Access to Primary Care, Diabetes, Physical Activity and Nutrition,
Among Top Health Care Issues Locally
Moon Township, PA, (June 28, 2013) - Heritage Valley Health System today issued the results of a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) focused on the health needs of Beaver County and select municipalities in the western section of Allegheny County. The CHNA and Heritage Valley Implementation Plans to address the top health issues were approved by the Heritage Valley Health System Board of Directors last night. The CHNA is based on review of secondary statistical data, 403 household telephone surveys, key informant interviews with ten community stakeholders, and focus group discussions with ten providers and 28 community residents.
Overall findings and conclusions in the Heritage Valley CHNA final report include the following as the top five prioritized health care issues:
- Access to Primary Care, including limited physician interaction, difficulties in navigating health insurance coverage, high insurance co-pays, transportation, and coordination of care between providers;
- Diabetes, the increasing rate as well as the effects of diabetes on other chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke;
- Physical Activity and Nutrition, increasing rates of obesity and physical inactivity and the contribution of these factors to many acute and chronic diseases;
- Smoking, higher than average lung cancer incidence and mortality rates as well as need for smoking cessation classes; and
- Cardiovascular and Respiratory Health, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the area and stroke is the fourth leading cause.
“Conducting the community health needs assessment gave Heritage Valley’s board of directors and leadership the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the health of the community from those who live and work in the areas Heritage Valley serves,” said Daniel Brooks, MD, vice president of community health services at Heritage Valley Health System. “We’re able to take that information and incorporate it into our operational planning to better meet the community’s health needs.”
Following the information gathering, a prioritization session was held with individuals representing Heritage Valley, regional health care organizations, the state health nurse, community agencies, and area social service organizations. At the meeting the findings were reviewed and prioritized by the group for adoption and inclusion in the Heritage Valley Implementation Plans.
“While the CHNA is a wonderful planning tool for Heritage Valley, it is available for any nonprofit organization, business, or community member that would like learn more about the community’s health,” added. Dr. Brooks.
The CHNA report as well as the Heritage Valley Implementation Plans are available in the “About” section of the Heritage Valley Health System website at www.heritagevalley.org.