American Health Planning Association © 1996 - 2024

Policy Perspective:Communities

Community Participation in Health Planning

Individuals need to take responsibility for their health decisions and be prepared to share responsibility for management and improvement of their health with the providers who serve them. Providers need to relate to individuals as members of communities, and see communities as the contexts in which health awareness and health status may be improved for all members.

Sharing responsibility for such improvement is a joint endeavor in which communities need to be given a voice, and given the education and the information necessary to use it in their best interest. Communities should be enlisted as active participants and given a meaningful role in:

Empowering Healthier Communities through Collaborative Planning

All health systems need to have missions which receive their validation through the support of the community which is their focus and which has a meaningful voice in their governance. To be meaningful, that voice must include a role in how systems allocate their resources and in how the quality of their health care is measured. The ultimate goal of health systems should be to empower their communities to become healthier, a goal which they can foster by: