Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Collaborative Community Health Needs Assessments: Approaches and Benefits for Critical Access Hospitals

Abstract: 

Recent policy and regulatory changes are creating an environment in which hospitals, public health departments, and other health care organizations are held accountable for identifying and addressing the health needs of their communities.Conducting effective Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) requires resources and capacity that individual rural hospitals and communities may lack; thus collaboration among hospitals and communities has the potential for achieving efficiencies in the collection and analysis of local and regional health data and in supporting a robust community engagement process to identify priorities for community health improvement.
This brief informs the efforts of state Flex Programs to support Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in conducting collaborative CHNAs and provides insight into the leadership issues encountered by CAHs and other stakeholders as they conduct their collaborative assessments. The results of these assessments can be used by hospitals as well as state Flex Programs to inform their ongoing strategic initiatives.

Key Findings:

  • Small hospitals and communities can successfully collaborate on CHNAs.
  • Collaborative CHNAs can serve as building blocks for a more comprehensive community health improvement strategy.
  • Data requirements for the community assessment obligations of CAHs, rural hospitals, public health departments, and community providers offer a key opportunity for collaboration and economies of scale in collecting and analyzing needed primary and secondary data.
  • Collaboration requires the development of trust and rapport among participants; the acknowledgement and management of imbalances of leadership, power, and resources; and recognition of each participant’s assessment needs.
  • Collaborative CHNAs can provide a foundation to engage diverse hospital, public health and other community stakeholders in the development of strategies to address identified community needs.

Suggested Citation: Gale JA, Coburn AF, Newton HE. Collaborative Community Health Needs Assessments: Approaches and Benefits for Critical Access Hospitals. Portland, ME: Flex Monitoring Team; May, 2014. Policy Brief #36.

 

Publication Type: 
Research and Policy Brief
Publish Date: 
May 16, 2014
URL: 
http://www.flexmonitoring.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/pb36.pdf

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

New Chartbook on the Use of Maine's Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

Long Term Services and Supports Cover page image

Long term services and supports (LTSS) are a vital lifeline for the thousands of Maine adults who need them, and they account for a significant portion of the state's Medicaid (MaineCare) budget.This Chartbook prepared by the research staff at the USM Muskie School, provides information on all Maine adults who use LTSS: older adults; adults with physical disabilities; adults with intellectual disabilities/autism spectrum disorder or other related conditions; and adults with acquired brain injury.

The information provided in this Chartbook about the demographic trends that impact Maine's service system as well as data on the typical MaineCare service utilization and expenditures of different LTSS populations will inform the discussion among policymakers, providers, consumers, and advocates as they work together to ensure that Maine’s system of LTSS meets the needs of all its citizens.

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