Faculty Focus

The Center for Healthy Communities brings academic and community partners together to work to improve the health and well-being of our communities.  The UNCW CHHS faculty offer a wide variety of expertise and research interests. Examples of projects have included evaluation, assessment, trainings, workforce development, and applied scholarship and learning opportunities.  A list of UNCW CHHS faculty scholarly and research interest can be found here.  

Community Health Assessments

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, a community health assessment is the “systematic collection, assembly, analysis, and dissemination of information about the health of the community”.  The community health assessment is used to identify factors that affect the health of the population and determine the availability of resources within the community to adequately address these factors.  It serves as the foundation for improving and promoting the health of community members.  Also, the community health assessments are required as part of the local health department accreditation process. 

UNCW faculty have worked with local health departments to provide data collection, data analysis, report drafting, and consultation for the community health assessments in counties in Southeastern North Carolina.  The health department is provided with a draft of the community health assessment report.  UNCW faculty then continues to provide their expertise until the report is finalized by the health departments.  


Dr. Richard Pond, from the Department of Psychology and Dr. Kristin Bolton, from the CHHS School of Social Work, analyzed data and wrote the report for the 2016 Onslow County Community Health Assessment.  This community health assessment was unique in that it was a collaboration between the local health department and the local hospital, so both entities requirements had to be fulfilled.  Based on her experience working with Onslow County, Dr. Bolton said, "Completing the Onslow County Community Health Assessment was a great experience.  We had the opportunity to work with the public health department and hospital on creating a product that met both of their needs.  I enjoyed learning about the strengths and disparities within the Onslow community and look forward to learning about the approach the public health department takes to improve the health of their community." 

Dr. Sarah Lawson and Dr. Susan Sinclair, both from the CHHS School of Nursing, conducted Community Health Assessments in Southeastern North Carolina counties of New Hanover and Brunswick, in 2015.  


For more information about academic/community partnerships or if you have ideas for a project, please e-mail chc@uncw.edu