Goshen Health completes community health needs assessment

12/12/2018

Goshen Health has completed their 2018 community health needs assessment with the assistance of key community stakeholders. The organization conducts this all-important assessment every three years.

The overarching goal of the evaluation is to create a long-term plan and systematic effort that improves community health and wellness. This goal is achieved through community engagement, healthcare education, preventive services and exceptional health care. 

“Goshen Health was fortunate to have several regional leaders participating in our Community Advisory Council,” Rob Myers, COO of Goshen Health stated. “Their leadership over the last nine months has been outstanding. Working together ensured that a better understanding of our entire community was reached. We are grateful for their help.” 

The Community Advisory Council provided leadership during the assessment, helped interpret data collected and also assisted with prioritizing the identified health needs. The health needs assessment began in March and included a review of benchmarked county health data along with an initiative that involved the community through surveys, focus groups and individual interviews. 

The Council identified the following 13 health needs as most significant:
1 – Mental health
2 – Obesity
3 – Substance abuse, alcohol, drugs, addiction
4 – Diabetes 
5 – Mental health providers  
6 – Tobacco use/smoking
7 – Poverty
8 – Nutrition 
9 – Physical fitness
10 – Physicians: primary care and other
11 – Insurance coverage
12 – Family support
13 – Health education

The full 2018 community health needs assessment report is available for download at GoshenHealth.com

Goshen Health has now begun the work of determining which of these prioritized health needs it is best positioned to address, as well as developing an implementation plan to support those needs. The plan will include strategic tactics as well as measurement tools to ensure the organization is making a difference with those who are most in need. The final plan will be complete by Spring of 2019.

Myers went on to say, “We know we are stronger, and healthier, when we work together to serve those most vulnerable. As with the assessment itself, we plan to collaborate with community leaders and organizations for maximum impact.”

Community Advisory Council Members:
Susan Franger, Vice President, Cancer Services and Marketing, Goshen Health
Dr. James Gingerich, Family Physician, Maple City Health Care Center
Dr. Lydia Mertz, Health Officer, Elkhart County Health Department
Merv Miller, Assistant Chief, Goshen Fire Department
Rob Myers, Chief Operating Officer, Goshen Health
Shannon Oakes, Senior Program Officer
Gilberto Perez, Dean of Students, Goshen College
Zulma Prieto, Community Member
Deb Stack, Senior Market Informatics Analyst, Goshen Health
Susan Stiffney, Asst. HR Director & Health Services Coordinator, Goshen Community Schools
Kari Tarman, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Oaklawn Psychiatric Center