County Assessment Paper

The county profile paper is a needs assessment and analysis of a selected California county [San Mateo County]. You need to collect and synthesize all important information related to San Mateo County.
Please use the recommended data sources listed in the rubric and add information from literature including scholarly journals, and the policy web sites listed in the syllabus attached below.
In the paper, you will:
a. discuss county general information and develop a health-related profile
b. identify one or two of the most crucial health problems in the county [focusing on cost, access
and quality]
c. discuss the consequences of the problem[s]
d. discuss what has been done in the county to address the problem[s] e. recommend actions to address the problem[s].
Whenever applicable, compare your county information with statewide averages for context. Put all [optional] tables and graphs at the end of your report. These are not part of your word count. Use APA format consistently and correctly. Minimum/ maximum length: 1500/2500 words or 8-12 pages. Minimum of 10 references from current [2019 or later] sources in addition to the websites listed in this syllabus on pages 13-16.


APA Style* Sections and subsections of papers should use the latest edition, because of changes in some areas from the sixth edition, such as References, the information listed below should be used with caution as it does not reflect the most recent edition of the Publication Manual or its corrected seventh printing.

Your paper will follow the 7th edition of The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association [APA Style] will typically include the following sections. Below sections numbered 1-4 will each start on a new page:

  • Cover page; College, class, subject, instructor, date and your name and word count, [1,500+] ,centered.
  • Abstract: page 2 [synopsis of the paper], followed by the “key words” used for reference
  • Text [body of paper] Paragraph format only [no lists or bullets]. Make sure to address all of the thirteen required areas. Use headings and address each area in the order shown in the rubric posted on BeachBoard. Identify a major problem and your solution to that problem. Remember it must include “realistic” suggestions that show how you would finance and implement your solution
  • References: alphabetical by author [see information on page 12 below]
  • In-text citations to be used in lieu of footnotes [page 12]
  • Number your pages in the upper right corner
  • Double space your entire paper, even between paragraphs [indent 5spaces]

Note that these guidelines are intended specifically for submitting to APA Journals.Many universities have other requirements that add to or supersede the requirements in the APA Style manual.



No running head required for student papers [optional for HCA 340]

Title page

o The page number appears flush right in the header o Center the following information:

▪ Bolded title in upper third of page
▪Your name
▪ Name of school/university
▪ Number and name of course ▪ Professor’s name ▪ Date

  • Word count [for HCA 300]
    Heading levels 3, 4, & 5 have changed; all headings are title case and bolded:

Heading one [centered]

Heading Two [left margin]

Heading Three [italics]

Heading Four. Text begins here… [indent 5 spaces] Heading Five. Text begins here … [italics]

Inclusive Language

Use the singular “they” when referring a person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant. You can also alternate between he or she.

EX: Each participant turned in their questionnaire.
• A child should learn to play by themselves as well as with friends.
• Rowan, a transgender person, helped themselves to the free coffee.


Quotation marks, rather than italics, are now used to indicate examples: • The term “fake news” was coined in 2016.

As in APA 6th Edition, numbers 10 and above are always expressed as numerals, unless they are placed at the beginning of a sentence:

  • The researchers selected 22 students. Twenty-two students were selected.


Also, in previous editions of the APA Manual, if you are discussing ideas from only one source within a paragraph, you will need to cite only once within the paragraph.

For all citations of 3 authors or more, use only the first author’s surname and “et al.”

  • Parenthetical citation: [Smith et al., 2018].
  • Narrative citation: “Smith et al. [2018] argue….” References


  • For books, no city or state of the publisher is required. Use only the name of the publisher.
  • Use up to 20 surnames & initials of authors for same publication; for 21+, use first 19, ellipsis, and last author:
  • DOIs & URLs are now displayed as hyperlinks & the label “DOI” is no longer used; use this standard format:
  • For works without DOIs from websites [not including databases], provide a URL in the reference that is directly accessible to the website.
  • For works without DOIs from most academic research databases, do not include a URL or database information in the reference. The reference should be the same as printed version of the work.
  • When a website is the source for a webpage, provide the website name [in title case without italics] in the source element [location information]. Include a period after the website name. Follow with the URL.
  • When in doubt about which information to include in a reference, include more rather than not enough.


Category Data Required Data Source[s]
County – general information General county information, welfare program, behavioral health, and public health program profile-information

AND check out the county official website

Couty Health Rankings and Roadmaps RWJF: Nationwide comparison of counties with similar populations based on key demographic, social, and economic indicators
Population- general demographics Total population & breakdown by age, ethnicity
Population- Socioeconomic status % of all people and children in poverty
Chronic conditions Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Chronic- Conditions/Interactive_Atlas.html

Tip: Zoom in to see county level statistics for each condition

Health insurance % uninsured
% with other types of coverage a/ 2018/measure/factors/85/data
State level: ttps:// populationCounty level:
Kids 0 – 17
: e-agetable#fmt=393&loc=2,127&tf=88&ch=484,1109, 1108,1113,1114,1115,551&sortColumnId=0&sortTy pe=ascAdults: check website of the health department of your county.Medi-Cal Managed care model for county, http://
managed care explanation CalManagedCare.aspx


Category Data Required Data Source[s]
Hospitals Number and Type

Tip: use the OSHPD Facilities database, and folder by “county” and “category” located at the bottom.

Hospitals Beds per 1,000 population State level: indicator/beds-by- ownership
County level: data/topic/ px?cat=24
Physicians Physicians per 1,000 population California HealthCare Foundation:
Physicians by County and Specialty:https:// how- many-primary-care-and-specialist-physicians- are-in-your-county/
RAND California Database:https:// ml? cat=6
Tip: Select Physicians and Surgeons: choose number of physicians by 1,000 population and select your county, latest year. Compare with statewide average.
Community Clinics Number and type in county: patients served, % total population served by clinics See: [About –> CHC Data & Reports -> CHC Profiles by County]. More detailed info at OSHPD: [Data and reports tab, Primary Care/Specialty Care Clinics & State

Also see: . [Requires registration but is free].


Category Data Required Data Source[s]
Public Health, Mental Heath Services Summary of public health, behavioral services & programs provided by county government, including county indigent medical care County Supervisors Association of California: [county websites, search for health services, behavioral health services, public health services]. For county indigent medical care programs, see Kelch, D the-crucial-role-of-counties-in-the-health-of- californians/
For mental health, see National Institute of Mental Health: statistics/index.shtml#Intro

Also see Institute of Medicine’s report on mental health workforce: http:// MentalHealth/GeriatricMentalHealth.aspx

Children’s health Summary of your county’s scores: compare data from both sources and explain if different Children Now’s California Scorecard:
Health workforce shortage, medically underserved designations Summarize HPSAs and MUAs in your county The federal site HRSA Health Professions site lists Health
Professional Shortage Areas [HPSAs] and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations [MUA/Ps] by state and county at: https://
Health Outcomes & Factors Ranking for your county County Health Ranking includes information about health outcomes [morbidity, mortality] and four types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic and the physical environment. The URL: http://

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research: Child & Teen, Adult Health Profiles by county: http:// profiles/Pages/ default.aspx

Category Data Required Data Source[s]
Nutrition & Food insecurity County rankings for food insecurity & health indicators, use food & nutrition assistance programs California Food Policy Advocates, http:// [Research to Policy -> State and County Profiles.

Use the drop-down menu to choose your county; choose California to obtain statewide data

Please check BeachBoard for instructions, examples, and the rubric I will use to grade the assignment.

Journals: Check their current issues and archives [most of them are available online through COAST e- journal collections:]


American Journal of Managed Care
Quality American Journal of Public Health Harvard Business Review
Education & Behavior
Evaluation and the Health Professions
Health Affairs
Health Policy
Health Technology Trends
International Journal of Health Services
[JAMA] J of Behavioral Health Svcs. & Research J of Health Care for the Poor & Underserved Journal of Health, Politics, Policy and Law
New England Journal of Medicine
Journal of Health Care Finance
Frontiers of Health Services Management Public Health Reports
Journal of Ambulatory Care Management

American Journal of Medical
Business and Health
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics Health Health Care Financing Review
Health Services Research Inquiry
Journal of the American Medical Assoc
Medical Care Research & Review
Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Qualitative Health Research
Family & Community Health
Journal of Public Health Policy

Medicine and Health
Journal of Community Health
Hospital & Health Services Administration Modern Healthcare Hospitals & Health Networks
J of Health Services Research & Policy Journal of Health and Social Behavior



Topic Web Sites
Health policy news American Hospital Association News – Daily Report for Healthcare Executives:
California HealthLine: California Hospital Association News: HealthLeaders website – Kaiser Health News: http://

Los Angeles Times Monday Health section:

Health policy, big picture Health Hippo: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
The Urban Institute:
Families USA:

National Academy for State Health Policy:
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research: California HealthCare Foundation: – tutorials and issue briefs Kaiser Family Foundation:
Insure the Uninsured Project. – federal, state health reform Pacific Research Institute: – conservative viewpoint
Center for Responsive Politics: – track contributions
The Commonwealth Fund:

Hospitals & health systems American Hospital Association: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Assn.:
Information resources The Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare: National Library of Medicine:
APA electronic citations:
Ambulatory health services American Academy of Ambulatory Care:
Medical Group Management Association: American College of Healthcare Executives:
Medical Education & Practice
Health Care Personnel
Am. Medical Assn.:; Am. Nurses Assn. American Academy of Physician Assistants: Am. Pharmaceutical Assn.:

UCSF Center for Health Professions: http:// home.html


Financing health services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Center on Budget & Policy Priorities:
Kaiser Family Foundation:;
CA Legislative Analyst’s Office: California

Budget Project: Healthcare Financial Management Assn:

Managed care, insurance & benefits Employee Benefits Research Institute: America’s Health Insurance Plans: California
Association of Health Plans: http:// California Dept. of Managed Health Care: Insure the Uninsured Project:
Long Term Care American Assn. Of Retired Persons: Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund:
American Association of Homes & Services for Aging: http://

National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization: http://

Mental health National Institute of Mental Health: Bazelon Center for MH Law:
Mental Health America of Los Angeles:
Public health Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: http:// American Public Health Assn.:
Research [quality] Institute of Medicine:
National Committee for Quality Assurance: Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Orgs:
California Healthcare Foundation Quality Initiative:
Future of Health Care Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts: http:// http:// http://
Helpful Resources for the Seventh Edition of the APA Manual APA Website
Sample APA 7th Edition Papers
Video of APA 7th Edition Changes


Hints for writing your county report: [not in any order]


  1. Follow the format in the example for your cover page, Include word count.


  1. In your abstract, don’t give a history of your Give the reader a synopsis of what the research is going to cover. Research papers are not a “friendly format”. A single paragraph is adequate.


  1. Key words are the words used to find the main information in your


  1. Number your pages in the upper right Your report will be about 7-8 pages [remember to include the “word count” on cover page] not counting the cover page and reference page.


  1. Use section headings in any of the APA recommended format [refer to the syllabus]. The headings should be in the order listed in your syllabus and check list.


  1. Double space only, even between paragraphs and


  1. If you chose to include charts or graphs, place them at the end of the report. You may reference their location in the body of the report


  1. Don’t start a sentence with “according to….. . Instead start with the

information and use an in-text citation at the end of the sentence or paragraph. Refer to your syllabus for APA in-text citation format.


  1. If you start a sentence with a number, you must write out the numbe


  1. For your county problems remember to focus on health care, be realistic in your solutions with limited funding and government resources. If you want to solve the problem and it will cost money, tell the reader how you will find that Remember, you can’t just request funding if they’re not in the budget and taxpayers don’t like increased taxes. You will have to figure out how to finance your proposal.


  1. Have someone else read your report before you turn it in for grammar, spelling and


  1. You may send your report to me any time before the due date and we can set up an appointment to discuss it during office I will not rewrite it of course, but I can make sure you’re on the right track.

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