WASHBURN COUNTY -- Spooner Health has released the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment and the 2019-2021 implementation plan on its website at www.SpoonerHealth.com/CHNA.

Spooner Health participated in the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) services administrated by the National Rural Health Resource Center of Duluth, Minnesota. A mailed survey instrument designed to be easily completed by respondents was developed to assess the health care needs and preferences of the area. Responses were electronically scanned to maximize accuracy. The survey was designed to assemble information from residents regarding:

  • Demographics of respondents
  • Utilization and perception of local health services
  • Perception of community health

Spooner Health provided The National Rural Health Resource Center with a list of inpatient hospital admissions. Zip codes with the greatest number of admissions were stratified in the initial sample selection. Each area was represented in the sampling proportionately to both the overall served population and the number of past admissions. Eight hundred residents were selected randomly from PrimeNet Data Source, a marketing organization. Although the survey samples were proportionately selected, actual surveys returned from each population area varied.

Report Findings Are Used For:  

  • Developing and implementing plans to address key issues as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act §9007 for 501(c)3 charitable hospitals
  • Promoting collaboration and partnerships within the community or region
  • Supporting community-based strategic planning
  • Writing grants to support the community’s engagement with local health care services
  • Educating groups about emerging issues and community priorities
  • Supporting community advocacy or policy development

From the survey, the top health priorities were identified as:

  1. Drug abuse/overdose
  2. Chronic diseases (arthritis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, etc.)
  3. Cost of healthcare
  4. Alcohol abuse
  5. Obesity

Following the survey, the National Rural Health Resource Center and six hospital and community leaders met in January of 2019 to further assess information and develop a strategic action plan for 2019-2021. The group used the survey to identify the top community health needs to prioritize. These needs were then evaluated based on those that best relate to the hospital’s mission, urgency, feasibility within the hospital’s resources, existing community strengths, and opportunities to partner with other local organizations.

The top needs identified and placed into an implementation plan were:  

  • The community is aware of and accesses health care services
  • Decrease the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) abuse
  • Increase awareness, utilization and access to behavioral health services

Mike Schafer, CEO of Spooner Health, says “The community health needs assessment gives us a road map over the next three years to really address what the top priorities are for Washburn County and surrounding communities. We are so grateful to those people who took the time to return the survey and we look forward to working with community partners to address the key issues facing our area.”

Complete survey findings and implementation plan can be found at www.SpoonerHealth.com/CHNA.


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