The Centralina Council of Governments was engaged in a 14-county regional planning effort across parts of North and South Carolina. The CONNECT Our Future project was supported by a U.S. Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Community grant. The council, which represents the Charlotte, North Carolina region, asked PPA to assess health disparities and recommend an action plan for improving the health of its residents.
The PPA team: PPA researchers that contributed to this project have extensive experience in regional and community development, health data, and issues related to racial equity. Dr. Larry Rosen led the work for PPA.
Our work: PPA used secondary data to assess public health, environmental health, and demographic makeup for the Centralina region, including mortality rates, hospital discharge rates, behavioral risk factors, and child and maternal health. The team also performed a multi-step concept-mapping process to identify what stakeholders perceived as the most important health issues, opportunities to address critical health disparities.
Results: PPA's qualitative and quantitative results provided insight into underlying regional health concerns and how they related to the regional planning effort, and priorities for action. The results helped establish a common framework that connected health themes with planning priorities, and provided recommendations for future action. The findings were incorporated into reporting on the top ten regional priorities, which included active transportation (i.e., walkable/bike-friendly), transportation, and promoting recreational resources.