Community Health Needs Forums- Fall 2011
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes a set of new requirements for non-profit hospitals. Included is a requirement that hospitals conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through such assessment.
The CHNA must take into account input from public health experts and individuals in the community who represent the broad interests of the community. A copy of the CHNA must be made available to the public. In order to meet the requirement to take into account input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community served by a hospital facility, the Treasury and the IRS intend to provide that a CHNA must, at a minimum, take into account input from (IRS 2010):
1) persons with special knowledge of or expertise in public health;
2) federal, tribal, regional, State, or local health or other departments or agencies, with current data or other information relevant to the health needs of the community served by the hospital facility; and
3) leaders, representatives, or members of medically underserved, low income, and minority populations, and populations with chronic disease needs, in the community served by the hospital facility.
Specifically, the community engagement process will contribute to:
1. Understanding the public health priorities of key community constituents; and
2. Identifying key community constituents who could collaborate to design and introduce initiatives that address these key public health priorities.
The timetable for the local CHNA process will go through December 2013. This fall was dedicated to gathering qualitative data via community forums with local citizens and stakeholders. The process will also include further data collection and analysis, priority setting, development of action and implementation plans and adoption of those plans by the county health department and local hospitals. The Lerner Center, in consultation with the Onondaga County Health Department and local hospitals, will help to facilitate pieces of this process.
Process for Community Health Needs Assessment Forums
Thirty-five CNY Master of Public Health students in the MPH 607 Public Health Administration class were split into 5 groups of seven members. Each group was assigned to coordinate and facilitate one of the below sessions in the months of October or November 2011, and produce a final report as the final project of the course.
A total of 5 community sessions were facilitated by the student groups:
• Two (2) sessions with leadership of local organizations, one group of human service/health professionals and another of business and government executives; and
• Three (3) groups of community members, two groups of members at large invited through the media and one group of community members intended to engage parents and teens.
Group Final Presentations
Business and Elected Officials Forum: Monday, October 24, 2011
Community Forum #1: Thursday, October 27, 2011
Non-profit, Health and Social Services Forum: Thursday, November 3, 2011
School Forum: Monday, November 7, 2011
Community Forum #2: Thursday, November 10, 2011
Click here for the summary report analyzing findings across the five forums.
For more information on PPACA and the federal Community Health Needs Assessment requirements, please click here for a paper overviewing the guidelines.