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Windshield Survey
Sara Young
Ferris State University

Windshield Survey
A windshield survey is a type of subjective assessment tool that a public health or
community nurse can use to assess potential needs in his or her community. This is completed by
driving through the community and evaluating the current condition of housing, businesses,
people and environment. Data collected from this type of survey will enable the public health
nurse to determine what needs exist and work collaboratively with local officials in order to
develop goals, objectives, and interventions to address the needs of the community.
The core definition of community is defined by MacQueen et al. (2001, p. 1929) as a
group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common
perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings. It is further
understood that no two communities are exactly alike. It is imperative that individual community
assessments are completed as each may require personalized plans to resolve health issues.
Community Health
Community health may best be described as the overall condition of the environment and
people who reside within that community. Factors that can affect the health of the community
include economics, access to services, safety, education and health disparities (Harkness &
DeMarco, 2012, p. 182). Community health nursing aims to deliver care to individuals, families,
and community groups with the objective of promoting, preserving, protecting, and maintaining
health (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p. 3).
Community as Client
Community as client refers to treating the community as a whole as opposed to
individual. The role of the public health nurse is one that includes utilizing principles of
epidemiology and applying the processes of assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing and
evaluating a community in order to stimulate and encourage members toward a positive health
status (Caretto & McCormick, 1991). Education, health teaching, referrals and guidance are all
ways in which the public health nurse can treat the community.
Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator
Obesity, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition contribute to cardiovascular disease
and diabetes in the community of Lapeer. The public health nurse is an integral part of a
collaborative team that can help address the community needs by determining what motivates the
community, social economic status, barriers to care, barriers to health and nutrition. The public
health nurse can educate and refer people in the community to proper resources for health
promotion and prevention.
There are several factors in the community of Lapeer that could and do affect health
status. Although the town is hustling and bustling with business and fast food, the unemployment
rate continues to rise. Wages available do not make it easy for a family to pay bills much less
purchase nutritious foods. There are a number of fast food establishments that are easily
accessible, contributing to obesity and morbidity. Substance abuse is on the rise as well as
suicide. The number of foreclosed homes in the community is evidence that many have left the
area due to hard economic times. These homes left standing become an eyesore due to lack of
maintenance as well as a potential health hazard. While the town offers many avenues for
physical activity, very few in the community take advantage of it. This survey was a small
glimpse of the factors contributing to the health status in the community. It is unfortunate that
this beautiful town and all it has to offer, suffers from numerous disparities. It is clear that more
community involvement and education is needed in order to improve the health of the

Caretto, V.A., & McCormick, C.S. (1991). Community as client: A hands-on experience for
baccalaureate nursing students. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 8(3), 179-189.
Harkness, G.A., & DeMarco, R.F. (2012). Community and public health nursing: Evidence for
practice. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
MacQueen, K.M., McLellan, E., Metzger, D.S., Kegeles, S., Strauss, R.P., Scotti, R., Blanchard,
L., & Trotter, R.T. (2001). What is community? An evidence-based definition for
participatory public health. American Journal of Public Health, 91(12), 1929-1938.

Neighborhood Boundaries- North to South: Sawdust Corners to Pratt Road; East to
West: Wilder Road to Herd Road- Lapeer, Michigan

Housing and zoning
Many homes within
the city limit are
approximately 50-75
years old. Several
larger homes have
been converted to
dwellings. These are
interspersed among
single family homes.
Generally the homes
appear to be in good
repair with an
occasional rundown
porch or entrance.
Outside the city limits
are mainly single
family dwellings that
reside within
subdivisions or
countryside. Many
homes are heated with
gas or propane.
People have the
freedom to ride bikes,
walk or take public
Lapeer Transportation
Authority). There is
also a local taxi cab
service available most
days. Interstate 69 is
easily accessible;
interstate 75 is
approximately 40
minutes from town.
School buses are
available to take
children to school
Race and Ethnicity
The Caucasian race is
the dominate race in
the community with a
small minority of
No ethnic food stores
exist. There is a
Catholic school in

Open space
Homes within the city
limits are on lots,
while those homes
outside the city limits
are on property
varying from half an
acre to several. The
community of Lapeer
offers the benefits of
city living and
small town country
living with farms,
open fields and
livestock just 3-5
miles outside city
limits. Trees, grass,
Service Centers
There are several
dentists, doctors
offices (including
specialty), a computer
repair business, office
supplies, carpet
cleaning, chiropractic,
orthodontists, attorney
offices, tax preparers,
and accounting
services. There is a
local health
department as well as
the Dept of Human
Services. There are
Religion and Politics
The neighborhood is a
heterogeneous mix of
Baptists, Lutherans,
and Methodists,
Catholic, and non-
People go to church
on Sunday and
Wednesday. The
community is open to
both Republican and
Democratic ideas. The
hospital is unionized,
while many small
factories in the area
are not. Currently
and fields are in

also several skilled
nursing and assisted
living facilities.
there are no campaign
signs littering the
Entry into town is
delineated by the
presence of various
Downtown Lapeer
is marked with a
Welcome to
Downtown Lapeer
sign. Boundaries of
the outskirts of town
are not clearly marked
but the presence of
farms and rural life
suggest country
living. Businesses are
interspersed within
residential living in
Stores and Street
There are a variety of
street people milling
about town: runners,
teenagers, school-age
children walking to
school, couples,
people walking their
Most residents can
stay within town to
meet most of their
shopping needs.
Meijer, Walmart,
electronics, clothing
stores and numerous
fast food restaurants
are available
Health and
Suicide rates have
increased recently,
substance abuse
heroine in particular
has been of concern as
of late. Diabetes, heart
disease and obesity
are ongoing problems
in the community.
There is a Trauma II ,
200+ bed hospital in
town. There are 2
Urgent Care clinics
within 3 miles of each
There are 3 large
community parks
within Lapeer. One
offers walking and
biking trails around a
scenic lake view. Two
of these parks are near
very busy streets
which may inhibit
families with small
children from
utilizing. There is a
recreational center
(open 7 days/week),
Anytime Fitness
center, sports bars and
restaurants. Buffalo
Wild Wings and the
NCG movie theatre
are the teenage
hangout areas
Signs of decay
Some of the older
homes within the city
could use fresh paint,
siding, new porches or
steps in to the home.
Sidewalks are uneven,
giving rise to potential
falls. There are many
foreclosed homes in
the area due to
economics & high
unemployment rates
People in town have
cable TV with local
channels. Internet
services are available.
Outside of town,
satellite dishes can be
seen on most
properties. The L.A.
View and The County
Press are read by
many in the
community. Internet
& cell phones are very
popular forms of
communication. The
local library offers
books, journals,
newspapers and
internet service