Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 28

Health2Wellness

Mental, Spiritual, Physical Health & Wellness

THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT:
Targeting the Wellbeing of Berks County
How does a community get - and stay - healthy?

E

It determines what its biggest issues are and develops strategies to address them.

very three years, Berks County's local health
partners conduct a Community Health
Needs Assessment that identifies key health
issues in the county. The partners then use the
information gathered to implement initiatives
that address our region's most-pressing health
needs and determine ways to eliminate barriers
to care. These initiatives are based on the needs
of our community, including families like yours,
to ensure health partners have the programs
and interventions necessary to meet your needs.

What is a Community Health
Needs Assessment?

A Community Health Needs Assessment
(CHNA) is a systematic process that identifies
and analyzes any community's health needs as
well as its assets so that health providers can
prioritize needs of a particular community,
28 Women2Women Winter 2018

especially those needs that aren't currently
being met. Why is this process completed?
The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires that
all 501(c)(3) hospitals conduct a community
health needs assessment and subsequent
implementation plan every three years.
But the requirement is also a valuable
opportunity for health providers to collect
useful data about our community, including
community demographics, socio-economic
factors and health service utilization trends.
What's more, it's a unique opportunity for a
variety of groups to come together, including
major hospitals, focus groups, community
coalitions, and surveys. The greater the number
of invested partners in a CHNA, the better the
likelihood that any initiatives that are developed
as part of a CHNA can address the real needs

of a community, and improve a community's
overall health.

2013's CHNA

To date, two full CHNA cycles under the
ACA mandate have been completed in Berks
County. The first CHNA, completed in 2013,
was jointly sponsored by the Berks County
Community Foundation, Reading Health
System, St. Joseph Regional Health Network
(now Penn State Health St. Joseph), and the
United Way of Berks County and involved
a countywide Advisory Committee.
Berks County was defined as the community
for the purposes of the local CHNA. Berks
County includes a mix of urban, suburban,
and rural areas with distinct populations and
health resources. The CHNA identified some



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Winter 2018

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