Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC) focuses attention on the community as "patient" and involves its residents in a process of discernment of health needs and consequent action. COPC's emphasis on community involvement provides an opportunity for the sociologist to create the tools for resident participation in health needs assessment and subsequent interventions. This paper describes sociology's role in a rural Appalachian county COPC program funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Some 41 focus group interviews were employed to reach more than 416 residents. Interview results were combined with epidemiological and census data and fed back to a 27-member Community Advisory Board, where nominal group techniques were used to develop a prioritized list of needs and consequent interventions. Two interventions began in the fall of 1990. One is a dental sealant program for schoolchildren. The second involves training "lay community advisors" to work with parents of newborn children in efforts to improve infant health and parenting.

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