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United Way of Tarrant County Selects UNTHSC to Conduct Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment

Assessment to Help Determine Priorities and Funding Allocations in the Community


FORT WORTH, March 8, 2018 – United Way of Tarrant County today announced the selection of the University of North Texas Health Science Center to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment to uncover the most pressing social issues affecting the health and prosperity of the Tarrant County population.

The results of the assessment, which will include in-depth, one-on-one interviews and focus groups with local leaders, civic representatives, and citizens, will allow United Way of Tarrant County to determine priorities and future funding allocations to not only address the issues but to determine the root causes and solve them.

“This research will help us discover prominent issues that are having profound effects on the community and citizens’ health and prosperity,” said TD Smyers, President, and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “We are proud to partner with UNT Health Science Center.”

The community needs assessment is part of United Way of Tarrant County’s new strategic plan, which will launch later this month. It will be led by researchers from UNTHSC’s School of Public Health under the guidance of Dr. Emily Spence-Almaguer, Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Health Equity. The research leadership team will include Danielle Rohr, MS, serving as Project Director, and Dr. Karen Bell, Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Systems.

“We are committed to engaging with the community through education, collaboration, and research, to help address issues impacting the health and well-being of Tarrant County residents,” said Dr. Dennis Thombs, Dean, UNTHSC School of Public Health. “The research team brings extensive experience in community needs assessments and projects of this type, and the information to be discovered should be important in guiding future solutions for Tarrant County.”

The project is made possible by a $250,000 grant from the Sid Richardson Foundation. The foundation has focused their distribution of major grants to organizations that are dedicated to improving Texas communities. Findings from the assessment are expected fall of 2018.

About United Way of Tarrant County
United Way of Tarrant County has worked to improve the lives of those in our communities for more than 95 years. As a nonprofit leader, we bring together individuals, groups, donors and service providers to help solve some of the toughest social issues affecting Tarrant County.  Each year, United Way helps more than 300,000 people through its resources. United Way of Tarrant County has no fees on donor designations, with 100 percent of the donation going to the selected agency or cause.
About UNT Health Science Center
UNT Health Science Center is a graduate university comprising six colleges of health care providers, researchers, and scientists. Located on a 33-acre campus in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, UNTHSC has a strong culture based on values. Through extraordinary teamwork across the campus and the community, UNTHSC produces leaders in health care and science who transform lives. For more information, visit


Michelle Bleiberg
United Way of Tarrant County
817.258.8025 (office)

Jeff Carlton
Director of Media Relations
UNT Health Science Center
817-735-7630 (office)
817-600-2429 (mobile)