Getting Started at Johnson County Public Health

by Ian Buchta

Hi everyone! My name is Ian Buchta and I am so excited to be placed with Johnson County Public Health (JCPH), in Iowa City, Iowa. My project will be to assist the Community Health Needs Assessment process and to develop visualizations of our findings for the HealthyJoCo website that JCPH is rolling out. In doing this, I am joined by a team of undergraduate students who will help conduct the interviews and focus groups of community members to better understand the needs of our community so that JCPH can serve them better. This project will focus on the social determinants of health and the goal of our sampling method will be to reach all portions of the population so JCPH can serve the needs of the community in an equitable fashion. The team also wants to use the HealthyJoCo website to provide easily understood graphics and summaries of the results in order for any person in Johnson County to see and understand the health trends of the community. Right now, we are going through classroom trainings together to prepare us for our work this summer, such as interviews and interacting with the public.

This placement is a great fit for me because I am an epidemiology graduate student. In this role, I will be able to see firsthand the process of working with a local health department, collecting and analyzing data, and providing visualizations of that data to the public. I can’t wait to tell you more over the course of the summer about the progress of the project!

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