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August 6, 1997

Community Report Cards—United States, 1996

JAMA. 1997;278(5):382. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550050042016

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EFFORTS to improve community health require methods to compile local health data, establish local priorities, and monitor health-related activities. Community health report cards (i.e., health assessments or health profiles) are central to these efforts. In 1995, the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities initiated a 3-year project to enhance community health improvement efforts through the design and use of effective community report cards. During the first year of the project, the project examined the construction and application of report cards. This report summarizes the results of the first year, which indicate great diversity in the targets, processes, and formats of community report cards.

A total of 250 public health officials, national and state public health organizations, public and private organizations with an interest in community health improvement, and others at the national, regional, and state levels were sent letters requesting that they identify persons responsible