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Growing demand for health, human services prompts partnership

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Citing a changing community landscape, four organizations and three counties are partnering on a community assessment survey that today went out to more than 16,000 people.

The partners are United Way of the Capital Region, Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, West Shore Chamber of Commerce, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities and Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties. The survey is being facilitated by Temple University Nonprofit Evaluation, Services and Training.

"For the last five years, we have seen a steady increase in the demand for health and human service programs in the Capital Region," the survey introduction says. "We find ourselves at a crossroads as the gap between needs and resources continues to grow. That’s why we formed a unique and diverse partnership to develop a broader understanding of the interconnected needs of our community."

The survey is one element of the partnership's plan, according to Tim Whelan, vice president of community impact at the United Way. The other two are review and analysis of existing data and community conversations to be conducted this fall.

The ultimate goal is identifying the most pressing needs of the Capital Region, determining priorities for available resources and establishing “dashboard” indicators to track the community’s health.

Anyone who did not receive a survey invitation and would like to participate may contact Whelan.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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