Community Health Needs Assessment Resources

This page contains information to help guide hospitals/health systems in conducting Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) and implementation strategies.

To be recognized as 501(c)(3) organizations, the federal Affordable Care Act requires hospitals to complete a CHNA and implementation strategy once every three years. A CHNA describes the community a hospital serves and identifies the health needs of the population. In 2012, the Washington State Legislature added minimal new requirements to hospitals’/health systems’ implementation strategies.

Washington State Examples of CHNAs – 

Hospitals Support Communities        



Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Guidance for Community Health Needs Assessments

Washington State’s Law – New State Law!

  • House Bill 2341 contains the new state requirements for hospitals seeking to be recognized as 501(c)(3) hospitals.

Washington State Department of Health Resources

Catholic Health Association’s Resources for Hospitals

  • CHNA Guide: The Catholic Health Association, in collaboration with VHA Inc. and the Healthy Communities Institute, has developed a resource to help not-for-profit health care organizations strengthen their assessment and community benefit planning processes. This resource offers practical advice on how hospitals can work with community and public health partners to assess community health needs and develop effective strategies for improving health in our communities.

Evidence Based Policies and Community Benefits Programs

  • Wisconsin What Works for Health, University of Wisconsin: Identifies policies and programs to improve health and address key health factors that, in turn, improve health outcomes. This database contains a wide scan of analyses assessing evidence of effectiveness. For example, if you are interested in a program to prevent diabetes, you would look under the upstream contributing factors for diet and exercise.
  • Promising Practices, Healthy Communities Institute: Informs implementation efforts to create positive change within a local community. Includes national programs and policies that can be searched by topic area, such as smoking or health care access. The descriptions of the highlighted programs indicate whether the program is evidence-based, an effective practice, or a potentially good idea.

King County Resources

  • King County Community Health Indicators: The Public Health Community Health Indicators Project is a set of indicators measuring the health of King County residents. It was developed to provide a broad array of comprehensive, population-based data to community-based organizations, community health centers, public agencies, policymakers and the general public.

A special thanks to Public Health Seattle and King County and the Washington State Department of Health for helping to provide these resources!

For questions about the content of this web page, please contact Chelene Whiteaker, Washington State Hospital Association Policy Director, Member Advocacy at or 206-216-2545.


Chelene Whiteaker

Chelene Whiteaker
(206) 216-2545