Community Health Needs Assessments

Achille Buchanan & Associates Healthcare and Corporate Consulting

Completing a community needs assessment, also referred to as a community health needs assessment (CHNA), is an important undertaking. When searching for a professional consultant to formulate your CHNA, you want a partner who will apply best practices and deliver an assessment that is accurate, aligns with your mission, is consistent with IRS reporting requirements, and provides insight on community needs that can be used to create an applicable implementation strategy. 


Achille Buchanan & Associates, an experienced CHNA consultant firm, believes in partnering with our clients. We are available to assist with every aspect of the life cycle of a community needs assessment from: reviewing previous assessments; developing a timeline; building an interdisciplinary CHNA team; initiating a plan; reviewing data; defining the service community; identifying data sources; engaging stakeholders; collecting and analyzing data; prioritizing community health issues; documenting and communicating findings; creating implementation strategies; and reporting to and securing board approval. We also offer annual community benefit reporting. 


Achille Buchanan & Associates has extensive experience delivering quality community needs assessments, implementation strategies and community benefit reports. We work with health systems as well as other entities required to conduct health needs assessments.  We are here to provide strategic guidance or manage the entire project.

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Achille Buchanan & Associates Community Health Needs Assessment Consulting

CHNA Project Management

Achille Buchanan can manage the entire CHNA process delivering a report ready for board review. Some clients may request assistance through the board presentation and approval process. Our associates can prepare an overview power point presentation and be there to answer questions if needed. CHNA project management includes: a review of previous assessments and community benefit efforts, guidelines for identifying and assembling a diverse community benefit team, developing a strategy, defining the service community, identifying community components to assess, researching secondary data, developing appropriate questions for primary data collection, identifying key informants, soliciting community input, conducting focus groups, reviewing and rating applicable data, recording, reviewing and summarizing data, developing a community action plan, identifying and prioritizing needs, providing leadership throughout the process and delivering a complete CHNA report that meets the checklist of requirements.

Achille Buchanan & Associates Community Health Needs Assessment Consulting

Implementation Strategy Development

Now that the CHNA is completed, it is important to understand the requirements for implementing a community health improvement plan. Achille Buchanan helps our clients take the next step and complete an Implementation Strategy, which will outline efforts to address community needs identified in the health assessment. It is important to note that multisector collaborations are emphasized by the IRS as partnerships are considered the most effective means of effecting change. Implementation Strategy development services include: assessing strategic needs, identifying needs to address, identifying needs not to address, rational for strategy, identifying potential collaborations, delivering a publishable implementation strategy document and providing guidance through the approval process of the implementation strategy. Application of the Affordable Care Act’s community health needs assessment should be straight-forward, feasible, collaborative and deliver measurable health improvements within the defined service community.   

Achille Buchanan & Associates Community Health Consulting

Community Benefit Reporting

Entities that conduct health needs assessments are also required to file an annual Form 990, Schedule H, detailing financial assistance provided along with other community benefit costs. Publishing an annual community benefit report is beneficial in several ways. Foremost, it provides accountability to stakeholders. A published assessment offers transparency showing how resources have been utilized to meet charitable goals. An exceptional community benefit report will demonstrate how the organization addressed specific community needs. Furthermore, a community benefit report delivers impactful stories behind the raw numbers reported on Schedule H. A community benefit report is the means of communicating a more compelling story and driving home improvements made in health outcomes. Achille Buchanan can: ​review and document key findings along with the implementation strategy; amass data from our client detailing financial and community benefit contributions; assess the community benefit strategy and impact; define how our client is linking community benefit programs back to key findings; prepare a comprehensive report detailing accomplishments; and offer guidance on publication of community benefit reports.


Achille Buchanan & Associates Community Health Consulting and Project Management

CHNA Component Consulting 

Achille Buchanan understands that some clients have an internal team in place to address the daily administration of community benefit programs. In these instances, clients may need assistance only with specific components of a community health needs assessment. An example is a hospital that only needs assistance with collecting and assessing primary and secondary data. Achille Buchanan offers individualized consulting from a menu of elements that make up a complete CHNA. We are here to meet our clients needs any way we can from: review and initial planning;​ to research; data collection for primary and secondary data; planning and conducting key informant interviews, focus groups and surveys; as well as researching local, state and federal data; formulating an impact matrix; and conducting community resource analysis. Whatever your health assessment needs, contact our team to discuss options.