Using a multisectoral approach to advance health equity in rural Arizona: Community-engaged survey development and implementation study

Mark Remiker, Samantha Sabo, Dulce Jiménez, Alexandra Samarron Longorio, Carmenlita Chief, Heather Williamson, Nicolette Teufel-Shone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Over the past decade, public health research and practice sectors have shifted their focus away from identifying health disparities and toward addressing the social, environmental, and economic determinants of health equity. Given the complex and interrelated nature of these determinants, developing policies that will advance health equity requires collaboration across sectors outside of health. However, engaging various stakeholder groups, tapping into their unique knowledge systems, and identifying common objectives across sectors is difficult and time consuming and can impede collaborative efforts. Objective: The Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative at Northern Arizona University, in partnership with an 11-member community advisory council, is addressing this need with a joint community-campus effort to develop and implement a Regional Health Equity Survey (RHES) designed to generate an interdisciplinary body of knowledge, which will be used to guide future multisectoral action for improving community health and well-being. Methods: Researchers and community partners used facilitated discussions and free listing techniques to generate survey items. The community partners pilot tested the survey instrument to evaluate its feasibility and duration before survey administration. Respondent-driven sampling was used to ensure that participants included leadership from across all sectors and regions of northern Arizona. Results: Over the course of 6 months, 206 participants representing 13 sectors across the 5 counties of northern Arizona were recruited to participate in an RHES. Survey response rates, completion percentage, and sector representation were used to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of using a community-engaged apporach for survey development and participant recruitment. The findings describe the current capacity to impact health equity by using a multisectoral approach in northern Arizona. Conclusions: The Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative effectively engaged community members to assist with the development and implementation of an RHES aimed at understanding and promoting multisectoral action on the root causes of health inequity. The results will help to build research and evaluation capacity to address the social, economic, and environmental conditions of health inequity in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25577
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Community-engaged
  • Health equity
  • Multisector
  • Survey development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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