This paper shares highlights from the National Academies’ COVID-19 convening. It summarizes key themes, lessons on communications and community engagement for future public health crises, and lived experiences of participants.
Community Assessment and Engagement
Community assessment is a systematic process by which a community’s health status and related factors are examined; it is used to identify problems and assets in a community. Through community engagement, stakeholders work together to address health-related issues and promote well-being with the goal of improving health outcomes. These two processes work hand-in-hand to facilitate health improvements. COVID-19 has changed the assessment landscape in many ways–introducing new challenges for engagement, upending pre-pandemic implementation plans, and necessitating new and updated data to understand emerging health impacts and needs.