"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Community Health Needs

On Wednesday, we had our quarterly Community Advisory Board meeting.  One of the key agenda items was the next iteration of our Community Health Needs Assessment and a request to the Board members to select three best practices from a list of best practices that we felt would address the greatest need under our identified needs areas, which are Access & Socio Economics; Healthy Lifestyles & Wellbeing, and Disease Management. 

The specific needs under Access & Socio Economics include children in poverty, primary care access, dental access for adults, health literacy and homelessness.  Under Healthy Lifestyles, the needs are smoking, physical inactivity, domestic violence, fall related injury & death and healthy weight.  Those needs under Disease Management include behavioral health, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and asthma. 

I have attached the list of best practices.  So if you would like to submit your three suggested best practices under each needs area for our region, feel free to do so.  You can direct them to Nancy Forlifer, Director of Community Health and Wellness at nforlifer@wmhs.com.  The greater the awareness of the needs, the greater the input and the better the outcome.

From the Community Advisory Board, the three top best practices were as follows:

Access – Support dental access efforts; Education on health literacy and an education campaign on when to go the ED vs. Urgent Care, “Is it Safe to Wait?”

Healthy Lifestyles – 95210 (For kids: 9 hours of sleep per day, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, 2 hours of screen time per day, 1 hour of physical activity per day and 0 sugary drinks on any day); Everybody Walk and Tobacco free environment.

Disease Management – Integration of mental and physical health; targeting the sickest patients for disease management and working with the primary care physician and three best practices tied for fourth: depression screening w/ referral to crisis counselor; screening prescription drug use and social support community.

The exercise was well received and the awareness of many of these areas of need by our board members has been heightened.

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