The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 and places a significant focus on community-based prevention, requiring nonprofit hospitals such as Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) to show that they understand and engage with their communities to identify the most pressing needs of their communities. Local public health departments are also required to assess the health needs of communities. In addition to the gathering of existing health data, a Community Health Needs Assessment is a way to identify the services that are needed in a community and is a vehicle in which to develop an implementation plan to address these needs.
To that end, LRH and Dickinson County Public Health have partnered to develop a joint Community Health Needs Assessment and are encouraging all Dickinson County residents to take this anonymous, quick survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7SKKDMN by September 28, 2021 to provide the greatest opportunity for feedback. LRH President and CEO Jason Harrington said, “The survey only takes five to 15 minutes to complete depending on how much feedback you provide, but is very important in helping us determine what our community needs are regarding healthcare services and other items in our area. This data, in addition to health outcomes data we’ve collected, will be used to set the direction for the next couple of years regarding improving the health and well-being of the area.”
Those that don’t have access to the internet or who prefer not to do the survey online can pick up a paper version of the survey inside Lakes Regional Healthcare’s east entrance or at the Bedell Family YMCA. Harrington said, “Once you’ve completed it, you can drop it in a collection box at the same location these paper forms are found.”
According to Harrington, it is important that many people in our service area are involved in this survey to identify our area’s needs related to health care. Once the survey is completed, the results will be tabulated and opportunities for improvement, strategies, and necessary resources will be determined. Harrington said, “We plan to have a strategy determined in early 2022 with focus groups involved so we can start addressing our needs as 2022 begins.”
Those who would like more information about this process can call Lakes Regional Healthcare Director of Population and Public Health Katy Burke at 712-339-6050.