In 2018, Deaconess Health System joined five other local health-related organizations, ECHO Community Health Care, St. Vincent Evansville, United Way of Southwest Indiana, 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.
The field period for the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment Survey was April 2, 2018, through June 29, 2018. Survey data for the convenience sample were collected between June 15 - July 6, 2018. Six focus group discussions were held between August 27 and 28, and a prioritization session took place on September 12, 2018. Representation included social service agencies, education, public service, business and industry, government, non-profit organizations, and health care related organizations from both Vanderburgh and Warrick County.
After reviewing the data, our collaborative identified four main health priorities:
- Mental Health – Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties
- Substance Abuse – Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties
- Food Insecurity – Vanderburgh County
- Access to Care – 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.