Community Health Needs Assessment

Community Health Needs Assessment Successfully Completed
 
Heart of America Medical Center and Lake Region District Health Unit have released the results and findings of a recent study about community health needs in their service area. A report detailing the findings is available for download from the hospital’s website at the following link under CHNA:  www.hamc.com.  The report will remain available on Heart of America Medical Center’s website for several years.
The report is the culmination of a multi-month effort to assess community health needs. Assistance in conducting the assessment was received from the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The assessment process used a variety of methods to gather information and data about the health status and needs of the local population. These methods included a survey that was distributed to community residents and health care professionals, one-on-one interviews with community leaders, focus groups, and an in-depth study of county-level statistics regarding health outcomes, health behaviors, clinical care, and the local physical environment.
More than 170 area residents provided input to the study by completing surveys, giving interviews, and participating in focus groups. In addition to helping to identify community health needs, a group of community members also provided guidance to the hospital by ranking and prioritizing the identified needs. The group collectively ranked the top four health-related needs facing the community as: (1) Attracting and retaining young families; (2) Availability of resources to help the elderly stay in their homes; (3) Depression/anxiety – Youth; and (4) Cost of health insurance.
In the coming month, we will be creating our implementation plan to address these needs.  For more information about the CHNA process or to get involved with helping to address these needs, contact Jodi Schaan at 701-776-5455 x.2814.  To learn of other North Dakota communities’ prioritized needs and ideas to address them, go to www.ndchna.org for a complete list of CHNA reports and implementation strategies.
A periodic community needs assessment is one of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.  The law requires non-profit hospitals such as Heart of America Medical Center to assess the community’s health needs periodically.