Assessment Instructions


Over the past few years, leadership for the health care organization for which you work has noticed a distinct change in the population served by the organization. Leadership wants to make sure they are addressing the needs of this population. You have been asked to participate on an interdisciplinary team that is charged with learning how the population has changed and what needs to be done within the organization to develop a wellness education program that will target the needs and concerns of the population. Your first step in this process is to conduct a windshield survey and report your findings back to your team.

A windshield survey is an inexpensive, time-efficient way to assess and better understand a community and the people who live within that community. Understanding the demographics of a community will help you determine the health-related issues that are likely to exist so you can plan the most appropriate types of wellness programs, health education, and disease prevention programs. Windshield surveys are done by making visual observations of a neighborhood or community while driving; hence the name. This type of survey lets you observe the housing conditions, use of open spaces, shopping, schools, types of transportation, human services, protective services, and other aspects of the overall daily life of a community.

Before you start, you need to identify the boundaries of the neighborhood or community you plan to observe. For the purposes of this course, you should keep the size of the area to no more than 2–3 square miles. The area should be large enough for you to gather relevant information, but small enough that your observation does not take you more than 1–2 hours. With this size, it is not necessary to use a car to complete the survey; you can also walk or bike. Whichever method you use, be mindful of your personal safety. It may be helpful to map out the route you will take ahead of time. It can also be helpful (and safer) to have another person do the driving while you observe and make notes.

Once you are on the route, start making observations right away. Stop frequently to write down notes. A template is provided in the Required Resources to help you document your observations.

The timing of your observation can be important in helping you focus on specific items. If possible, consider conducting your survey more than once at different times of the day. For example, if you make your observations too early in the morning, you may miss things that take place later in the day that provide a different perspective of the neighborhood. It is also important to be as objective as possible when making your observations.


· Conduct the windshield survey, using the template located in the Required Resources for this assessment.

· Use the template as a guide to write a report for your team. If possible, look at other written documents used within your organization. How are they formatted? Follow that format as closely as possible, making sure you still use APA guidelines for your in-text references, citations, and reference page.

Based on your observations and notes from your survey experience, write a report that includes the following:

· Describe, briefly, the neighborhood or community you observed (overall condition, types of spaces and businesses, evidence of services, and so forth).

· Describe a vulnerable or diverse population you observed living within the neighborhood or community.

Now you will need to do some research on the population you described:

· Explain how the demographics for the population have changed over the past 5–10 years. Note: This information should be readily available through the United States Census Bureau, similar state Web sites, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or other professional sites. Be sure your information is current.

· Describe the most prevalent health risks for the population. For example, if your population is senior citizens, then the health risks might be diabetes and loss of mobility. Include statistics on the health risks, such as frequency of occurrence in the population and number of deaths per year in the population.

· Identify the health disparities and social determinants of health that can affect the population. In other words, what will you need to overcome to develop a successful health promotion and disease prevention program for the population?

Your completed assessment should be 3–5 pages in length, not including the title page and reference page. Support your information with references to at least three professional, scholarly, or government resources, and follow current APA guidelines for your in-text citations and references.

Additional Requirements

· Include a title page and reference page. The completed assessment should be 3–5 pages in length, not including the title page and reference page.

· Reference at least three current scholarly, professional, or government resources.

· Use current APA format for citations and references.

· Use Times New Roman font, 12 point.

· Double space.
Windshield Survey Template and Instructions
Note: Content adapted from the Work Group for Community Health and Development: Community Tool Box’s “Windshield and Walking Surveys.”

Windshield and walking surveys are useful ways to assess specific aspects of a community or neighborhood and help give you a sense of the community.

Conduct your survey at the time that works best for your schedule, but keep in mind that to truly understand the people who live within the community (or neighborhood), you may wish to do the survey more than once, and at different times of the day or different days of the week. For the purposes of this course, you are not required to do the survey more than once.

Please be mindful of your personal safety. If there is a known issue with hostility between specific groups, it may not be safe for some people to survey particular neighborhoods. Do not knowingly put yourself in harm’s way.

· Get familiar with the survey questions and know what you will be looking for.

· Use a checklist to be sure you have covered all the questions and observed all the areas you want to.

· Be as inconspicuous as possible. Not only do people act differently when they know they are being observed, they may also become suspicious or hostile.

· Be sure you carry identification.

· Take notes along the way. You can also take photos with a camera or cell phone to help you remember what you have seen.

· Always pay attention to your safety. Be aware of the neighborhood and the situation.

Use the spaces between the questions below for your notes. You can write more complete observations once you return home.

· Housing: What is the age and condition of housing in the community or neighborhood? Are the houses and apartments kept up, or are they run-down and in need of repair? Are the yards neat or overgrown?

· Other Buildings: Are other buildings mostly or fully occupied? Are public and commercial buildings accessible by people with disabilities?

· Parks and Public Spaces: Are parks and other public spaces well maintained? Are they used by a variety of people? Are there sports facilities such as baseball fields, basketball courts, and soccer fields?

· Culture and Entertainment: Are there museums, libraries, theaters, restaurants, historic sites, and so forth? Do they reflect the culture of the community? Are they readily accessible?

· Streets: Are there trees and plants along the streets? Are there sidewalks? Are the streets and sidewalks clean? Are there trash cans sitting out in sight? Are there people on the streets? Do they interact with each other? Are the streets well-lit at night?

· Business and Industry: What kinds of businesses are there? Are there vacant storefronts? In what languages are business signs? Do the businesses provide the necessities for the community (such as groceries and medications)? Is there any kind of industry present?

· Traffic and Transportation: Is there evidence of public transportation? Is it well used? Is it easy to navigate and use? How much does it cost? Who uses it? How heavy is the traffic? Is there a major road or highway close by? Is the traffic mostly commercial (such as delivery vans and trucks) or private cars? Are there many bicycles? Are there bike lanes and bike racks?

· Public Services: Are there identifiable public service providers such as mental health clinics, food banks, and homeless shelters? Are there police or fire stations nearby? Are they easy to reach?

· Religious Centers: Are there churches or other religious institutions? Are they of one faith, or do they represent a variety of faiths? Is there one dominant religion represented?

· Health Services: How many hospitals and clinics are there? How big are they? Are they easy to get to?

· Education: Are there public or private K-12 schools nearby? Are they well-maintained? Are there any two- or four-year colleges or universities? Are they public or private?

· Population: Who lives in the community? Are there identifiable racial or ethnic groups? Do particular groups seem to live in particular areas? Is one age group or gender more obvious? Do the people who live in this community seem to interact with each other?

· What is your overall impression of the community?

Summary and Analysis
To help you analyze what you have seen and decide how to use it, here are some questions you should consider:

· What are the community’s outstanding strengths?

· What seem to be the community’s biggest challenges?

· What was the most unexpected thing you observed?

· What aspect of the community really stood out for you?

· How can you use this information to help develop a health promotion and wellness plan for the population that lives here?

Work Group for Community Health and Development. (n.d.). Windshield and walking surveys. Retrieved from Community tool box Web site:
Conduct a windshield survey to identify a population and its primary health concern. Develop a 3–5-page report that explains demographic changes for a population and describes the health disparities and social determinants of health that can affect the population.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other. You are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

· Competency 1: Explain the principles and concepts of disease prevention and health promotion for diverse and vulnerable populations.

. Describe a vulnerable or diverse population living within a neighborhood or community.

. Describe health risks and health care needs for a vulnerable or diverse population.

· Competency 3: Apply basic epidemiological concepts, data analysis methods, tools, and databases to determine the effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention initiatives for diverse and vulnerable populations.

. Explain demographic changes for a vulnerable or diverse population.

· Competency 4: Examine the ethical, legal, and economic factors related to health disparities in diverse and vulnerable populations.

. Identify health disparities and social determinants of health that can affect a vulnerable or diverse population.

· Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the health care professions.

. Describe the overall condition of a neighborhood or community.

. Write content clearly and logically, with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.

. Correctly format paper, citations, and references using APA style.