Over the past 15+ years, there have been hundreds (if not thousands) of Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs), Community Health Assessments (CHAs) and Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) done in the United States.  These CHNAs, CHAs and CHIPs are the foundation of efforts to improve community health, reduce disparities, and otherwise enhance the well-being of our communities, states, and nation.  The stronger the foundation, the greater the likelihood of achieving the aspirations of these plans and the community members who create them.


A first generation of CHAs, CHNAs and CHIPs were done largely out of a need to comply with various requirements.  They were often done in isolation, generating reports at the lowest cost and least amount of effort that was required. 

The second generation has raised the bar, often involving collaboration between the local health departments, hospitals, and a wider range of community members. 


While this demonstrates movement in the right direction, it should be seen as a start of the journey to elevate practices, techniques and tools for this important work, not as something we should be satisfied with.


This workshop is based on the premise that it is important to examine and improve how these CHNAs, CHAs and CHIPs are done and how they can be better integrated with the numerous other assessments that are being done by other organizations in the same communities. It explores some of the most promising techniques and examples of how to significantly improve how CHNAs, CHAs and CHIPs can be done so that they support major improvements in addressing the social determinants of health as well as coordinated, pro-active care.  The workshop will demonstrate upgrades to common practices that bring many community partners together, across sectors, to co-create and implement robust, multi-faceted strategies to improve the well-being of community members.


 Participants will learn:

  • Definitions and attributes of a population health paradigm to change

  • How to conduct a game-changing population health assessment (methods, tools and data requirements)

  • Important differences between developing organizational strategies and community strategies.

  • How to harness the power of innovative partnerships and capitalize on new technologies to overcome obstacles to addressing complex social challenges.

  • Learn how evidence-based practices and tools from the strategy management field can improve collaboration and successful strategy implementation.

  • Techniques to find common ground among polarized groups and competing organizations.

  • How a system-oriented approach that addresses social determinants of health and shared drivers of enhanced well-being can simultaneously address many health issues in a community.

  • Pathways to prioritizing equity and improving health for all.


The workshop will also launch a new learning collaborative, and the improvepophealth.com website that will support the efforts of the workshop participants to advance the CHNA, CHA, and CHIP practices in their local communities. 

In this learning collaborative, a growing group of organizations and individuals will share emerging examples of innovation and how those improvements are leading to more successful progress in developing and implementing health improvement plans.  Neither the workshop nor the learning collaborative are based on having all the details of the next generation of CHNAs, CHAs and CHIPs figured out, but there are many very promising practices and innovations that can be introduced as elements that can be integrated into a new set of practices.  We will be inviting any health departments, healthcare providers or other stakeholders who are on the forefront of developing and adopting new practices to share that via this learning community and future webinars and workshops.  




Thursday, March 7

11:00am Check-in

Welcome, Housekeeping and Intro 

12:30-2:00pm Lunch and Introduction Presentation with Q&A

2:00-5:30pm Workshop Sessions 1 & 2

Part 1: Raising the Bar on CHNAs (CHA) and CHIPs 

In this part, the workshop will focus on new mindsets and approaches to assess, strategize and implement changes that address the root causes of health status of a community or sub-population

  • Trends in healthcare payments and delivery

  • Why this new paradigm is needed

  • Characteristics of the new approach

  • Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in this new approach

  • How CHNAs, CHAs and CHIPs can support a more comprehensive approach

Breakout Group Discussions

Part 2: Diagnosing the true drivers of health status  

In this section, the workshop will focus on six practical “upgrades” to common assessment processes that engage more partners, enhance the quality and value of the data, enhance the analysis, and take findings from data to information and actions-plans.

Participants will learn:

  • How to conduct a meaningful Population Health Assessment (PHA), including methods, tools and data requirements.

  • How to engage non-traditional partners who also need to do community needs assessments and integrate their data for a more complete picture that includes social determinants of health.

  • How new technology can provide almost real-time insights on key drivers of health.

  • How new ways at looking at different types of data and using simple (but uncommon) forms of analysis can help identify key drivers and bottlenecks that can be addressed to improve community health.

  • Techniques for engaging the community members most impacted by poor health and the conditions that hinder good health.

  • How to overcome obstacles to data sharing and collaboration on enhanced assessments.

5:30-6:30pm Cocktail and Networking Reception

Friday, March 8

7:30am Breakfast

8:00am-12:00pm Workshop Sessions 3 & 4

Part 3: Practical Steps for Designing & Implementing CHIPs   

This section of the workshop introduces several powerful (but uncommon) techniques for how to design a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) that is more likely to be implemented than just sit on the shelf.  

Participants will:

  • See how working backwards from aspirational changes can clarify the key drivers for meaningful community collaborations that achieve desired outcomes.

  • Learn how strategy maps are an ideal structure for a CHIP and a powerful tool to support understanding and alignment.

  • Understand how communities need to move beyond selecting a few evidence-based actions or programs and co-create comprehensive strategies that employ system thinking.

  • Learn how to manage information for change rather than just creating reports.

  • See how an improve strategy architecture will improve “implementability” of the plan

  • Learn how to design strategies that tap into fragmented, abundant and multiplying resources to get things done

Part 4: Next Steps in Paradigm Development and Spread

This section of the workshop will focus on ways to further the development and use of PHA change paradigm though such vehicles as a learning collaborative, newsletter, webinars, web-conference calls, regional meetings and conference presentations.  We will also discuss real-life examples of where a population health paradigm has worked in the US—along with the obstacles and strategies to overcome them.

Participants will:

  • Discuss what it will take to spread the paradigm to critical partners.

  • Discuss methods to increase funding streams for assessments and implementation.

  • Learn about successful community examples using the PHA model.

12:00-1:30pm Lunch and Special Presentation

Jermane Bond, Ph.D., Health Equity Analytics Lab.  

Jermane will share about the business case for inclusion for businesses and healthcare providers – and how helping the businesses and healthcare providers in your community adopt that strategy can be a key way to advance equity and reduce health disparities in your community.   https://www.healthequityanalytics.com/about-us/  

1:30-3:00pm Interactive Work Session

Discussion with some practical steps. Some groups will be multiple stakeholders from the same community.

3:00-3:30pm Closing Panel Discussion / Q & A 

A panel of the day’s speakers will reflect on some of the next steps in this journey and answer questions from workshop participants.  

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March 7 & 8 | Minneapolis, MN

Exact location TBD


Sponsor the Improving Population Health Workshop

Promote and bring others to the workshop and you will receive promotional materials to share, branding recognition on the Improve Pop Health website and at the Workshop, plus the opportunity to share your resources with workshop attendees.

Send us a message to learn more about sponsoring options:

Workshop Faculty

Ron Deprez, Ph.D., M.P.H

Ron SD 2014_IMG_0790_1024.jpg

Dr. Deprez’s research, teaching and consultation work focus on the design and evaluation of health care programs and policies, health system innovations and health improvement strategies in particular for prevention and management of chronic health conditions.  He has taught the Health Policy and Management course in UNE’s graduate MPH degree program. Deprez, a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, holds a PhD in Political Science from Rutgers University and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He also holds a certificate in survey research methods from the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Deprez is an expert in chronic disease delivery systems—ranging from screening, detection, education, treatment and prevention for persons with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, asthma, and COPD.  Dr. Deprez and his colleagues are leaders in the development of population-based healthcare needs assessment and planning technologies.  An example is the Community and Institutional Assessment Process (CIAP), a set of science-based planning tools for prioritizing and restructuring health services.  This system has been used successfully in health systems across the US and globally.   He has led over 90 community assessment and planning studies in the US and abroad.

His international experience includes health planning and consulting assignments in Mali, Saudi Arabia, The Gambia, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and China. In The Gambia, Dr. Deprez led the team using CIAP methodology to develop bed need and primary health care service requirements for the country. In Ghana he developed the Ghana Health Partnership—a collaboration with UNE, the University of Cape Coast and the Ghanaian government. Other examples of this work include an epidemiological assessment and planning for the Hajj a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia; and, assessment and planning for primary care improvement in Zanzibar.

Bill Barberg


Bill Barberg is a globally recognized expert in Implementing Population Health Strategies and Improving Collective Impact so communities can harness their existing resources to address complex social challenges like the opioid crisis. Mr. Barberg uses this knowledge as an experienced speaker for organizations, communities, and coalitions striving to address complex  issues. He is also the author of the chapter, "Implementing Population Health Strategies" in the new, highly-acclaimed book, "Solving Population Health Problems through Collaboration" (Routledge, 2017).

Instead of expecting each community coalition to spend countless hours attempting to design a comprehensive strategy for topics like the opioid crisis or suicide prevention, Mr. Barberg has made substantial contributions toward building a series of open source strategy map templates which give guidance and direction to a broad spectrum of health and community organizations that are working to solve priority health issues.

In addition to the strategy map templates, Mr. Barberg launched the development of the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub, a free, open source, national resource for coalitions.  This resource hub is organized around the strategy map template and it equips many teams in a large coalition with information and tools they can use to begin working on a subset of the overall strategy without requiring a large grant or a new funding source. It makes it easy for people to find tools (most of which are freely shared) they can use to quickly take action. In her nomination, Ms. Baker notes, “In a time where resources are scarce, this timely tool helps coalitions to ‘get out in front of the problem.’"

As the guiding force behind the the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub, Mr. Barberg is well versed on the current research, programs, and solutions communities have successfully implemented to address the opioid crisis, balancing the need for evidence-based practices and the desire for innovative solutions.

At a recent gathering of health coalition leaders, Mr Barberg was presented the 2018 Health System Transformation Award from Communities Joined in Action (CJA). CJA is a national membership organization of local and regional community health collaboratives, all of which are committed to better health for all people at less cost. The Health System Transformation Award "recognizes an individual, organization or community health coalition/collaborative that has demonstrated a breakthrough model that achieves better health outcomes, reduces inequities, promotes a culture of health—and is adaptable in other settings."

Rick Thomas


Rick Thomas is associate professor of preventative medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Jermane Bond, Ph.D.


Jermane Bond, Ph.D. is Assistant Research Professor of Prevention and Community Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, DC and Senior Fellow at the National Collaborative for Health Equity in the District of Columbia. 

His research portfolio includes men’s preconception health and reproductive life planning, paternal involvement in pregnancy outcomes and racial and ethnic inequities in maternal and child health.  As a Research Scientist at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Health Policy Institute in 2009, he founded and directed the Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes, a transdisciplinary working-group of social scientist and public health professionals convened to raise awareness for the importance of paternal involvement in pregnancy and family health by reframing debates, informing research, policy and practice to support greater involvement of expectant fathers in pregnancy.

Dr. Bond is a member of the National Human Genomics Research Institute’s Community Engagement in Genomics Working Group and recently completed a six-year term of service on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health and as a member of the American Public Health Association; he also founded and currently chairs theMaternal and Child Health Section’s Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes Committee.  He also serves as an Associate Editor for BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and currently sits on other Editorial Boards including the Maternal and Child Health Journal, Reproductive Systems & Sexual Disorders and Clinical Medicine Insights: Reproductive Health.  Dr. Bond received a B.A. from Morehouse College, a M.A. from Fisk University and a Ph.D. from Howard University.