A local response to national health policy: A case study of community building through coalition action in Henrico County, Virginia
This policy analysis employs policy evaluation techniques to examine how one locality formed a coalition in order to respond to a national health policy. The locality is Henrico County, Virginia. The national health policy addressed by the coalition is Healthy People 2010. The primary goal of the coalition was to develop and implement sustainable health education and promotion programs for the community. The work of the coalition was funded by a Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. Grant funds were dispersed through the Virginia Department of Health.
An ex-post policy evaluation was conducted using case study methodology to analyze the work of the coalition over a three and one-half year period. The coalition's progress was measured by analyzing the reports generated by the grant staff during this period.
Members of the coalition were representatives from the Henrico County Health Department and Virginia Commonwealth University. Results of the analysis revealed the value of community/university collaborative efforts. Despite the fact that community members were not originally included as active members of the coalition, analysis results discussed the importance of involving community members as active participants in coalition activities. The primary lessons learned are in keeping with the principles of coalition building, community building, and citizen participation.
Health care policy;
0573: Public health