RMH has completed its 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), identifying prevalent health problems in the community, and has selected areas of focus to address a number of community health concerns.
RMH contracted with Community Health Solutions (CHS), a Richmond based organization with extensive assessment experience, to provide data analysis and administer the assessment.
The Affordable Care Act requires all not-for-profit hospitals to assess the health needs of a community and create an implementation strategy to combat those problems every three years, explained Kay Harrison, vice president, Business Development. The CHNA takes a broad look at a community’s well-being, identifying the most prevalent health concerns.
“We are confident that local organizations and providers will find the results of our needs assessment to be helpful in planning how to improve the health of our community,” Harrison said.
To compile the CHNA, RMH sent surveys to more than 100 health care providers, non-profit leaders, business and government leaders and representatives from the Virginia departments of health and social services. RMH also reviewed demographic and health status data for the region, created an inventory of existing community health resources and identified common health care concerns and issues.
RMH’s CHNA work group reviewed survey results and identified the priority health issues for the RMH service region as:
- Adult and childhood obesity
- Teen pregnancy
- Mental health and substance abuse
- Heart disease and hypertension
The data showed that parts of the RMH service region are disproportionately affected by poor health status and health conditions. Populations in the cities of Harrisonburg and Staunton, northern Page County and eastern Rockingham County are more at risk for poor health status.
The RMH service region includes the counties of Rockingham, Shenandoah, Page, Highland, Augusta and Bath and the cities of Harrisonburg and Staunton.
“The results of the needs assessment will guide us in expanding and developing services to respond to the emerging health needs of our community, in partnership with other local providers,” Harrison said “With the current challenges facing health care institutions, it is becoming increasingly important to promote screening for early detection of disease, to teach people skills for coping with symptoms of chronic disease, and helping patients navigate the health care system.”
To address the major health concerns identified by the CHNA, Harrison said, RMH will implement the following new programs:
- Partner with James Madison University on the new Personal Responsibility Education Program to combat teen pregnancy.
- Place a Behavioral Health Consultant at East Rockingham Health Center to increase access to mental health resources for residents in eastern Rockingham County.
- Provide leadership to the Central Shenandoah Valley Family Partnership to improve outcomes for families affected by substance abuse.
- Research best-practice tobacco cessation programs and explore funding opportunities to implement them through RMH Community Health.
- Evaluate the campus master plan and explore funding opportunities to place a community garden on the RMH campus to help obesity prevention.
Many existing programs will be expanded, including health coaching services offered through the RMH Heart and Vascular Center
, Women’s Center
, Wellness Center
, Behavioral Health
and Community Health
. The monthly teen pregnancy support group
offered through RMH Community Health will be expanded to include outreach to parents and siblings also.
A copy of the CHNA is available on RMHonline.com for all members of the community to view.