How does St.Vincent determine which community programs it will offer or support?
We often practice random acts of kindness, but believe that a
systematic approach is best for providing ongoing support for community
health. Staff members at each healthcare ministry work with community
development professionals to assess community strengths and challenges,
identify gaps, and develop or support programs to address those issues.
Periodically, each health ministry partners with its community to conduct a formal community assessment.
- Typically, a community roundtable or coalition consisting of
stakeholders throughout the community work together to design and
implement an assessment.
- The assessment can include written and phone surveys, key
interviews, focus groups, leadership surveys, SWOT (Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, secondary data review and other techniques.
- Working in conjunction with St.Vincent’s community development
professionals and with local college/university partners, data is
collected and analyzed and reported back to the community roundtable.
- The roundtable, which brings together diverse partners from local
businesses, government, healthcare, education, civic organizations and
human and social service agencies, then presents the results of the
assessment to other key community constituencies.
- Results can be used to prioritize issues based on extent and urgency
of identified challenges and available resource for addressing them.
This process often results in long-standing community-wide forums and
initiatives, and creates a vision that can be embraced by the entire
Community assessment results are reflected in St.Vincent’s
strategic planning process for each community as well as in the
strategic plans of other community agencies.