Community Health Assessment (CHA)

Community health assessment (CHA) is a process that engages with community members and academic, private, and public agencies to systematically collect and analyze health-related data from a variety of sources in a specific community. The findings of a CHA can inform community decision-making, drive prevention initiatives, and identify priority health concerns for future health planning.

IIKD's approach to CHA supports tribal self-determination, builds community capacity for CHA, and promotes sustainable health planning. We focus on building knowledge, developing skills, and sharing tools for proactive health planning through our "Community Health Assessment Workshop for Tribal Communities." IIKD also provides mentorship for Indigenous communities in developing, implementing, and evaluating a CHA process.

Examples of our CHA work include:

  • Organized and hosted three CHA Workshops for tribal and off-Reservation Indigenous communities in the Navajo and Albuquerque areas
  • Co-organized two CHA Workshops for the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York state
  • Co-organized and facilitated meetings to complete the National Public Health Performance Standards' Local Public Health System Assessment for the Navajo Nation
  • Co-organized and facilitated a community meeting to develop a performance improvement plan with the Navajo Nation based on results of the Navajo Nation Public Health System Assessment
  • Engaging member tribes of the United South & Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) in CHA orientation 
  • Organized CHA Workshop in 2015 focusing on Data Sovereignty, workforce development and tribal leadership

CHA Workshops

Group working at table during CHA Workshop.Our signature Community Health Assessment Workshops (CHAW) are designed to increase the capacity of tribal communities and American Indian-serving organizations to pro-actively identify the factors that impact the health of their communities and to develop and implement sustainable health planning efforts informed by a community health assessment (CHA). CHA is a customary practice and a core function of public health and is defined as a systematic process of collecting and analyzing health data.

The CHA Workshop is a great way for community health professionals of all skill levels to gain knowledge that can be used in conducting a community health assessment. It also gives participants the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the health data that they will use in their CHA and in future program planning, grant writing, and policy development. At CHAW, we will focus on the themes of Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Self-Determination, Capacity Building, and Health Planning for participants of all skill/knowledge levels – from beginners to the most advanced.

CHAs can:

  • Inform community decision-making, drive prevention initiatives, and identify priority health concerns;
  • Be used to educate and mobilize communities;
  • Help garner resources by organizing baseline data for grant and funding proposals; and
  • Establish accountability to ensure measurable health improvement.

For more information about our signature CHA Workshops or other CHA-related initiatives, contact Nathania Tsosie at or 505-925-4377


IIKD has hosted many workshops with Tribes, Pueblos, Nations, and off-reservation urban Native communities across the US and has developed a unique approach to Indigenous CHA.

Our model of culturally-centered CHA supports Tribal/community self-determination by presenting participants with a broad introduction to the diversity of CHA models, skills and tools and allows participants to design Action Plans that are responsive to local change, integrates cultural core values, builds on community strengths and assets, and engages tribal leaders and community members as partners in health.

To further our team-based approach to CHA, we encourage workshop participants to register as team of 2-3 individuals to build inter-/intra-tribal partnership and aid in the long-term sustainability of CHA.

Our workshops are semi-structured learning experiences that involve a variety of instructional methods that are interactive and experiential, such as role-play exercises, facilitated discussion, lectures, demonstrations, panel discussions, and action planning.

This approach provides a structure for clear dialogue and reflection, engages the participation of each team member, and maximizes involvement to develop actionable strategies and timelines. Participatory learning techniques also encourage participants to teach others by sharing their diverse perspectives and experiences to highlight Indigenous Best Practices.

  • Increasing knowledge about CHA such as developing a broad understanding of prevailing models for CHA
  • Building skills for conducting CHA such as survey design, simple statistical analysis, and focus group facilitation
  • Boosting abilities and increasing efficacy among participants by providing hands-on demonstrations and engaging teams in action planning
  • Reinforcement of Indigenous cultural core values such as integrating language into CHA, engaging tribal and traditional community leaders, and identifying shared visions of health and well-being

Community Health Assessment (CHA) Mentorship

CNAH Staff group photoCHA Mentorship aims to provide technical assistance for CHA workshop (CHAW) alumni in completing their community health assessments. With CHA action plan in hand, IIKD and their academic and community partners provide ongoing mentorship.

To date, IIKD has provided:

  • Technical assistance to the Chinle Health Council in developing a community health improvement plan and analyzing qualitative data collected from community focus groups
  • Facilitation support to the Navajo Nation in completing their Local Public Health System Assessment
  • Empowerment Evaluation and planning for the Pueblo of Laguna Shishots Program
  • Training in facilitation strategies for CHAW alumni and allied partners

Indigenous Visions of Health

Sky image with "You can be very resourceful through partnershops- partnerships are critical - fmr. Lt. Governor Andrew Othole (Pueblo of Zuni)"Our "Indigenous Visions of Health" initiative is a collection of Indigenous knowledge about health and well-being as stated by tribal and Indigenous community leaders and champions. The collection integrates deeply held cultural core values and beliefs about individual and community health and serves as IIKD's core value foundation for research, service, and education programming.

Leaders and champions who contributed to this initiative include:

  • Governor Terry Aguilar, Pueblo of San Ildefonso
  • Secretary Arthur Allison (Navajo), New Mexico Indian Affairs Department
  • Dr. Larry Emerson, Navajo
  • Chairman Gary Hayes, Ute Mountain Ute
  • Governor Richard Luarkie, Pueblo of Laguna
  • Representative Roger Magdalena (Jemez)
  • Former Lt. Governor Andrew Othole, Pueblo of Zuni
  • Governor Regis Pecos, Cochiti Pueblo
  • Governor Philip Perez, Pueblo of Nambe
  • Senator John Pinto (Navajo)
  • First Lady Martha Shelly, Navajo Nation
  • Governor Gregg Shutiva, Pueblo of Acoma
  • Ruby Wolf, Pueblo of Zuni

For more information, contact Nathania Tsosie by phone 505-925-4377 or email