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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bernard J. Turnock, MD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book examines the status of community health planning and provides recommendations for enhancement of these processes through greater emphasis on linking key stakeholders to community health objectives through performance monitoring.
Purpose: A special committee of the Institute of Medicine developed this report after conducting a series of national workshops to inform their process.
Audience: Several audiences will find this report of interest. Community health assessments and community action plans are increasing across the U.S., in terms of their number and comprehensiveness. In capturing the state-of-the-art and advancing recommendations for focused enhancements, this book will appeal mainly to public health professionals, health planners, and students. Other community partners involved in participatory community health planning processes will also find this book of interest.
Features: The key feature of this book is its thoughtful presentation of the current state of community health improvement processes and its recommendations for enhancements of these efforts. The book also has extensive information on the process undertaken by the panel developing this report and on prototypes of performance measures for several health outcomes.
Assessment: This book will be quite useful in advancing community health improvement efforts by placing the credibility of the Institute of Medicine behind them. The book does not greatly extend the state-of-the-art, but it nicely summarizes and documents a rational framework for these processes. As these efforts expand, this book will become more useful in its appeal to health professionals and other audiences.