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Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health; a guidebook for local health officials
  • Published Date:
    May 2000, Reprinted May 2008
Filetype[PDF-6.46 MB]

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Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health; a guidebook for local health officials
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Association of County & City Health Officials (U.S.) ; National Center for Environmental Health (U.S.) ;
  • Description:
    Foreword -- Acknowledgements -- Executive summary -- Preface -- Part I: Overview of PACE EH -- Part II: Philosophy -- Part III: Methodology -- Part IV: Conclusion -- Glossary -- References cited and related publications -- Sample survey tool.

    The Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH) offers local health officials guidance in conducting a community-based environmental health assessment and creating an accurate and verifiable profile of the community's environmental health status. The process is designed to improve decision making by taking a collaborative community-based approach to generating an action plan that is based on a set of priorities that reflect both an accurate assessment of local environmental health status and an understanding of public values and priorities. The methodology takes the user through a series of tasks to engage the public, collect necessary and relevant information related to community environmental health concerns, rank issues, and set local priorities for action. At the heart are three core processes: developing new relationships with community stakeholders, expanding understanding about the relationship between human health and the state of the environment, and redefining a leadership role for public health officials in environmental health. The methodology entails the steps outlined below to answer the necessary questions in determining community priorities for action: Task 1: Determine Community Capacity to Undertake the Assessment; Task 2: Define and Characterize the Community; Task 3: Assemble Community Environmental Health Assessment Team; Task 4: Define the Goals of the Assessment; Task 5: Generate the Environmental Health Issue List; Task 6: Analyze Issues with a Systems Framework; Task 7: Develop Appropriate Community Environmental Health Indicators; Task 8: Select Standards; Task 9: Create Environmental Health Issue Profiles; Task 10: Rank the Environmental Health Issues; What are the biggest/most serious problems in our community?; Task 11: Set Priorities for Action; Task 12: Develop an Action Plan; Task 13: Evaluate Progress and Plan for the Future. While the methodology is laid out sequentially, it is meant to be flexible. In reality, this is an iterative and fluid process that can be taken in as many different directions as there are communities. While every community must chart its own course, PACE EH provides a starting point and some guidance on the primary tasks in a community based environmental health assessment. Presented through a mix of philosophy, practical guidance, and lessons from the field, PACE EH provides guidance not only on conducting an assessment but also on providing a new form of leadership, based on new relationships and partnerships with others in the community, to create healthy communities. In practice, the outcomes and benefits are as much about establishing a leadership role for local health officials and building a sustainable community process for decision making as they are about conducting a community-based environmental health assessment.

    NOTE: This is a new foreword for the 2008 printing of the NACCHO’s Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH) Guidebook.

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