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Topic 2.1 Defining the Community and Identifying Contacts

Community Contacts

Concerns of all community members are important and must be addressed during the public health assessment process. Some members of the community might become more active in the public health assessment process and be willing to work with the public health assessment team to develop communication plans that will effectively serve all community members.

Following are sources of information a health assessor might use to identify people who might help the public health assessment team reach other community members: local newspapers, local television stations, reporters of stories related to the site, and community organizers.

Why is it important to talk with people in the community before planning a community meeting?

People in the community can help the public health assessment team learn more about the community, including the level of interest in the site, the types of health concerns about the site, and the activities that are important to the community. Understanding the level of concern in the community helps the health assessor plan enough time for the public health assessment activities that are to be conducted in the community.

By knowing about the types of health concerns the community has, the health assessor can add experts (such as toxicologists and epidemiologists) to the public health assessment team.

The health assessor also talks with local, state, and federal health and environmental agency representatives who are interested in the site and might want to be included in meetings with the community.

Health assessors should try to ensure that meetings are held at facilities and times convenient for community members and that meetings are not held on the same night as other important community activities.

Contact List Table—one tool to help organize community contact information [PDF – 51 KB]

Community Check List For Site Activities

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