Greater Akron

Kent State University partnered with over 180 people from 116 greater Akron community organizations to conduct the first comprehensive and specific LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment (CNA). Efforts of this assessment focused on producing a better-informed public health system and improving the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.

This assessment engaged the entire Akron community to equitably participate in the needs assessment process to determine what the local LGBTQ+ community identifies as important. To do so, the assessment adopted a holistic view of the health and wellness in Akron’s LGBTQ+ community by looking at seven key health domains: health and wellness; religion and spirituality; education and literacy; housing, food, and nutrition; business, employment, and commerce; safety and law enforcement; and recreation and leisure.

Andrew Snyder, MPH, BSN, research program coordinator for Kent State’s College of Public Health


The concept for this effort was the brainchild of Andrew M. Snyder, MPH, BSN, research program coordinator for Kent State’s College of Public Health. “The idea for this has been a long time in the making, but once started, it quickly gained momentum and great support,” Snyder said. “This is a celebration and triumph for the gay community.”

Nearly 200 guests attended The Results Are In! event, held Thursday, August 18, 2022, at the Akron Art Museum. Nine panelists from seven domains of holistic health shared their reactions and suggested next steps to address areas of unmet needs identified through the community-based participatory research process, as well as strengths and achievements the community has to leverage in addressing these needs.

According to Snyder, 902 unique survey responses were recorded during the survey administration period, painting a rich picture of the current status of Greater Akron’s LGBTQ+ community. “Although the assessment is complete, we must move swiftly from assessment to action to ensure this compilation of community input is utilized to its full potential,” continued Snyder.

The goals of the assessment were to:

  • Increase awareness about public health as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community in Greater Akron.
  • Lean into the local LGBTQ+ population demographically as the LGBTQ+ community is currently unassessed by the US Census, leaving us to rely on estimates.
  • Describe the status of the local LGBTQ+ community holistically; not just focusing on weaknesses and unmet needs but also identifying strengths and achievements.
  • Develop a set of community recommendations based on participant input that inform future investments and decision-making for the local LGBTQ+ community.
  • Strengthen partnerships and inter-organization collaborations within the local public health system.

View Final Report

To learn more about the assessment results, request a copy of the data, or request a presentation, please visit

Additional Resources:

OJPH Op Ed- It’s Time to Mobilize in Support of Inclusive LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessments

Kent State CPH Led Ohio’s First Holistic LGBTQ+ Specific Community Needs Assessment

Complete List of Current Community Partners/Sponsors:


  • The Brennan Family Foundation
  • County of Summit - Ilene Shapiro
  • Kent State University - College of Public Health


  • Akron Community Foundation
  • Gay Community Endowment Fund
  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General
  • Summa Summit Co.
  • Summit County Public Health


  • Akron Pride Festival
  • The Read Family


  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio
  • Akron Art Museum