Saint Francis Releases Community Health Needs Assessment Results

Saint Francis Healthcare System has completed a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for four Southeast Missouri counties. The assessments of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Scott and Stoddard Counties are now available online here.

The CHNA process gathered a broad range of information through existing data, individual surveys and focus groups. Individual surveys and focus groups involved the underserved, the underinsured, at-risk populations, families and the elderly.

“This effort took an in-depth look at community health needs, and reminds all of us involved in healthcare of the task we face in helping residents of Southeast Missouri become healthier,” said Steven C. Bjelich, FACHE-D, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Francis Healthcare System. “Saint Francis’ community outreach already addresses many of these needs and we will continue to collaborate on these issues when opportunities arise.”

Four Southeast Missouri counties were chosen because they are home to the majority of Saint Francis patients, based on inpatient discharge data from the Missouri Hospital Association’s Hospital Industry Data Institute (HIDI). To gather primary data, more than 150 individuals in the four counties completed comprehensive, demographic health surveys. Five community focus groups provided information from key healthcare and social services stakeholders. Secondary data was gathered from existing sources, including the 2015 U.S. Census, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings, Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services and Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Priority needs were identified by CHNA through primary research. High-priority needs were then validated by the secondary research. Priority needs were also based on each hospital’s ability to address the need.

Identified top priority needs and associated health behavior needs are: cancer, obesity (adults and children), chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, stroke) and healthcare affordability. Saint Francis Medical Center has chosen to focus on cancer, obesity, chronic disease and healthcare affordability. An implementation plan to address these needs was adopted April 12 by the Saint Francis Healthcare System Board of Directors.

The assessment is part of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirement for not-for-profit hospitals across the country. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), not-for-profit hospitals are required to complete a community health needs assessment every three years in order to maintain 501(c)(3) status.

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