The NNLM New England Region engages communities in a Focused Health Information Outreach initiative in two geographic areas each year, one rural and one urban.
Current and past geographic areas for Focused Health Information Outreach include:
- Pilot Year: The Western Health District in Maine and Providence, Rhode Island Final Report
- Year One: The Downeast District Maine and Holyoke, Massachusetts Final Report
- Year Two: Northern Worcester County (CHNA District 9) and Hartford, Connecticut Final Report
- Year Three: Vermont Final Report
- Year Four: New Hampshire Final Report
The overall goal of the NER approach is to provide sustained outreach to selected communities identified as medically underserved, facing health care access issues, or economically disadvantaged. This approach allows for a systematic identification of community health assets/needs and key agencies and also provides for the opportunity to evaluate the health information intervention by means of a follow-up assessment and exit interviews in terms of the impact of the outreach upon those targeted and their use of NLM resources.
Currently, NER coordinators are involved in the focused outreach initiative. Informing members, contacting health services agencies, libraries, consumer groups, public health offices, etc. and identifying key informants who provide coordinators with key contacts at local agencies.
The Focused Outreach Model
- Develop and conduct a systematic approach to connecting with community-based organizations and other agencies that serve NLM targeted populations.
- Inventory past outreach activities conducted, identifying agencies that have been served.
- Identify key health care organizations serving the community and providing health education and human services in the areas.
- Conduct key informant interviews as part of a community needs assessment.
- Develop partnerships with individuals identified by key organizations to support focused outreach efforts in the community.
- Conduct point of need trainings for providers and constituents at health centers and related agencies in the targeted area.
- Work with local individuals and organizations, to identify opportunities for health information outreach trainings and events.
- Develop comprehensive evaluation plan using methods utilized by the NNLM Outreach and Evaluation Resource Center (OERC).
- Develop outcomes assessment with identified indicators and a detailed plan of action to include data sources, evaluation methods, and data collection timeline.
- Develop process assessment plan to determine how well the focused outreach project is implemented and barriers encountered.
- Design data collection tools including a pre-/post project community assessment, pre-/post-project key informant interview protocol, pre-/post outreach evaluation.