At United Hospital District, we are committed to care and committed to you.
United Hospital District (UHD) recently commissioned a community health needs assessment to evaluate the healthcare needs of its service area: Faribault, Freeborn, Martin, and Blue Earth Counties in Minnesota; and Kossuth and Winnebago Counties in Iowa.
Community health needs assessments (CHNAs) and implementation strategies are required of tax-exempt hospitals because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The assessments create an important opportunity to improve the health of the communities served. They ensure that hospitals have the information they need to provide benefits that meet the needs of their communities. They also provide an opportunity to improve coordination of hospital community benefits with other efforts to improve community health.
UHD contracted with Sumption & Wyland, a consulting firm based in Sioux Falls, SD, to assist with the assessment. Extensive analysis and statistical research was conducted and a framework for conducting focus groups with community members was developed. Focus groups were subsequently held in Blue Earth and Wells, MN, and included residents from several different communities in UHD’s service area; participants included members of diverse socioeconomic status and representatives of education, law enforcement, local business and agriculture and elected representatives.
The information collected from the focus groups and the statistical research was used to produce the CHNA report, including recommendations for key items to be included in UHD’s strategic plan. UHD has identified three CHNA-related goals for the hospital to achieve over the next one to three years:
Raise awareness of healthcare and healthcare-related services currently provided by UHD, specifically related to:
weight loss/weight control
moderation in alcohol consumption
Service collaboration and coordination with external community partners.
Develop outreach activities to solicit interest in, and partners for, a more formalized system of multi-organizational community support for community residents.
Actively participate in the implementation of a coordinated community support information and referral service. This includes participation in service coordination activities led by other agencies serving UHD’s service area.
Operational feasibility planning to address potential service additions at UHD.
Develop an inventory of service gaps and personnel needs, and potential financial and operational plans to address those needs.