Greater Akron LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment

The College of Public Health at Kent State University led by Andrew M. Snyder has the unique opportunity to positively impact the health outcomes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) residents in the Greater Akron area as well as contributing to public health evidence-based practice throughout Ohio and the United States through a first-time comprehensive LGBTQ+ specific community needs assessment.

For the purpose of this project the Greater Akron LGBTQ+ community includes anybody who identifies as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer or Questioning including all other marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities not expressly defined in LGBTQ who live in Summit, Stark, Portage or Medina county or relies on Akron for healthcare, social services, employment, education, religion or spirituality, recreation, community resources or support to satisfy their needs.

This needs assessment is special because it breaks the mold on top-down traditional needs assessment methods. Local governmental offices, businesses, organizations and individual community members themselves are welcomed to the table to equitably participate through the entire research process. Organized into seven distinct domains of health, this comprehensive needs assessment aims to capture insight on the current health status, strengths and accomplishments, opportunities, unmet needs and threats to the local LGBTQ+ community. The seven domains of health include:

  • Physical Health and Wellness
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Education and Literacy
  • Housing, Food, and Nutrition
  • Business, Employment and Commerce
  • Safety and Law Enforcement
  • Recreation and Leisure

Capturing insight about the current status and potential accomplishments and deficiencies in the LGBTQ+ community will provide valuable information freely accessible by the community to support and validate decision making and prioritize commitments to community health interventions, resources and investments. Data collection methods include incentivized and focus groups, stakeholder interviews and unique community activities designed to collection information while strengthening public health partnerships.

If you or your organization would like to become involved as a community partner, or if you would like to become involved with any of the project’s various committees, please contact Andrew Snyder at If you would like to contribute any amount to support this effort, you can make a donation here. For more information about the project please view the project overview PowerPoint and participant recruitment flyer below (recommend viewing on a computer: some graphics may be distorted on you mobile device)

Stop by the Akron Art Museum at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, 2022. At this event, you will hear from a panel of LGBTQ+ experts and advocates from Summit, Stark, Portage, and Medina counties as they share the outcomes and community recommendations that address the unmet needs of the local LGBTQ+ community. We will also celebrate and acknowledge the community partners and individuals who helped the two-year project find success! Following the presentation, take pleasure in a guided art tour of LGBTQ+ curated art.

Register via Eventbrite

Kent State University–ogIXyITVp8-ldzY

AroundKent Magazine

Akron Community Foundation and Gay Community Endowment Fund

Cleveland Foundation

The Buckeye Flame

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio 2021 Annual Report


Spectrum News1 Ohio–needs-assessment-

The Center for Health Affairs

Complete List of Community Sponsors