Community Assessment


Mapping Identifies Targets for Illinois Arthritis Programs
Using Local Research to Guide Partnership Development and Program Delivery in Kansas


Mapping Identifies Targets for Illinois Arthritis Programs


  • The Illinois Arthritis Initiative Public Education Target Group Assessment used census data to identify characteristics such as age, race, gender and community type (rural or urban) of residents in each of the state’s 102 counties.
  • A mapping process was used to create maps showing where people with these characteristics live in the state.
  • The AF provided information about where programs are currently being offered so that gaps in service could be identified.
  • Community arthritis prevention programs are placed in the areas identified through the mapping process as having populations with the greatest need for arthritis services—including people with arthritis living in rural and inner city communities, minorities and the underserved/uninsured.




  • Program staff use the maps to target arthritis interventions to specific populations or to counties.
  • State and federal resources are maximized by the state health agency and its community partners when decisions about public education and disease management programs are targeted to populations with the greatest need for services.


 Key Learnings/ Tips


  • Maintain a good relationship with the state health department BRFSS coordinator
  • This data is also useful for partners and contractees to justify placement of programs in certain areas


To see a copy of their Public Education Target Group Assessment Report, as well as other data fact sheets, go to:


Contact – Rhonda Clancy, MS/Illinois Department of Public Health 217-782-3300


Using Local Research to Guide Partnership Development and Program Delivery in Kansas


  • Wyandotte County is on the Missouri-Kansas border and includes the Kansas City metro area. Its population is comprised of 28% African Americans, 19% Hispanics and 26% with doctor-diagnosed arthritis according to the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. At the start of the project, the Arthritis Foundation Western Missouri/Greater Kansas City Chapter had not been successful in establishing any evidence-based arthritis programs in the area.
  • The Kansas Arthritis Program of the Department of Health and Environment contracted with Kansas State University to (1) conduct four focus groups with Caucasian, African American and Hispanic men and women residing in the county to determine awareness about arthritis and attitudes about arthritis programs.and (2) to conduct a needs assessment to identify physical activity sites and medical services available in the county.
  • The results of both projects were shared with the AF Western Missouri/Greater Kansas City Chapter. With Kansas Arthritis Program funding, the chapter was able to implement the study recommendations and to assist in partnership building.




  • The following activities were implemented as a result of the partnerships developed with area medical service providers, community centers, a new YMCA and other area organizations:

    • Arthritis Foundation Self-Help, AF Exercise and AF Aquatic Programs are now offered in the county.
    • The Physical Activity: the Arthritis Pain Reliever campaign was implemented.
    • Other new education offerings including a newsletter in English and Spanish, “Doctor’s In” educational program and a resource library.

  • Further information can be obtained on the state Web site:


Key Learnings/ Tips


  • State health department funding was key in bringing programs to underserved population—allowing for the AF staff to build the partner relationships and pay for training and program costs.
  • University overhead costs can be high so see if you can get a class or individual students to take on this project. (Check with the AF Public Health Department for examples of student intern project descriptions.)


Contact – Cindy Winters/Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 785-296-8150 or


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