What is PACE EH?
__ PACE EH is a process for assessing and analyzing the environmental health of communities and for creating plans to address threats and create improvements.
__ It is constructed around 13 tasks:
- Task 1: Determine Community Capacity to Undertake the Assessment
- Task 2: Define and Characterize the Community
- Task 3: Assemble Community Environmental Health Assessment Team
- Task 4: Define the Goals of the Assessment
- Task 5: Generate the Environmental Health Issue List
- Task 6: Analyze Issues with a Systems Framework
- Task 7: Develop Appropriate Community Environmental Health Indicators
- Task 8: Select Standards
- Task 9: Create Environmental Health Issue Profiles
- Task 10: Rank the Environmental Health Issues
- Task 11: Set Priorities for Action
- Task 12: Develop an Action Plan
- Task 13: Evaluate Progress and Plan for the Future
Why use PACE EH?
__ PACE EH is a participatory process.
__ The process brings together numerous people and organizations from various sectors, many of whom may not normally have contact.
__ PACE EH takes a community perspective on health.
__ PACE EH is flexible.
__ The process helps empower communities to identify and use their own resources.
__ PACE EH looks at the environment in an inclusive way
__ PACE EH raises the profile of the environment as the foundation and context of community health.
__ Through the CEHA team and associated work groups, PACE EH builds leadership and connections for other initiatives and issues, health-related or not.
__ The process is structured to keep all participants focused on the community and its concerns, rather than their own.
__ PACE EH examines environmental issues in a systems framework.
__ Because of its structure, the PACE EH process is likely to have a real impact on community health.
Who should be involved in using PACE EH?
__ People affected by environmental health issues, including:
- Vulnerable populations
- People with environmentally-influenced health conditions
- Workers in dangerous or unhealthy jobs
__ People indirectly affected by environmental health issues, including:
- Landlords who might be responsible for removing environmental hazards
- Business owners who may have to change their use of products or methods
__ Individuals and organizations that provide services to affected populations, such as:
- Health professionals and institutions
- Human service organizations
- Educators and schools
- Public services – police, fire, EMS
- Federal/state/local environmental agencies and officials
- Public health agencies – state/federal/county DPH, local boards of health
__ Advocacy and community groups
- Environmental organizations
- Community activists
- Faith communities
__ Others with a vested interest, such as:
- Business and industry
- People with relevant expertise – scientists, researchers, professionals, etc.
When should you use PACE EH?
__ When the community is experiencing rapid growth.
__ When a new commercial or residential development is being proposed.
__ When a new industry is moving in.
__ When changes are proposed that will affect the natural environment.
__ When there’s an upsurge in what might be environmentally-caused illness, or when community health seems to be deteriorating.
How do you use PACE EH?
__ Choose a convener, whether a public health agency or official or some other trusted entity.
__ Deal with longstanding mistrust, turf issues, and factionalism.
__ Task 1: Determine community capacity to undertake the assessment.
- Specify the resources, skills, and capacities needed for the assessment.
- Specify the available resources, skills, and capacities.
- Review possibilities for collaboration.
- Determine ability to carry out the assessment.
__ Task 2: Define and characterize the community.
- Define the community.
- Describe the community’s characteristics, composition, organization and leadership.
- Refine the definition of the community as needed.
__ Task 3: Assemble a Community-based Environmental Health Assessment Team.
- Clarify expectations of team members.
- Identify and invite individuals to help design and carry out the assessment.
- Determine a governing structure, decision-making structure, and ground rules.
__ Task 4: Define the goals, objectives, and scope of the assessment.
- Establish goals and objectives for the assessment
- Describe the vision that will guide the process.
- Describe the scope of issues to be addressed by the assessment.
- Define key terms.
__ Task 5: Generate a list of environmental health issues.
Evaluate and select data-gathering method(s).
- Collect data on community concerns.
- Collect data on community knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions.
- Create a manageable list of issues.
__ Task 6: Analyze the Issues with a Systems Framework.
- Understand the framework.
- Identify the connections among health status, affected populations, exposure factors, environmental agents/conditions, contributing factors and behaviors, and public health protection factors for selected environmental health issues.
__ Task 7: Develop Locally Appropriate Indicators.
- Develop a list of potential indicators.
- Identify key indicators based on selected criteria.
__ Task 8: Select Standards Against Which Local Status Can be Compared.
- Identify externally driven standards.
- Agree upon locally appropriate standards.
__ Task 9: Create Issue Profiles.
- Adopt a standardized format for organizing information.
- Gather information.
- Collect data for locally developed indicators.
- Develop a summary statement.
__ Task 10: Rank issues.
- Determine the purpose of ranking.
- Decide on ranking criteria.
- Select a method for ranking.
- Rank the issues.
__ Task 11: Set priorities for action.
- Determine local priority-setting criteria.
- Select a method for prioritizing.
- Determine priorities.
__ Task 12: Develop an action plan.
- Develop goals and objectives.
- Identify contributing factors.
- Identify possible interventions and prevention activities.
- Identify community assets.
- Identify potential barriers.
- Select an intervention(s)/activity(ies).
- Determine resource needs.
- Identify potential partners.
- Provide training.
- Develop timeframe.
- Determine measures of success.
__ Task 13: Evaluate progress and plan for the future.
- Agree on the questions to be answered by the evaluation.
- Evaluate the success of the assessment process.
- Begin preparations for ongoing community-based environmental health assessment activities.