Assessing the health status of a population is one of the core functions of public health (Institute of Medicine, 1988). Done correctly, it can provide important insights into the factors influencing and producing health in a community. A community health status assessment is a powerful tool not only for identifying issues and circumstances that affect the health of a population, but also for community organizing and capacity building. In this chapter we present the basics of why and how to conduct a community health status assessment, particularly in the context of rural communities. We begin with definitions and a brief discussion of the theory underlying this process. Then we discuss specifics of an ideal community health status assessment and alternatives for when resources do not allow for the ideal.