What is a Community Health Needs Assessment?

The CHNA helps identify the health issues that matter most to Kent County residents.

A Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a community-driven data collection effort to identify the strengths, challenges, health priorities, and opportunities to address and improve public health. Every three years, the Kent County Health Department, in collaboration with healthcare and community partners, conducts a CHNA to better understand the current state of health and well-being in Kent County and to hear directly from residents about the issues that matter most to them.


The CHNA provides useful data that informs public health strategies, policies, and priorities in Kent County.

  • Better understand the current state of health and well-being in Kent County
  • Hear directly from residents about the issues that are most important in their communities
  • Mobilize community partners and align resources to address community-identified priorities
  • Identify inequities and who is most impacted so we can work towards achieving health equity
  • Focus on policy, systems, and environmental change
  • Keep track of changes over time and know what is getting better, what is getting worse, and what is staying the same
  • Identify emerging issues

Data and Topics

CHNAs include data collected directly from residents as well as data from well-established sources.

  • Physical and mental health conditions
  • Access to health care and services
  • Behaviors that impact health
  • Built environment (like housing, neighborhood safety, and access to healthy foods)
  • Community conditions that impact health (like education, economic stability, and employment)
  • Health inequities
  • Quality of life
  • Community strengths and challenges

View CHNA Reports

Use of CHNA Data

The CHNA is available to anyone who is interested in learning about our community’s health status, health behaviors, and biggest needs for improvement.

In the past, the data collected in the CHNA has been used to:

  • Create community health improvement plans (CHIP) that address the priorities
  • Apply for and secure grant funding
  • Get community- or population-specific data (e.g., for a certain zip code or demographic group)
  • Evaluate how well current health improvement efforts are working
  • Share with boards, funders, and community stakeholders

Get Involved

To get involved in the Kent County Community Health Needs Assessment or Community Health Improvement Plan, send an e-mail to CHNACHIP@kentcountymi.gov