Frequently Asked Questions

What prompted the City to start the process of creating a health assessment?

Data-informed decision-making is a critical component of ‘sound government’, one of four strategic priorities set forth by Mayor Sorace to achieve a stronger, more equitable Lancaster.  Understanding the needs of our community is essential to protecting the health and safety of our residents and improving overall quality of life.  It is even more important to understand the public health needs of our residents and opportunities to promote community health post-pandemic.   The City will utilize Community Development Block Grant – CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funding, allocated by HUD to enable communities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, to conduct a community-wide health and wellbeing assessment that focuses on the social drivers of health and achieving health equity.

What are officials hoping to get from an assessment/what do officials expect to receive from it?

Overall, we expect the data to corroborate other CHNA’s and health data at the County and State level.  However, we seek to do a deeper dive into:

  • Identifying health disparities at the neighborhood level,
  • Engaging residents in understanding the barriers and challenges to achieving better health outcomes, and
  • The social drivers of health and the role the City can play with our community partners in creating a healthier community for everyone.

What kind of data is the City looking for with this analysis? What is the expected timeline?

We are interested in compiling existing health data that will provide a comprehensive picture of Lancaster City’s health status and outcomes, focusing especially on understanding the adverse health and wellbeing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are seeking to inclusively collect data directly from our residents (in the form of surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews) so we can gather neighborhood and cultural perspectives about barriers to health and wellness to help determine what a healthy Lancaster looks like.  We are focusing on the social drivers of health (built and natural environment, social/community context, access to quality health and social services, education, and economy) to evaluate the existing conditions influencing our resident’s health and wellbeing to determine how the City can collaborate with our community partners to promote a stronger, more equitable Lancaster.  We anticipate this assessment will take about one (1) year for the engagement, data collection, analysis, and final reporting.

What will be the outcome of doing the assessment – will there be any action taken?

The initial goal of this assessment is to better understand the health needs of our residents and the impact that community factors, including the social drivers of health, have on their overall health and wellness.  Everyone plays a role in promoting a healthier community, and ultimately, we see this process providing the necessary data to collaborate with our partners to better meet community needs, implement community-level strategies that promote health equity, create a rigorous dataset to make informed decisions that best help our residents, and engage our residents in creating a healthier community for themselves, their fellow neighbors, and for the next generation.  The City of Lancaster is equipped with the ability to directly influence policies and support programming related to housing, social, environmental, and economic factors in order to have long-term, positive effects for residents using the results of this study.

How will the assessment impact city residents?

This assessment will strengthen the City’s ability to work with our partners and make informed, data-driven decisions on matters that directly or indirectly influence health to best allocate resources and equitably address the needs of our community.  As a result of our community-centric engagement approach, this study will give residents a direct opportunity to provide input that will inform City strategies and priorities in collaboration with community partners to make Lancaster City a thriving, vibrant, and healthy community.