The Community Themes and Strengths Assessment provides a deep understanding of the issues that residents feel are important by answering the questions: “What is important to our community?”, “How is quality of life perceived in our community?”, and “What assets do we have that can be used to improve community health?”
The Community Themes and Strengths Assessment is a vital part of a community health improvement process. During this phase, community thoughts, opinions, concerns, and solutions are gathered – anything that provides insight into the issues the community feels are important. Feedback about the quality of life in the community and community assets is also gathered. The information gathered during this phase will feed into the Identify Strategic Issues phase of the MAPP process. In Miami-Dade County, we utilized the Wellbeing Survey to help us through this portion of the assessment process.
1. Miami-Dade County Wellbeing Survey – Perceptions regarding community quality of life
For this survey, Miami-Dade County has been broken up into thirteen clusters (12 neighborhood clusters and one oversampled cluster) made up of ZIP codes linked according to perceived community identity and geographic contiguity, but at times also cross boundaries based upon socioeconomic status or population counts. The oversampled cluster is made up of zip codes representing the most economically and socially deprived neighborhoods, many of which also suffer from the highest rates of hospitalization for preventable conditions.
2. Champions for Change Focus Groups – Open discussion to elicit community concerns, opinions, and comments
The purpose of the focus groups is to identify community thoughts, experiences, opinions, and concerns. A small group of participants respond to a set number of questions considering topics such as access to healthcare services, access to healthy food, and safety.
3. Community Resources – Inventory of community assets