Health Happens in Libraries

Community Assessment: Obtain community health and demographic data

Understanding the community health and demographic profile of your area can help your library prioritize Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace resources or programs. It can also provide some context for health concerns that may be of priority to patrons or partners in your community. While there are a number of resources related to community health data and management, the sources below are shared for their relative ease of access and information on uninsured and special populations.

Access community health and demographic data

  • Enroll America provides a national map with county-by-county information on uninsurance rates, and how they have changed since the implementation of the ACA.
  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation provides extensive resources on health reform, including national and state specific data, as well as tools to understand the context of uninsured individuals.
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's County Health Rankings and Roadmaps site provides county level and state-wide information on a number of key community health factors. Some of these factors include health behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity), clinical care considerations (percent of community uninsured), social and economic factors (education, violent crime), and physical environment factors (water safety, access to healthy foods, etc.). Demographic information is also provided, as well as clear resources to help you turn community health data into action. You can learn more about how to put County Health Rankings and Roadmaps data into action in your community by reviewing the WebJunction webinar archive: Launching Community Conversations with Local Health Data.

Serving Populations with Unique Needs

Libraries researching community health and demographic data may become aware of populations with unique needs, and can learn more about supporting these needs through the following resources.

  • The National Immigrant Law Center provides a FAQ to support clarity about the ACA for mixed-status families.

  • Tribalhealthcare.org provides consumer education materials and training tools for community representatives, to support American Indians and Alaska Natives in understanding their rights and opportunities associated with healthcare reform.

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human services (HHS) provides fact sheets regarding healthcare and coverage needs of unique populations.

  • The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative provides cross-disability information and support for Navigators and other enrollment specialists, including a guide for serving individuals with disabilities in the ACA marketplace.

  • The Rural Assistance Center provides a Health Insurance Outreach and Enrollment guide specifically for service providers in rural communities.