Community Health Assessment FY 14
Cooley Dickinson Hospital conducted a formal community health assessment and published the results in 2011.
The health assessment included a comprehensive review of secondary data sources, categorized by community and/or county, within the hospital’s service area.
Where possible, data is further analyzed by gender, age, and race. Data sources include MassCHIP, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, hospital discharge data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Hampshire County and Franklin County Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, United States Census Bureau, Food Environment Atlas, MDPH Birth Reports, Massachusetts Cancer Registry, MDPH Pediatric Asthma Surveillance, and local school health data.
The health assessment report is organized in seven sections:
- Birth and death
- Chronic diseases
- Substance abuse
- Food and fitness environment
- Health behaviors
- Health care access
Each section includes charts, graphs, and a narrative analysis of the information. The report has been widely disseminated throughout the Pioneer Valley and is available at www.cooley-dickinson.org or view the report here.
In 2012, the Healthy Communities Committee conducted a formal inventory and review of hospital community benefit programs. The review led to recommendations for each program. The review considered program fit with the hospital mission and strategic plan, financial viability of the program, and whether or not the services were duplicated by others in the community. Each program is required to review its goals and outcomes prior to the beginning of the year and to report progress toward the previous year’s goals.
In 2013, we supplemented the health assessment by participating in the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission led report: State of the Pioneer Valley. This report summarizes key indicator data including health, education, and quality of life. View the full report here.
We also supported the implementation of the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey in area middle and high schools. The survey was conducted by the Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth (SPIFFY), in partnership with school districts. Survey data includes youth risk and protective factors and risky behaviors.
We built on these data reports by engaging residents in qualitative data collection and discussions about priorities.
We consider the health assessment role to be an ongoing process of monitoring community health trends, engaging the community in identifying needs and solutions, and building local capacity to understand and improve community health.
Forum participants were given an overview of the health assessment and a summary of the qualitative data. Through group discussion and activities we received input into priorities for action. This input informed the development of our community benefits plan.
Our plan is consistent with the Healthy People 2020 (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) focus on the social determinants of health. Our plan and budget are organized according to these categories:
- Access to care
- Health reform
- Supporting health equity
- Chronic disease rates and preventive practices
- Behavioral health
- Healthy eating and active living
This plan is based on health assessment data and community feedback and will be revised based on our evolving understanding of needs.