What are the health needs of our community? Part One

The mission of KSB Hospital is to meet the healthcare needs of the community. To meet those needs, we must first identify what they are. One way to identify needs is through a process called a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). While local health departments have long conducted assessments like a CHNA, many hospitals began conducting CHNAs only after it became a requirement for not-for-profit hospitals under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as the ACA).

KSB worked with many community partners to conduct a CHNA in 2013. The full report can be found online at ksbhospital.com/chna, but this week on The Pulse, we’ll use a two-part series to review some of the key findings.

The first community health need we identified was obesity education & prevention. The analysis shows that 27 percent of Lee County residents are obese (BMI >30) and that more than 60 percent are either overweight (BMI >25) or obese. Of additional concern is the national trend showing a sharp increase in the incidence of childhood obesity.

The CHNA committee identified many community programs that seek to promote healthy lifestyles and educate people about preventing obesity, but that many of the programs were not being used by enough people in the community. The committee set a goal to improve utilization of these programs, for example, to attract more participants in Operation Move to Win. We also worked to improve health education for children and brought the Jump with Jill nutrition rock show to local schools as a part of our efforts.

No health need can be solved by KSB Hospital alone. Our Wellness Department teams up with schools, employers, health departments, the YMCA, and other local providers to provide coordinated programs and services. By identifying obesity education & prevention as a health need, we took the first step toward fulfilling our mission of meeting those needs.

On Thursday, check back for the other two identified health needs, as well as a description of some health needs that our CHNA did not directly address.

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