Step 3 Collect Data About the Community Overview You have goals and objectives for your assessment. You have questions about the health and nutritional status of your target population and potential ways to answer those questions using existing data or by collecting new data using methods such as surveys, focus groups, or interviews. Now it’s time to put on your researcher’s hat and begin collecting data about the background conditions, community (community conditions, environmental conditions, and socioeconomic conditions), and target population. During this step you will collect already-existing objective information about the nutrition needs of the community. You will also interview at least one key informant to collect subjective data. In addition, you will think of other types of data you would like to collect if you had several weeks to do so. Collect Objective Data: Gather information from your college or university library, your local library, and/or the Internet, as well as by calling town offices and agency staff in the community. Include demographic and socioeconomic information, health and vital statistics, local health resources, cultural factors, and availability of housing, food, community and school nutrition programs, etc. These online resources (plus those listed in Appendix B) may be useful: FEDstats.gov: https://fedstats.sites.usa.gov/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/ County Health Rankings: https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/ Community Nutrition Mapping Project: https://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=15656 Your Food Environment Atlas: https://ers.usda.gov/foodatlas/ Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS): https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/index.htm Collect Subjective Data: Speak with relevant community members to gather subjective information. You may need one or more site visits to the community; plan to call community members as well. Show all of your data and its source. Following are examples (for data from a report, personal conversation, and website, respectively): County X has a 40% mortality rate from cancer. Source: MA Dept PH Report on Cancer, 1997. School X has high rate of teen births. Source: Mrs. Jones, school nurse, personal conversation March 22, 2012. In Alabama in 2009, 26.3% of high school students surveyed did not drink 100% fruit juices during the 7 days before the YRBS survey. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009) CDC Youth Online: High School YRBS 2009 Results. Retrieved on March 29, 2012 from https://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx. Activity collect data about the background conditions that influence the target population of the community needs assessment. collect data about the community characteristics that influence the target population of the community needs assessment. collect data about the environmental characteristics that influence the target population of the community needs assessment. collect data about the socioeconomic characteristics that influence the target population of the community needs assessment. collect existing data about the target population or suggest ideas for collecting new data.
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