Assessing and Addressing Health Priorities

Through the Demystifying Data project, two urban Indian health programs (UIHPs) partnered with the UIHI to enhance understanding of their local health needs and develop strategies to address these health priorities. The two UIHPs were selected through a competitive award and selection process. First, these organizations hosted local community gatherings to discuss health priorities and assess the health needs of their service populations. Descriptions of the gatherings and some of the information gained are described in other materials available on the UIHI website. (See Urban Indian Health Organization Spotlight – Salt Lake City and Communication Broadcast – August 2011 – Community Gathering Award Winner: San Diego ).

Secondly, in phase two of these awards the UIHPs worked with UIHI staff to identify and develop a strategy or strategies to address their health priorities. Both UIHPs focused on strategies to address youth health and wellness. Selected strategies included:

  • Evaluating current youth programs and their impact on participants
  • Exploring possible collaborative partnerships
  • Identifying possible funders, particularly previously untapped resources
  • Developing a case statement for potential funders that provides the rationale, background information, and justification for a fundraising effort
  • Convening a youth development committee and identifying an advisor from the Board of Directors to the youth committee
  • Making recommendations for future youth program activities

During this process UIHI staff provided the UIHPs with technical assistance such as reviews of the literature on youth wellness programs and referrals to organizations experienced in doing similar work. Both organizations achieved the implementation of their strategies to address their health priorities and will continue their efforts through new activities and plans for sustainability for the future growth of their youth health programs.

If your organization is interested in conducting a similar effort to assess and address local health priorities, see the Health Priority Identification Toolkit and the UIHP Funding Resource Guide for additional resources and materials.


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