In 2015, Deaconess Health System joined five other local health-related organizations, ECHO Community Health Care, St. Mary's Health, United Way, Vanderburgh County Health Department, and Welborn Baptist Foundation to plan for and administer a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Conducting a CHNA is a required component of the Affordable Care Act and serves as a way to evaluate the overall health of the community. The assessment identifies recurring causes of poor health then focuses resources to support and drive positive change in the identified behaviors.
Data was gathered in May and June 2015 from 12 focus groups, 17 “key informant interviews” and publicly reportable data such as community demographics, health behaviors, and health outcomes. Representation included social service agencies, education, law enforcement, public service, business and industry, government, non-profit organizations, and healthcare related organizations from both Vanderburgh and Warrick County.
After reviewing the data, our collaborative identified four main issues:
Behavioral Health (including substance abuse, tobacco use, and mental health) – both counties
Exercise, Weight, and Nutrition – both counties
Child Health – only Vanderburgh County
Cancer (specifically breast and prostate) – only Warrick County
It is the belief of our group that these four issues are at the core of poor community health and contribute to higher health care costs. By focusing time and resources on these issues, we will realize the greatest transformation in population health and have the opportunity to reduce costs.
The newly created website, www.healthyswin.org
, contains very detailed information on a variety of health and social issues affecting our community. The entire CHNA report for both Vanderburgh and Warrick County can be found on this site under the tab labeled “Tools and Resources.” The website is automatically updated every time new publicly reportable data is released.
Any questions regarding the Community Health Needs Assessment can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda E. White