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Place-Based Environmental Surveillance

Health and health behavior surveillance conducted at the local level is extremely valuable to both researchers and communities trying to understand, monitor, and evaluate efforts to impact critical public health issues. Our local community relies on us to collect, analyze and disseminate these local data. For over a decade, faculty of the PRCHN have been committed to this role and will continue to do so in the future.

Our investment in local surveillance is three-fold, 1) Youth Risk Behavior Survey; 2) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; and 3) Neighborhood Environment Assessment Project.

Neighborhood Environmental Assessment Project (NEAP) 

The Neighborhood Environmental Assessment Project (NEAP) is a systematic environmental mapping project intended to provide researchers and community partners with geographically linked indicators associated with healthy lifestyles. Since 2012, the NEAP team (comprised of students and staff) has mapped, inventoried, and annually updated all  food retail outlets in the city of Cleveland and select suburbs (n=1400). In addition, the PRCHN conducts period inventories of community gardens and other urban agriculture sites (i.e., market gardens, farmers markets); parks and green spaces; and the school food environment in Cleveland K-8 schools. 

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) 

The PRCHN has a long history working with the local and state level YRBS data, spearheading the effort to collect local data as far back as 1995. The PRCHN (and preceding centers) has administered the local YRBS in more than 188 schools across Cuyahoga County over the past 9 years. Reports and presentations are given annually and made available through the "Reports and Publications" page.
The PRCHN has also collaborated with ODH in the administration of the state YRBS in Cuyahoga County so as to minimize the burden on local school districts. This successful collaboration led to the Division of School and Adolescent Health, ODH contracting with the PRCHN to coordinate the 2015 statewide data collection.
In addition community coalitions contract with the PRCHN to collect and provide project specific information to be used for program planning and evaluation.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 

In 2002, the PRCHN helped to establish the Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County BRFSS, in collaboration with Cleveland Department of Public Health and Cuyahoga County Board of Health, both mirrored after the national BRFSS. Federal and state grant funding for this local effort ended in 2009; however, this past year the PRCHN spearheaded a community campaign to establish a new, sustainable surveillance program that builds off prior years’ data, but is conducted using geographic-based sampling so that data can be reconfigured across multiple years to provide neighborhood cluster estimates (2-3 neighborhoods). This effort will provide researchers and community partners with local data at the level of targeted intervention/ programming, and a mechanism for evaluating the impact of the three public health initiatives (i.e., HIP-C, Healthy Cleveland, Health Alliance).
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