COR flow chart lancaster
In the Community 

The Center engages with the Lancaster community through the many community clients it works with, including the School District of Lancaster (SDoL), United Way, and Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine (LGH). To comply with federal and state mandated programs for public school districts, the SDoL contracts with the Center to collect data and conduct surveys about its programs. Center staff present survey results and data regularly at public school board meetings on such topics as graduation rates, school climate, drug and alcohol use, parent, staff and student perceptions of the school district, disproportionate student discipline, and a variety of other topics. The expertise and insight helps the SDoL make important decisions about initiatives and programs. In addition to involvement with the SDoL, the Center's staff currently guide the evaluation strategies of United Way of Lancaster as they attempt to re-imagine social service delivery in Lancaster County. This is a result, in part, of the white paper published by the Center which redefined the conversation about economic growth and poverty alleviation in our community. Below are summaries of various projects in the Lancaster community:

  • LGH/Penn Medicine: 1) Employee Health Benefits Survey-Copays and Physician Choice-The Center developed this survey of more than 4,000 LG Health employees to help LGH/Penn Medicine better understand the relationship between health insurance plan design, especially copays, and employee decisions about their healthcare. 2) Brand Image Tracking Survey-This survey, conducted regularly by the Center since 2011, measures Lancaster County residents’ awareness of local hospitals, facilities and health systems; perceptions of the quality of care provided; and hospital preferences and actual use LGH/Penn Medicine uses the information to help improve its position in relation to other area health care systems and increase use of its facilities.
  • Lancaster County Business Group on Health and LiveWell Lancaster County: Lancaster County Health Summit Participant Survey-Since 2012, the Center has played an integral role in planning Lancaster County’s annual health summit. Director Berwood Yost is vice chair of LiveWell Lancaster County and chair of the Lancaster County Health Summit Committee. Data from the Center’s community health needs assessments are used to inform the planning of the summit, and are also presented at the summit each year.
  • United Way of Lancaster County: Collective Impact Evaluation- In 2015, United Way of Lancaster County began a 10-year Collective Impact (CI) initiative designed to tackle underlying, systemic problems that lead to poverty, including lack of education and inadequate access to healthcare. Through the initiative, United Way is investing in Community Impact Partnerships comprised of local groups who have developed strategies to help reduce poverty, increase educational attainment, and improve access to healthcare. The Center serves as the external evaluator for the CI initiative, with a primary role in helping United Way understand how the CI initiative is affecting both the partnerships and the Lancaster County community.
  • Water Street Health Services: Evaluation of the RESTORE Dental Anxiety Prevention Program-RESTORE is a trauma-informed dental program created by Water Street Health Services to address the increasing community need for trauma-informed dentistry. This research updated two previous studies that had evaluated all individuals who were new patients at the facility to determine what interventions were the most effective in reducing dental care anxiety and encourage patient compliance with treatment plans. RESTORE targeted low-income individuals (living below 200% of the federal poverty level) in Lancaster County who avoid dental care due to excessive fear and anxiety from past trauma.
  • School District of Lancaster (SDoL): The Center has been providing program evaluation services to the SDoL for over 12 years. These services were devised in consultation with an evaluation work group led by Center staff that included SDoL administrators and grant coordinators to create a comprehensive assessment process. This process led to the development of an annual student survey administered to students in grades 3-12 that provides a complement to existing SDoL data on student characteristics, achievement, behavior, and program participation. Survey data about school climate, behavioral functioning, social and emotional development and other topics of interest for every student provides the SDoL with an unmatched resource for discerning program effects even for a complex set of programs. The Center designed and manages a database of student information that connects survey data, student data, and postsecondary enrollment data. Bi-annual parent and staff surveys are also conducted and included in the overall evaluation framework. Center staff regularly presents to SDoL leaders to help inform their thinking about program outcomes, including the SDoL Cabinet and School Board. Deliverables and activities include:
  • Data collection, analysis, and reporting to fulfill the required data elements of Annual Performance Reports for several federal grants. This currently includes 21st Century Community Learning Centers, GEAR UP, School Climate Transformation Grant, and Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grants
  • Supplemental program evaluation, including Community Schools and Workforce Development Board
  • Administer annual student survey, bi-annual parent and staff surveys
  • Provide an online portal to present school profiles summarizing enrollment, demographics, achievement, behavior, and survey responses
  • Administer surveys specific to grant activities
  • Maintain agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse to gather data on District graduates’ postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment

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