Kansas County Health Rankings: Understanding the Health of Atchison County

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Oct 19, 2010


Caitlin McMurtry


“Social capital” describes connections made in communities, and the powerful nature of those connections to influence health, economic development and crime. Recognizing value of social capital, local communities and states have explored ways to assess and strengthen social capital.

The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) commissioned the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) in 2006 “to establish a valid, methodologically rigorous, and visionary baseline measurement of social capital in Kansas.” KHI partnered with the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University, established by Robert Putnam, to conduct the Social Capital Community Survey, or SCCS. Saguaro conducted a statewide survey, stratified into rural and urban Kansas, as well as community-wide surveys in five Kansas communities (Abilene, Garden City, Junction City, Kansas City, and Wichita).

A discussion of the findings is reported in a 2009 article by Sharon M. Homan, Ph.D., entitled Connecting social capital and community health, which was published in the Journal of Kansas Civic Leadership Development, Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 21-22.

Access these publications in the Documents & Downloads section.

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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