June 13, 2024

Engaging Communities on National Public Health Surveillance Data

Piloting BRFSS Survey Modules and Assessing Alternative Distribution Methods

Final Report December 2023

Through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CDC Foundation administered a multi-faceted project in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Alliance Against Disparities in Patient Health (NADPH), and Data Equity Coalitions (DECs) in Atlanta, Detroit, Durham, Pittsburgh, and San Antonio — local organizations collaborating with communities to improve access to and use of public health data.

As part of the project, the DECs and NADPH conducted coordinated and tailored research investigating opportunities for surveillance systems to better respond to local data priorities related to the social and structural determinants of health (SDOH), including the experiences and impacts of systemic injustices.

The DEC and NADPH efforts sought to understand community and local public health SDOH data needs and priorities, the strengths and limitations of existing SDOH survey tools, and promising approaches for increasing access and use of public health data. The DECs and NADPH gathered community feedback through one-on-one community survey validation interviews, focus groups, testing approaches to increase survey participation, piloting SDOH survey modules, and facilitating community discussions. Feedback focused on the use of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), and PLACES. Across the five locations, our DEC and NADPH partners engaged over 1,250 public health professionals, community leaders, and members of groups who have been historically marginalized.

View a collaborative recap of the project and a list of promising actions for surveillance systems to consider for enhancing community engagement and developing more relevant SDOH metrics in our Final Collaborative Report.

For this project, our team at Community Information Now (CINow) participated as the local DEC of San Antonio, TX. This report was developed by our team and does not necessarily reflect the views of the CDC Foundation or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Access to Health Care in Bexar County During COVID-19
Language Access Study for the City of San Antonio
Bexar County Community Health Needs Assessment


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Connect with us at CINow to explore the endless ways data can make communities stronger. Whether you have questions, ideas, training needs, or a potential partnership in mind – we’re happy to hear from you!

PO Box 8149 San Antonio, TX 78208