and Assets

Step 6

Document and Communicate Results

Step 7

Plan Equity Strategy

Step 8

Develop Action Plan

Step 9

Evaluate Progress

Resources for the Community Health Assessment Toolkit

Explore this curated set of action resources from leading organizations to support and assist you during your community needs assessment process. The resources are classified into content-based categories and will be updated periodically as additional tools are identified. 

To explore said Step, simply click on the “Go To Step #” button on the top of the “Step” section.

Practical Applications: Case Studies | Supplements

Develop Your CHA

STEP 1: Map Your CHA Development Process


Community Commons: Community Health Needs Assessment Tool

Framework: Platform to help hospitals identify health needs and conduct measurable improvements.


Community Preventive Services Task Force: The Guide to Community Preventive Services

Collection of tools such as case studies, fact sheets, evaluations and templates to help collect data and implement prevention strategies


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Prevention Quality Indicator Measures

Framework: Resources to help identify potential health care quality problems in the community


Catholic Health Association: Assessing and Addressing Community Health Needs Framework

Framework: Overview of required and recommended steps for assessing community health needs and developing implementation strategies

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Health Equity-Oriented Strategy Selection, Design, and Implementation

Guided actions and reflection questionnaire to guide your health equity strategy, design, and development process

STEP 2: Identify Stakeholders and Build Trusting Relationships


Health Research & Educational Trust: Asset Mapping Template

Asset Mapping Asset mapping template to help answer key questions about the community and hospital

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Community Asset Mapping as a Method to Foster Social Inclusion 

Case study reflecting on the use of CAM and CEPAR actions to foster social inclusion

STEP 3: Develop a Community Health Profile


Public Health Institute: Supporting Alignment and Accountability in Community Health Improvement

Framework Report that examines the community health assessments and implementation strategies of tax-exempt hospitals with a focus on how community is defined

STEP 4: Deepen Understanding and Increase Equity Through Data


University of Wisconsin: Area Deprivation Index

National health data set that factors for the theoretical domains of income, education, employment, and housing quality. It can be used to inform health delivery and policy, especially for the most disadvantaged neighborhood groups.


Community Commons: Vulnerable Population Footprint

Community Commons: Vulnerable Population Footprint


Community Tool Box: Conducting Needs Assessment Surveys

Data Collection Tools: Detailed processes of survey development and execution, and type of data to collect


Dignity Health: Community Need Index

National health data set


CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index (CDC/ATSDR SVI): Uses 

Interactive map that 16 U.S. census variables to help local officials identify communities that may need support before, during, or after disasters.


Neighborhood Atlas

Interactive map showing measures of neighborhood disadvantage with the public, including educational institutions, health systems, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies


Effective Data Visualization: The Right Chart for the Right Data 2ND Edition

Data Presentation Tools: Book on the importance of captivating readers with interactive methods of displaying qualitative data


Health Research & Educational Trust/Association for Community Health Improvement: Applying Research Principles to the Community Health Needs Assessment Process

Report identifying tools and research principles to support CHAs, including patient- and community-centered practices and evidence-based resources to integrate into data collection during the CHA process


Health Research & Educational/Trust/Association for Community Health Improvement: Engaging Patients and Communities in the Community Health Needs Assessment Process

Report that highlights ways patients and communities can be involved in the development of their hospital’s CHA


County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Measures & Data Sources

Framework Description of health-related factors in a community that can be identified and improved to establish the highest potential of health and well-being


County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Health Indicators

Framework for collecting information based on health indicators reflecting the health of a community

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

STEP 5: Prioritize Community Health Needs and Assets


Community Commons: Kaiser Permanente Community Health Needs Assessment Platform

Kaiser Permanente’s platform for community health assessments


Public Health Ontario Partners for Health Priority Setting Checklist

A priority-setting checklist tool based on evidence-informed decision making. The checklist was developed as a supplementary tool to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research’s Will It Work Here: A Decision-Makers Guide to Adopting Innovations. The checklist prompts users to provide a response of “Definitely yes,” “Somewhat,” “Definitely not” or “Don’t know.”


Priority Setting Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis

A comprehensive process for decision making that advocates for a multi-criteria approach to increase fairness, rationality and transparency in decision making.


Ontario Local Health Integration Network: Priority Setting & Decision Making Framework Toolkit

Toolkit provides a framework for priority-setting and decision-making processes for public health practitioners. The framework consists of a four-step process for priority-setting and decision-making, along with an evaluation tool to weigh priorities


Methods and Tools for Priority-Setting for Health Authorities

A list of resources to assist in priority-setting. Framed by the WHO’s handbook on priority-setting, this list includes resources to support conducting a situational assessment, communication and the overall priority setting process.


Minnesota Department of Health Prioritization Matrix

Prioritization matrix template that systematically compares choices through the selection, weighing, and application of criteria.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Institute for Healthcare Improvement – Health Equity: Prioritization, Perception, and Progress

Progress report that illustrates existing health equity actions and perceptions from health care professional in the United States

STEP 6: Document and Communicate the Results


Data Therapy: How to Make a Data Mural

Framework for developing a data mural to show community impact


Public Health Foundation: Planning Before You Communicate Tool

Tool to help with designing consistent and clear communications both internally and externally


S.D.H. Evergreen: Effective Data Visualization: The Right Chart for the Right Data

Book on the importance of captivating readers with interactive methods of displaying qualitative data


S.D.H Evergreen: Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact

Book that offers guiding principles on how to effectively present data

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

CDC Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication

Guiding principles fact sheet provide principles, resources, and specific communication strategies to address all people inclusively and respectfully, adapting to the specific cultural, linguistic, and more.

Implement and Evaluate Your CHA

STEP 7: Plan Strategies to Accelerate Health Equity

Implement and Evaluate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 6I18 Initiative

Initiative focusing on the implementation of 18 evidence-based interventions that target six high-burden conditions

Implement and Evaluate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Community Health Improvement Navigator

An interactive database of interventions to address socioeconomic factors, the physical environment, health behaviors and clinical care

Implement and Evaluate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Health Impact Assessment

Overview of health impact assessments, including links to resources

Implement and Evaluate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5)

Strategies for achieving health impact in five years.

Implement and Evaluate

Collaboration for Impact: The Collective Impact Framework

Approach that highlights the importance of building a greater impact on the community’s health through collaboration

Implement and Evaluate

Community Preventive Services Task Force: The Guide to Community Preventive Services 

Framework: Collection of tools such as case studies, fact sheets, evaluations and templates to help collect data and implement prevention strategies

Implement and Evaluate

Human Impact Partners/Group Health Research Institute: Community Participation in Health Impact Assessments

Data related to community participation in the United States-based practice of Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Implement and Evaluate

Human Impact Partners: CA Health Impact Assessment Toolkit: A Handbook to Conducting HIA, 3rd Edition

Information related to community participation in health impact assessments

Implement and Evaluate

National Research Council: Improving Health in the United States: The Role of Health Impact Assessment

Publication that provides guidance on conducting health impact assessments

Implement and Evaluate

T.R. Frieden: The Health Impact Pyramid

Framework that describes the impact of incorporating different public health interventions based on community needs

Implement and Evaluate

Public Health Foundation: Community Stakeholder Services Map

Tool that assists with identifying services affiliated with a community health issue

Implement and Evaluate

Public Health Foundation: Population Health Driver Diagram Framework

Tool that helps identify primary and secondary drivers of an identified community health objective and serves as a framework for encouraging health care and public health sectors to collaborate and align community health efforts or interventions

Implement and Evaluate
Implement and Evaluate

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: What Works for Health

Provides information to help select and implement evidence-informed policies, programs and system changes

STEP 8: Jointly Develop an Action Plan

Implement and Evaluate

South Dakota Department of Health: Community Toolkit

Core process steps provide a broad view of community health needs assessment and health improvement planning actions

STEP 9: Evaluate Progress

Implement and Evaluate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Framework for Program Evaluation

Evaluation Tool: summarizes and organizes steps and standards for effective program evaluation

Implement and Evaluate

Institute for Healthcare Improvement: Plan-Do-Study-Act

Evaluation Tools Framework to guide improvement work

Implement and Evaluate

Catholic Health Association: Evaluating Your Community Benefit Impact

Evaluation Tools Resource to help community benefit leaders evaluate the quality and importance of their community benefit programs and report and use findings

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Racial Equity Tools: How Can We Assess Our Community and Implement an Assessment Process?

Tip sheet offering tactical steps to support community asset mapping implementation process

Key Definitions

  • Community health assessment is a systematic process of collaboration between hospitals, public health departments, other social service agencies and their communities to identify and analyze community health needs and resources, prioritize needs and implement a plan to address significant unmet needs.

  • Community health needs assessment is a regulation of the Internal Revenue Service with specific requirements. Upon completion, a CHNA can provide a structured narrative about how a health care organization is benefiting the community. Read about the American Hospital Association’s review of the IRS’s final rules for CHNAs.

  • Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity achieve optimal health. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty and discrimination and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments and health care.

  • Quantitative data is numerical population data that can establish a benchmark for health indicators and conditions.

  • Qualitative data is descriptive data based on opinions and perceptions that can illustrate how people think or feel. It is typically gathered from interviews, focus groups, participatory action research, or town hall meetings.


If you would like to submit a technical assistance tool for consideration, please email it to with "CHA Toolkit Resources" in the subject line.