The United Way of Tarrant County has selected the University of North Texas Health Science Center to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment to uncover the most pressing social issues affecting the health and prosperity of Tarrant County residents.
The organizations say the assessment will include in-depth, one-on-one interviews and focus groups with local leaders, civic representatives and residents. The results will help United Way of Tarrant County determine priorities and future funding allocations to not only address the issues but to determine the root causes and solve them.
“This research will help us discover prominent issues that are having profound effects on the community and citizens’ health and prosperity,” TD Smyers, United Way’s president and CEO, said in a news release.
“We are committed to engaging with the community through education, collaboration and research, to help address issues impacting the health and well-being of Tarrant County residents,” Dr. Dennis Thombs, dean of the UNTHSC School of Public Health, said in the same release.
“The research team brings extensive experience in community needs assessments and projects of this type, and the information to be discovered should be important in guiding future solutions for Tarrant County,” Thombs said.
The assessment is part of United Way’s new strategic plan, which will begin later in March.
The assessment will be led by researchers from UNTHSC’s School of Public Health under the guidance of Dr. Emily Spence-Almaguer, associate dean for Community Engagement and Health Equity. The research leadership team will include Danielle Rohr as project director and Dr. Karen Bell, assistant professor of health behavior and health systems.
The project was funded by a $250,000 grant from the Sid Richardson Foundation. Findings are expected in the fall.