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October 24, 1966

The Community Action Process

Author Affiliations

From the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York (Dr. James), and the Community Action Studies Project, National Commission on Community Health Services (Dr. James and Mr. Holder), Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1966;198(4):369-371. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110170081022

Analyzing the processes communities use to obtain social benefits for their citizens yields instructive data other communities can use for production purposes. When the analysis is made of methods employed to reach particular goals, results become valuable as guides for community action in achieving similar objectives. Whether the goals are general or particular, however, benefits are not likely to be realized unless processes and methods terminate in action.

The National Commission on Community Health Services (a private corporation sponsored by the American Public Health Association and the National Health Council), as one part of its total objective of finding ways to help communities improve their health services, studied the processes used by 21 communities in reaching health goals. These 21 communities, large and small, are widely scattered across the nation: Camden, Ouachita County, Arkansas; San Mateo County, California; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois; Prince George's County, Maryland; Springfield,