About Community Needs Assessment and Resolution

The Community Needs Assessment and Resolution program is based on a central public health model called the PRECEDE-PROCEED model. The premise of this model is that participants of a health intervention program need to take an active part in defining their own problems, establishing their goals, and developing effective solutions for longterm, sustainable outcomes. The CNAR program provides students interested in carrying out their own research and intervention in a part of the St. Louis community the resources and guidance to start.

The program itself can be divided into "Assessment/Evaluation" and "Resolution" steps. In the "Assessment" step, an outcome is first identified before working backwards to find causes and solutions to the problem. The "Resolution" step involves planning, implementation, and evaluation of the solutions. This entire process may span several years. Despite the longer lengths of time, CNAR is meant to provide medical students the opportunity to learn about important public health issues and how to address these first-hand by assisting a community with specific, actionable items. It allows students and community members to work together to resolve and reach goals that they define together.

For an example of a product of CNAR, please see the Chronic Illness Classes program.