Research support can help your congregation advance community health

See how EHF research data and tools can help your congregation identify community health priorities and more.

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EHF is using data to drive change and improve community health. The Diocese covers 57 counties with very different health needs and assets. Data can help us understand the particular challenges a community faces and inform the solutions that might have the most impact towards transforming community health in that area. EHF’s Research Division gathers, analyzes and disseminates health data, policy analysis and research findings.

EHF’s research projects include:

County Health Snapshots | Children’s Health Snapshots:
County-Health-Map-thumbnail.jpgEHF’s interactive County Health Map includes health snapshots for all 57 counties, including Children’s Health Snapshots for each county.  The snapshots show county-level health data such as life expectancy and mental health statistics; economic well-being data such as percentage of children living in poverty and unemployment rates; educational data such as 4th grade reading proficiency; and early childhood data such as infant mortality rates or the percentage of food insecure children. Congregations can download and/or print out these health snapshots about their community.

Community Health Needs and Assets Assessments
SAG-research-lady-read-report-thumb.gifEHF recently finished extensive Community Based Participatory Research projects in three communities: the Sharpstown/Alief/Gulfton neighborhoods of Southwest Houston, the City of Baytown and the City of Beaumont.  Each project helped residents identify the specific health needs in their neighborhoods and the changes that need to occur to improve the health and well-being of the families who live in those communities.  The work culminated in recommendations by the Foundation for addressing gaps in services and strengthening the community’s assets.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 3.14.12 PM.pngClick to watch “Getting the complete picture of community health” — a video blog post by EHF Community Engagement Officer Troy Bush-DiDonato about the community health needs research project in Southwest Houston

Research Reports on Health Reform in Texas
IB #19 high res infographic.pngStay up to date on the impact of the Affordable Care Act and the plight of the uninsured in Texas. EHF believes this research is essential to discovering what’s needed for more Texans to gain access to health services. Previous reports documented how Texas in falling behind U.S. in reducing the number of adults without health insurance. Our most recent reports discovered an urgent need to educate Texans about basic health insurance terminology and how to use their health insurance plans.

Other ways EHF research can help your congregation’s outreach efforts

Beyond using EHF’s research reports and data, here are other specific ways EHF can help congregations better understand the specific health needs of their community: 

  • Community Health Needs and Assets Assessments: We help congregations identify secondary data (existing reports and data) relevant to their communities.  This includes the tools and approaches to identify the priority needs and assets such as community partners that could help in their particular community.
  • Data Analysis: We can help you better understand the meaning behind health data across various levels (counties, cities, neighborhoods) and how to use that data to inform development of programs and services.
  • Mapping Services: Maps are an effective communication tool for helping people visualize information in an understandable way, especially when working in a particular geographic area. EHF offers individualized training for using simple on-line interactive mapping resources that allow you to generate the maps you need.
  • Community Engagement for research: We know that the best way to work in a community is to talk and learn from residents themselves.  We hold true to the idea of “Don’t do for me, without me.” There are several ways congregations can advance an engaged approach to research, each with different purposes and resource needs. For instance, Community Based Participatory Research is a “gold standard” approach to engaged research, but requires a significant commitment and some training (which we can provide). Community focus groups, on the other hand, can supplement data by helping congregations better understand community perspectives on an issue, and can often be done relatively quickly. Regardless of the level of engagement, we can help you better partner with the beneficiaries of your outreach efforts. 

Contact us

If you have questions or would like to request research help, please visit the EHF’s Research page or give the Congregational Engagement Team a call at 832-658-2662.  We look forward to working with you!